2005 “Oltre il free rider: l’utilizzo di modelli formali nello studio dell’azione collettiva,” Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, 40,1: 125-156. En. title: “Beyond Free Riding: On the Use of Formal Models for the Study of Collective Action.”
ABSTRACT: Since Olson’s The Logic of Collective Action appeared, several formal models of collective action have been proposed. Although maintaining the same analytical approach, scholars working on this vein have strongly relaxed Olson’s rational choice assumptions, even shifting toward a relational or structural perspective. Current models of collective action consider the interdependence among actors; the effect of norms, sanctions and mutual influence; population heterogeneity in resources, interest and power; social position and the impact of the network structure; and processes of adaptive and backward looking decision making. By reviewing recent literature, this paper shows the possibilities of mathematical modeling and introduces some basic notions about computer simulations, with a specific focus on agent-based models.