Explaining the Perceived Influence on Providing Public Goods 1
Since members of large groups have only a negligible influence on the provision of the goods, preferences for public goods are irrelevant for explaining ioint contributions to their provision. The assumption, however, that actual influence is perceived correctly is not substantiated by empirical research. The influence of a group has, furthermore, an effect of its own on the personal influence of a member. Irrespective of group size, an increasing influence of the group also raises or reduces the actual influence of an individual. Empirical investigations of the variation in perceived influence among the members of large groups suggest that a reality explanation is sufficient. In models aiming at an explanation of political participation, it is usually assumed that perceived efficacy is a determinant of political participation. Mobilization resources were measured in each study by the number of memberships in voluntary associations.