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The Political Economy of Lighthouses: Some Further Considerations

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  • Carnis Laurent

    () (Paris-Est University, IFSTTAR-AME-DEST, Cité Descartes 14-20 Boulvevard Newton, Marne La Vallée 77447, France)

Abstract

Lighthouse and the Trinity House case have triggered extensive debate on the possibility of private production of public goods and, more especially, lighthouse services provision. This contribution sums up current academic debate about lighthouse provision. It shows that the English system of lighthouse services provision cannot be rigorously considered as an example of private provision. Some historical experiences have shown that private provision was possible, although governmental hindrances restrained a full-fledged market process provision. This contribution defends the interest of mobilizing a political economy perspective for an understanding of the different frameworks and institutional designs for providing such services. Some national cases illustrate and sustain the proposed political economy framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Carnis Laurent, 2014. "The Political Economy of Lighthouses: Some Further Considerations," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 20(2), pages 143-165, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:20:y:2014:i:2:p:143-165:n:4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laurent Carnis, 2013. "The provision of lighthouses services: a political economy perspective," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 51-56, October.
    2. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Lighthouse in Economics," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 357-376, October.
    3. Elodie Bertrand, 2006. "The Coasean analysis of lighthouse financing: myths and realities," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 389-402, May.
    4. Klein, Daniel B, 1990. "The Voluntary Provision of Public Goods? The Turnpike Companies of Early America," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 788-812, October.
    5. Elodie Bertrand, 2009. "Empirical investigations and their normative interpretations: A reply to Barnett and Block," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 15-20, July.
    6. Lowell Johnson, 1997. "The Lighthouse Reform Movement in Antebellum America," Departmental Working Papers 199703, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    7. Klein, Daniel B. & Fielding, Gordon J., 1992. "Private Toll Roads: Learning from the 19th Century," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1ps0p68g, University of California Transportation Center.
    8. Cerin, Pontus, 2006. "Bringing economic opportunity into line with environmental influence: A discussion on the Coase theorem and the Porter and van der Linde hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 209-225, February.
    9. David Levinson & Andrew Odlyzko, 2007. "Too Expensive to Meter: The influence of transaction costs in transportation and communication," Working Papers 200802, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group, revised Feb 2007.
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