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I think that if we analyze how different economic structures support/discourage free riders, the article would become stronger. Readers are looking for real world evidence in current events and history which point to the free rider problem. By going into established theories on how communism vs. capitalism affects free riders, and how certain cultures around the world have different effects on free riders at an individual level, (such as collectivist cultures in the East having documented lower problems with social loafing), we can create an informative article on this issue. I welcome suggestions as to how to best approach this as I plan on contributing personally to such a section in the article.
Akaychestnut 15:55 Sept 21, 2014 (EST)
The malibu surfer problem redirects here, despite being an entirely separate concept. It is not discussed or covered here and should most likely be a separate article.
This article should at least contain one real life example. The only example mentioned ("A weekly street-cleaning service would cost $2,500 annually") is a made up problem which does a nice job of explaining what the problem theoretically would be. Its conclusion however is that "it is possible no system will be installed, an example of market failure." I've never seen an article where a phenomenon is explained using an example that says that "in this case the phenomenon may or may not occur".
What we need is a well documented case where some event didn't happen because of the free rider problem. I don't know of any btw. I do know that in The Machinery of Freedom, David Friedman makes a case that the market would solve problems like these, and he does show real life examples. And I know from personal experience that the example is a bad one. In my own street, a for-profit company does remove graffiti as soon as it is reported. Yes, there are a few free riders, but still its very cheap, it works, and I'm glad government isn't on the case citing popflock.com resource to show that noone else would be able to fix it. Joepnl (talk) 21:30, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
The concept of free-riding is widely discussed in the context of global climate change negotiations, whereby a country that does not contribute to the costs of mitigation will naturally benefit from the actions of those countries who do make an effort. This situation could be worked into the article somewhere. Finding academic literature on the topic should not be a problem. Best wishes. RobbieIanMorrison (talk) 12:55, 18 March 2017 (UTC)