public goods

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public goods

or

collective goods

(ECONOMICS) commodities or services -e.g. defence, public parks, or urban clean air – which when supplied to one person are available to all. The contrast is with individual or private goods, which, in theory at least, are consumed privately

According to Hirsch (1977), ‘the central issue’ involved in a consideration of the provision of private and public goods ‘is an adding-up problem’: what some individuals individually can obtain, all individuals and society cannot always get; and some things that societies might obtain cannot be obtained except by collective action. Thus society has to find some means of determining how such different sets of outcomes should be reconciled. If private decision-making provides no automatic best answer to such questions, nor necessarily do centrally controlled economies. Problems of overall coordination, and a lack of consideration for both true productivity and the external social costs of production, have beset both decentralized and centrally controlled economies. See also GALBRAITH, AFFLUENT SOCIETY, PARETO OPTIMALITY, SUBOPTIMALITY, POSITIONAL GOODS AND POSITIONALITY.

References in periodicals archive ?
For purposes of the brief discussion here, we can treat policies to deal with such externalities as environmental effluents as analogous to the provision of such collective goods as national defense, since an improvement in environmental quality itself has many collective characteristics.
Second, collective goods may generate sharply different levels of benefits depending on the number of defectors.
The new global realities call for leaders who develop strategy that leverages our assets more effectively while promoting collective action designed to achieve results that create collective goods.
It is almost common sense that open institutions are related to collective goods as the term "commons" is often used in related research.
In the literature on collective goods, other methods of aggregating individual members' contributions have been proposed: the weakest-link technology, the best-shot technology, and the constant elasticity of substitution technology (see Hirshleifer 1983).
Selznick defines communitarianism as "any doctrine that prizes collective goods or ideals and limits claims to individual independence and self-realization" (p.
Wars, even small wars, make people think more in terms of security and relative gains and losses, and less in terms of mutual advantage and collective goods.
While it is true that veterans organizations have maintained active, and in Western democracies often quite effective, lobbies in behalf of their members' desires for expanded benefits and recognitions, state provision of such collective goods has not discriminated in rewarding them between members and non-members of veterans organizations.
Pahre brings us up to speed quickly with the relevant ideas and claims surrounding hegemony and collective goods provision, beginning with Charles Kindleberger's World in Depression, 1929-1939 (1973).
Unfortunately, collective bads may dovetail with those interests as well as collective goods.
They evolve from incrementally and privately provided goods to collective goods meant to be provided on the community-wide basis.
For all of these reasons, rather than pricing access to collective goods, we sanction their misuse (or overuse).