Free rider problem
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This article is about an economic and political phenomenon. For literal free rides, see Freighthopping or Stowaway.
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In economics, collective bargaining, psychology and political science, the free rider problem is a situation in which individuals or organizations consume more than their fair share of a resource, or shoulder less than a fair share of the costs of its production. Free riding is usually considered to be an economic problem only when it leads to the non-production or under-production of a public good (and thus to Pareto inefficiency), or when it leads to the excessive use of a common property resource.
In the context of labor unions, a free rider is an employee who pays no union dues or agency shop fees, but nonetheless receives the same benefits of union representation as dues-payers. Under United States law, unions owe a duty of fair representation to all workers that they represent, regardless of whether they pay dues. Some jurists[who?] have questioned the fairness, if not the legality, of this practice.