Theses Doctoral

Essays on Leadership Selection and Public Goods Provision in Self-Help Organizations

Grossman, Guy

This dissertation examines the relationship between leadership selection and public goods provision in self-help organizations. Leadership selection is defined as the rules for selecting leaders, as well as the factors that determine the quality of the leadership class. Self-help organizations are defined as relatively small-size voluntary groups that are created to provide goods and services to members and that select their leader via democratic procedures. Examples include micro-lending and micro-insurance groups, common-pool resource groups, women and artisan cooperatives and farmer associations. The dissertation focuses on Uganda's recent largest development project: the Agriculture Productivity Enhancement Project (APEP). USAID funded, APEP's stated goal is to expand rural economic opportunities by supporting the transition of smallholder producers into commercial farming. During the project's lifespan (2005-2009), APEP helped about 60,000 small-scale producers to organize into over 200 farmer associations (i.e. cooperatives). Importantly, the success of these farmer associations in overcoming social dilemmas and in providing goods and services to their members, varied tremendously. Why are some groups more successful than others in overcoming the social dilemmas inherent in public goods production? To explain this variation, the dissertation uses a range of disciplinary perspectives --- drawn mainly from political science, economics, social psychology and sociology --- as well as a diverse set of methodological tools.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Political Science
Thesis Advisors
Humphreys, Macartan N.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 21, 2013