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Global and regional public goods: a prognosis for collective action

  • Todd Sandler

This paper applies modern concepts from the theory of public goods to indicate why progress has been made with respect to some global and regional public goods (for example, cutting sulphur emissions) but not with respect to others (for example, cutting greenhouse gases). Factors promoting collective action at the transnational level include the removal of uncertainty, a high share of nation-specific benefits, a limited number of essential participants and the presence of an influential leader nation. The impact of public good aggregation technologies on the future provision of transnational public goods is related to the trend in world-wide income inequality. Principles are presented for designing supranational structures for addressing transnational public good problems.

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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 19 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 221-247

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:19:y:1998:i:3:p:221-247
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  1. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  2. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1984. "Participation and the provision of discrete public goods: a strategic analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-193, July.
  3. Charles I. Jones, 1997. "On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 19-36, Summer.
  4. Sandler,Todd & Hartley,Keith, 1999. "The Political Economy of NATO," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521638807, October.
  5. Lant Pritchett, 1997. "Divergence, Big Time," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 3-17, Summer.
  6. Murdoch, James C. & Sandler, Todd, 1997. "The voluntary provision of a pure public good: The case of reduced CFC emissions and the Montreal Protocol," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 331-349, February.
  7. Cornes, Richard, 1993. "Dyke Maintenance and Other Stories: Some Neglected Types of Public Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 259-71, February.
  8. Caplan, Arthur J. & Ellis, Christopher J. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 1999. "Winners and Losers in a World with Global Warming: Noncooperation, Altruism, and Social Welfare," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 256-271, May.
  9. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
  10. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-66, April.
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