Co-production, polycentricity, and value heterogeneity: The ostroms' public choice institutionalism revisited

Paul Dragos Aligica, Vlad Tarko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Revisiting the theory of institutional hybridity and diversity developed by Vincent and Elinor Ostrom to cope with the challenge of the neither states nor markets institutional domain, this article reconstructs the Ostromian system along the value heterogeneity-co-production-polycentricity axis. It articulates the elements of a theory of value heterogeneity and of the fuzzy boundaries between private and public. It rebuilds the model of co-production, clarifying the ambiguity surrounding a key technical public choice theoretical assumption, and it demonstrates (a) why it should not be confused with the Alchian-Demsetz team production model and (b) how co-production engenders a type of market failure that has been neglected so far. In light of this analysis, the article reconsiders polycentricity, the capstone of the Ostromian system, explaining why polycentricity may be seen as a solution both to this co-production market failure problem and to the problems of social choice in conditions of deep heterogeneity. It also discusses further normative corollaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)726-741
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Volume107
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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