A free rider can be defined as a person who, being a member of a group, decides to take advantage of the consumption of a good, or utilization of a service, which is generated as a result of the common efforts by the group members, without bearing a proportionate (or, in pure free riding, any) share of its cost of production, or without contributing to its direct realization. One simple way to represent free riding is to think of a member of a rowing team who fails to do her or his share, by faking the rowing effort—metaphorically, getting a free ride on the boat.

The possibility of free riding is not an exceptional case; on the contrary, according to economic and rational choice theory (as ...

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