The Economics of Activism

Source: EconLog
by Kevin Corcoran

“There are two different ways one might use economics to analyze political activism. (Well, more than two, but in this post I’ll just be talking about two of them.) First, what do I mean when I speak of political activism? I mean things like attending rallies or protests, signing petitions, voting in elections, frequently advocating for and attempting to persuade people of some particular view or in favor of some kind of political policy, things of that nature. One way to think of activism is to view it as a form of production. In this model, the activist is engaging in activism in order to produce some kind of output. … The second way to view activism is not as a form of production, but as a form of consumption. What does it mean to be a consumer of activism? It means the activist engages in activism in order to enjoy some private benefits.” (06/27/24)