Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Public Goods

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7883-6_393-1

Definition

A public good is a good that simultaneously features both nonexcludability and nonrivalry in consumption.

Delimitation and Examples

A pure public good is a good that simultaneously features both nonexcludability and nonrivalry in consumption. Nonexcludability implies that excluding individuals from making use of the good is prohibitively costly, such that all individuals can benefit from the provision of the good. Nonrivalry means that the consumption of the good by one individual does not reduce the consumption possibilities of other individuals. Classic examples include national defense or a lighthouse. In contrast, a private good is characterized by both excludability and rivalry in consumption. For example, if an apple is consumed by one individual no other individual can make use of the apple. In addition, excluding other individuals from the benefits of the apple is associated with only minor costs. There are also goods that show rivalry in consumption but...

Keywords

Public Good Marginal Rate Social Dilemma Public Good Game Public Good Provision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Further Reading

  1. Batina RG, Ihori T (2005) Public goods: theories and evidence. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  2. Cornes R, Sandler T (1996) The theory of externalities, public goods and clubs. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Oakland WH (1989) Theory of public goods. In: Auerbach AJ, Feldstein M (eds) Handbook of public economics, vol 2. North Holland, New York, pp 485–535Google Scholar
  4. Sandmo A (2008) Public goods. In: Durlauf SM, Blume LE (eds) The new Palgrave dictionary of economics, 2nd edn. Palgrave Macmillan, BasingstokeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Public Economics Group, University of MarburgBonnGermany
  2. 2.Duesseldorf Institute for Competition EconomicsCASTLE, University of BonnDuesseldorfGermany