Ayer, Harry W.

July, 1997

By: Ayer, Harry W.
Agroenvironmental problems (e.g., contamination of ground- and surface water, feed lot odors, endangered species) often involve goods and activities with public goods attributes. Grass roots collective action- in contrast to top-down governmental collective actions of taxing, subsidizing, and regulating- provides one alternative means of helping resolve these problems. Here I suggest that agroenvironmental policy, research, and extension should consider the often forgotten grass roots collective action alternative. I also discuss how expected private benefits, communication and information, joint products, group size and heterogeneity, transaction costs, and rules and enforcement determine the success or failure of grass roots collective action.