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The Political Economy of Publicly Provided Private Goods

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  • Blomquist, Sören

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Christiansen, Vidar

    () (Department of Economics)

Abstract

A large share of public funds is spent on private goods (education, health care, day care, etc.). This paper integrates two different approaches to the analysis of public provision of private goods. While normative public economics has established an efficiency case for such provision, the commonly held political economy view has been that it is an economically inefficient phenomenon generated by the political process. The present paper argues that the central mechanism studied in the normative approach is equally relevant to voting models of decisions on public provision. It is shown that under plausible information constraints economically efficient public provision of private goods will be part of politically rational decisions emerging from a median voter process or a representative democracy of political parties.

Suggested Citation

  • Blomquist, Sören & Christiansen, Vidar, 1998. "The Political Economy of Publicly Provided Private Goods," Working Paper Series 1998:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:1998_014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    political economy; public provision; private goods; in-kind transfers;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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