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  • Anforme Why might Public Goods not be Provided by the Market?

Anforme Why might Public Goods not be Provided by the Market?

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Mark Jewell, Head of Community Partnerships, Radley College, discusses the theory of the characteristics of public goods and how in the real world some goods are not easy to classify as either purely public or private goods.

Summary of Key Points:

  • Public goods must be non-excludable and non-rival.
  • They cannot be provided through markets because of the free rider problem and so must be provided by government intervention.
  • In reality, few public services are pure public goods, like national defence. Most are either private goods, like health and education, or quasi goods, like roads and broadcasting.
  • Government provision of pure public goods can still be inefficient (government failure).

This article was in ET Volume 17 Issue 2.

Mark Jewell, Head of Community Partnerships, Radley College, discusses the theory of the characteristics of public goods and how in the real world some goods are not easy to classify as either purely public or private goods.

Summary of Key Points:

  • Public goods must be non-excludable and non-rival.
  • They cannot be provided through markets because of the free rider problem and so must be provided by government intervention.
  • In reality, few public services are pure public goods, like national defence. Most are either private goods, like health and education, or quasi goods, like roads and broadcasting.
  • Government provision of pure public goods can still be inefficient (government failure).

This article was in ET Volume 17 Issue 2.

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