I recently became aware of the University of Chicago’s price theory class which has been posted on You Tube. What a wealthy world we live in. A life long learners paradise!
In this clip from the class, Gary Becker talks about the concept of self-protection.
He says that self-protection is defined as people taking action to change the odds of a bad event happening.
This concept is at the core of so many neighborhood arrangements. People take the time to report loitering around a school to increase the odds preditors will be prevented from preying on the kids. People take the time to go to city council meetings to have traffic signs installed to increase the odds of improved street safety. People take the time to report food issues at a restaurant to reduce the odds of people getting sick while being served.
This type of spontaneous and voluntary contribution is the work people do on behalf of their various communities. It is not individual work as it does not matter which individual does it, only that one individual in the group steps up when an event happens to them. Their efforts are externalized across the group as they do not personally receive payment but gain through enhanced community services.