Why public goods are a pedagogical bad
AbstractThe concept of public goods is confusing because it confounds three analytically distinct concepts: excludability, rivalry, and public finance. Pure public goods are of limited relevance as an explanation of government spending. To make matters worse, the broader policy community uses the term in ways that invoke different means of both public and good than economists favour. For example, global public goods describe everything from the global environment, international financial stability and market efficiency, to health, knowledge, peace and security and humanitarian rights. In this essay, I argue for radically reducing the emphasis placed on public goods in the standard undergraduate public finance curriculum, and instead emphasizing the fundamental underlying issues of exclusion, rivalry, and public finance/provision. The ultimate aim of an undergraduate course in public expenditure should, I argue, be to explain government spending.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 06-06.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation:
Date of revision: 08 Aug 2006
Publication status: Published: Carleton Economic Papers
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This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-03-31 (All new papers)
- NEP-KNM-2007-03-31 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-PBE-2007-03-31 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2007-03-31 (Public Finance)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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Cahiers de recherche
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Carleton Economic Papers
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Firefighting is not a public good
by Frances Woolley in Worthwhile Canadian Initiative on 2010-10-06 19:11:39
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