Why public goods are a pedagogical bad
The 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.
|Date of creation:||08 Aug 2006|
|Publication status:||Published: Carleton Economic Papers|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: C870 Loeb Building, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa Ontario, K1S 5B6 Canada|
|Order Information:|| Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Bilodeau, Marc & Slivinski, Al, 1996.
"Toilet cleaning and department chairing: Volunteering a public service,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 299-308, February.
- Marc Bilodeau & Al Slivinski, "undated". "Toilet Cleaning and Department Chairing: Volunteering a Public service," Public Economics 9405001, EconWPA.
- Bilodeau, M. & Slivinsky, A., 1994. "Toilet Cleaning and Department Chairing: Volunteering a public service," Cahiers de recherche 94-01, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
- Chen, Zhiqi & Woolley, Frances, 2001. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 722-748, October.
- Zhiqi Chen & Frances Woolley, 1999. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Carleton Economic Papers 99-13, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2001.
- Leach,John, 2004. "A Course in Public Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521828772, December.
- Leach,John, 2004. "A Course in Public Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521535670, November.
- Myles,Gareth D., 1995. "Public Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521497695, November. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:car:carecp:06-06. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sabrina Robineau)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.