Advertisement

Club Women and the Provision of Local Public Goods

  • Jayme LemkeEmail author
  • Julia R. Norgaard
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 39)

Abstract

Despite the variety of legal, political, and social barriers facing women who sought to contribute to public life in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States, women’s clubs emerged as prominent contributors to local public goods within their communities. Club women constructed public walkways, managed beautification projects, coordinated fire-fighting services, offered medical and financial relief to poorer community members, advocated for local reforms, and facilitated a variety of educational opportunities for themselves and others. In this paper, we draw on the theory of local public goods as developed by Elinor Ostrom, and other contributors to the Bloomington school of institutional analysis, to explain women’s contributions to these various goods in the context of their organizational rules and the benefits of women’s club membership.

References

  1. 75th Anniversary WWC (1965) Connecticut box 1, folder 5. Local club records (club histories), General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Washington, DC, February 19, 2016Google Scholar
  2. Bardsley N (2008) Dictator game giving: Altruism or artefact? Experimental Economics 11(2):122–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benton CF (1915) The Complete Club Book for Women: Including Subjects, Material, and References for Study Programs; Together with a Constitution and By-Laws; Rules of Order; Instructions How to Make a Year Book; Suggestions for Practical Community Work; a Resume of What Some Clubs Are Doing, Etc., Etc. A Companion Volume to Woman’s Club Work and Programs. The Colonial Press, BostonGoogle Scholar
  4. Binkley C (2002) ‘No better heritage than living trees’: Women’s clubs and early conservation in humboldt county. Western Historical Quarterly 33(2):179–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boettke PJ, Coyne CJ, Leeson PT (2011) Quasimarket failure. Public Choice 149(1-2):209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boettke PJ, Lemke JS, Palagashvili L (2016) Re-evaluating community policing in a polycentric system. Journal of Institutional Economics 12(2):305–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bolt C (1993) The Women’s Movements in the United States and Britain from the 1790s to the 1920s. The University of Massachusetts Press, AmherstGoogle Scholar
  8. Bolton GE, Katok E, Zwick R (1998) Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness. International Journal of Game Theory 27(2):269–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bowden A (1930) The women’s club movement. Journal of Education 111(9):257–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Breaux RM (2002) ‘Maintaining a home for girls’: The Iowa Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs at the University of Iowa, 1919-1950. Journal of African American History 87(2):236–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brennan G (2012) Politics-as-exchange and The Calculus of Consent. Public Choice 152(3-4):351–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Buchanan JM (1965) An economic theory of clubs. Economica 32(125):1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Buchanan JM, Tullock G (1962) The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy. University of Michigan Press, Ann ArborCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cason TN, Mui VL (1997) A laboratory study of group polarisation in the team dictator game. Economic Journal 107(444):1465–1483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Claxton P (1917) Appeal to women’s clubs. Journal of Education 86(12):327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Coyne CJ (2015) Lobotomizing the defense brain. Review of Austrian Economics 28(4):371–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dain P (1996) American public libraries and the third sector: Historical reflections and implications. Libraries & Culture 31(1):56–84Google Scholar
  18. Graham PA (1978) Expansion and exclusion: A history of women in American higher education. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 3(4):759–773Google Scholar
  19. Gwartney JD, Holcombe RG (2014) Politics as exchange: The classical liberal economics and politics of James M. Buchanan. Constitutional Political Economy 25(3):265–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kiser LL, Ostrom E ([1982] 2000) The three worlds of action: A metatheoretical synthesis of institutional approaches. In: McGinnis MD (ed) Polycentric Games and Institutions: Readings from the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Michigan University Press, Ann Arbor, pp 56–88Google Scholar
  21. Knupfer AM (1997) ‘If you can’t push, pull, if you can’t pull, please get out of the way’: The Phyllis Wheatley Club and Home in Chicago, 1896 to 1920. Journal of Negro History 82(2):221–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lerner G (1974) Early community work of black club women. Journal of Negro History 59(2):158–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Martin TP (1987) The Sound of Our Own Voices: Women’s Study Clubs 1860-1910. Beacon Press, BostonGoogle Scholar
  24. McMullen H (1987) Prevalence of libraries in the northeastern states before 1876. Journal of Library History 22(3):312–337Google Scholar
  25. Melder K (1967) Ladies bountiful: Organized women’s benevolence in early 19th-century America. New York History 48(3):231–254Google Scholar
  26. Murolo P (1997) The common ground of womanhood: Class, gender, and working girls’ clubs, 1884-1928. University of Illinois Press, Urbana-ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  27. Oates WE (1972) Fiscal Federalism. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Olson M (1965) The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  29. Ostrom E (1987) The implications of the logic of collective inaction for administrative theoryGoogle Scholar
  30. Ostrom E ([1991] 2014) Polycentricity: The structural baiss of self-governing systems. In: Sabetti F, Aligica PD (eds) Choicce, Rules, and Collective Action: The Ostroms on the Study of Institutions and Governance, ECPR Press, Colchester, pp 45–60Google Scholar
  31. Ostrom E ([1998] 2014) A behavioural approach to the rational choice theory of collective action. In: Sabetti F, Aligica PD (eds) Choicce, Rules, and Collective Action: The Ostroms on the Study of Institutions and Governance, ECPR Press, Colchester, pp 121–166Google Scholar
  32. Ostrom E (2010) Beyond markets and states: Polycentric governance of complex economic systems. American Economic Review 100(3):641–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ostrom V (1997) The meaning of democracy and the vulnerability of democracies: A response to Tocqueville’s challenge. University of Michigan Press, Ann ArborCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ostrom V (2008) The Intellectual Crisis in American Public Administration. University of Alabama Press, TuscaloosaGoogle Scholar
  35. Ostrom V, Ostrom E ([1977] 1999) Public goods and public choices. In: McGinnis MD (ed) Polycentricity and Local Public Economies: Readings from the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Michigan University Press, Ann Arbor, pp 75–103Google Scholar
  36. Ostrom V, Tiebout CM, Warren R (1961) The organization of government in metropolitan areas: A theoretical inquiry. American Political Science Review 55(4):831–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pickersgill Retirement Community (2018) Our proud history dates back to early Baltimore. http://pickersgillretirement.org/us/history
  38. Raleigh Female Benevolent Society (1823) Revised Constitution and By-Laws of the Raleigh Female Benevolent Society, Adopted July 23d, 1823. With the Reports of the Society, from Its Commencement. J Gales & Son, RaleighGoogle Scholar
  39. Roth DR (1994) Matronage: Patterns in Women’s Organizations, Atlanta, Georgia, 1890-1940. Carlson Publishing, BrooklynGoogle Scholar
  40. Samuelson PA (1954) The pure theory of public expenditure. Review of Economics and Statistics 36(4):387–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Scheer TJ (2002) The ‘praxis’ side of the equation: Club women and American public administration. Administrative Theory & Praxis 24(3):519–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Scott AF (1991) Natural allies: Women’s associations in American history. University of Illinois Press, Urbana-ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  43. Shepsle KA (1989) Studying institutions: Some lessons from the rational choice approach. Journal of Theoretical Politics 1(2):131–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Steinschneider J (1994) An improved woman: The Wisconsin federation of women’s clubs, 1895-1920. Carlson Publishing, BrooklynGoogle Scholar
  45. Stringham E (2015) Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life. Oxford University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ward MA ([1906] 2003) The influence of women’s clubs in New England, and in the middle-eastern states. In: Joslin K (ed) American Feminism, Key Source Documents, 1848-1920: Volume IV, Women’s Clubs and Settlements, Routledge, London, pp 53–76Google Scholar
  47. Watts MM (1993) High Tea at Halekulani: Feminist Theory and American Clubwomen. Carlson Publishing, BrooklynGoogle Scholar
  48. Williamson OE (2005) The economics of governance. American Economic Review 95(2):1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wood MI (1914) Civic activities of women’s clubs. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 56(1):78–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mercatus CenterGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Pepperdine UniversityMalibuUSA

Personalised recommendations