Collective action is critical for successful market formation. However, relatively little is known about how and under what conditions actors overcome collective action problems to successfully form new markets. Using the benefits of simulation methods, we uncover how collective action problems result from actor resource allocation decisions interacting with each other and how the severity of these problems depends on central market- and actor-related characteristics. Specifically, we show that collective action problems occur when actors undervalue the benefits of market-oriented resource allocation and when actors contribute resources that are imperfectly substitutable. Furthermore, we show that collective action problems occur when actors are embedded in networks with others sharing a similar role in market formation. Collectively, our findings contribute new insights to organization theory regarding collective action and market formation and to strategy on value creation and strategic decision making regarding resource allocation.