What Really is an Economic PUBLIC GOOD?

By Staff Reporters


According to Tejvan Pettinger, a public good has two characteristics:

  1. Non-rivalry: This means that when a good is consumed, it doesn’t reduce the amount available for others.
    – E.g. benefiting from a street light doesn’t reduce the light available for others but eating an apple would.
  2. Non-excludability: This occurs when it is not possible to provide a good without it being possible for others to enjoy. For example, if you erect a dam to stop flooding – you protect everyone in the area (whether they contributed to flooding defenses or not.
See the source image

A public good is often (though not always) under-provided in a free market because its characteristics of non-rivalry and non-excludability mean there is an incentive not to pay. In a free market, firms may not provide the good as they have difficulty charging people for their use.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254


QUERY: Is Health and Medical Care a Public Good?


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