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Public Provision of Indivisible Private Goods in Short Supply


  • Dan Usher

    () (Queen's University)


Public provision of private goods is usually analysed as the displacement of a market, where people can buy as much or as little of a good as they please, with tax financed provision by the government of equal and identical amounts of the good per person. But publivc provision is not always equal per person because some goods cannot be supplied equally or because the government does not choose to supply goods equally. There may be fewer organs available for transplant than there are people who need them. Doctors and teachers may differ in skill or dedication. Governments may limit total expenditure in circumstances where there is a lower limit to useful expenditure per person.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Usher, 1998. "Public Provision of Indivisible Private Goods in Short Supply," Working Papers 977, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:977

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & Marek Pycia & Marzena Rostek & Marek Weretka, 2014. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1366-1400.
    2. Cramton, Peter C, 1995. "Money Out of Thin Air: The Nationwide Narrowband PCS Auction," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 267-343, Summer.
    3. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
    4. Christopher Avery, 1998. "Strategic Jump Bidding in English Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 185-210.
    5. Peter Cramton, 2002. "Spectrum Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 01hte, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 16 Jul 2001.
    6. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
    7. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    8. Chakravorti, Bhaskar, et al, 1995. "Auctioning the Airwaves: The Contest for Broadband PCS Spectrum," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 345-373, Summer.
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    More about this item


    Social; Rationing;

    JEL classification:

    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods


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