Competing impure public goods and the sustainability of the theater arts
The general purpose of this paper is to extend the literature regarding public good provision when consumers may contribute via consumption of an impure public good and/or by donating directly to the public good. Standard models pose consumer utility as a function of one impure public good and one or more private goods. Our model features two competing impure public goods and two private goods: one that is a conventional substitute good and one that is a numeraire. We build most directly upon Kotchen's (2005) model of “green” consumption of impure public goods. We propose national and local live theater arts as an example of competing impure public goods. Our model shows that if local and national live theater are substitutes, and the national live theater (such as the Met) is strengthened via technological change (for instance, via simulcasts into local venues), the overall sustainability of the live theater arts may be diminished.
Volume (Year): 31 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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