Hesitating between Private Interests and Collective Interests: An Analysis of the Public’s Dilemma on Cross-Strait Economic Exchanges





Published date: 

June, 2016


Ying-nan Chen
Shu Keng
Lu-huei Chen


Collective interests and private interests are often at odds in political life.  If faced with such a dilemma, what stance would Taiwanese take?  By starting from the problem, we employ cross-Strait exchanges as the case, and examine the choices of the Taiwanese people.  We conduct three cross-sectional surveys to observe the dynamics of their choices both with and without dilemmas.  Our research findings suggest that these people care about both collective and private interests.  If the two are directly at odds with each other, these people will, however, normally be caught in between and could take a clear position on the issue.  However, if they can avoid making the difficult choice, they will generally tend to stand for the collective interests. That is, if they consider cross-Strait exchanges to be good for Taiwan, they will be for such exchanges; if not, they will definitely oppose them.