In this article I examine how the characteristics of a coalition can affect the incentives an organization has to contribute to a collective advocacy effort. Although groups working in coalition have opportunities to free-ride on the efforts of their allies, the opportunity to develop a reputation as an advocate may provide a selective incentive to contribute. Reputations are important because of the information they convey to potential allies about how groups are likely to behave in an alliance. But for reputation to serve as a selective incentive, a group's advocacy contribution must be easy for its allies to observe. Thus, only in coalitions that are designed to make groups' advocacy contributions conspicuous will a decision to free-ride be a costly strategy to employ. Based on data I collected about organizations' coalitional advocacy activity on five issues, I show that groups in a coalition are less likely to free-ride when their advocacy activities are coordinated and when they interact often with their alliance partners.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science