From Industry Associations to Ecosystem Associations: Blockchain, Interest Groups and Public Choice

25 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2018

See all articles by Chris Berg

Chris Berg

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Mikayla Novak

RMIT University

Jason Potts

RMIT University

Stuart J. Thomas

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

Date Written: November 16, 2018

Abstract

Conventional public choice literature suggests that interest groups have a largely malign effect upon the economy. Suggesting that interest groups are primarily established to lobby governments for rents, the public choice approach essentially rests upon normative presumptions concerning the appropriateness of relationships between interest groups and the state. This analysis tends to overlook constructive roles undertaken by interest groups to facilitate economic coordination, including the facilitation of technology adoption, and to collaborate with political and other actors to overcome obstacles to innovation and industry dynamics. The development of blockchain technology in recent years serves as a useful case study illustrating the role of interest groups in contributing toward the development of a blockchain-enabled economy. We provide support for our general hypothesis of a beneficial economic contribution by interest groups by profiling the activities of blockchain industry associations. This paper also considers to what extent interest group involvement in blockchain coordination and governance is designed to pre-emptively avoid more stringent governmental action, or respond to perceived inadequacies in public policy settings. This study contributes to a revision of public choice scholarship regarding the appropriateness of interest group activity.

Keywords: blockchain, economic coordination, ecosystem, interest groups, governance, Mancur Olson

JEL Classification: D70, O30, L30, L84, P16

Suggested Citation

Berg, Chris and Novak, Mikayla and Potts, Jason and Thomas, Stuart J., From Industry Associations to Ecosystem Associations: Blockchain, Interest Groups and Public Choice (November 16, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3285647 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3285647

Chris Berg

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing ( email )

Level 12, 239 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

Mikayla Novak (Contact Author)

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

Jason Potts

RMIT University ( email )

Stuart J. Thomas

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing ( email )

Business
Level 12, 239 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

Financial Research Network (FIRN)

C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane
Queensland
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.firn.org.au

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