Public Good

A product that one individual can consume without reducing its availability to another individual and from which no one is excluded. Economists refer to public goods as "non-rivalrous" and "non-excludable". National defense, sewer systems, public parks and basic television and radio broadcasts could all be considered public goods.

One problem with public goods is the free-rider problem. This problem says that a rational person will not contribute to the provision of a public good because he does not need to contribute in order to benefit.

For example, if Sam doesn’t pay his taxes, he still benefits from the government’s provision of national defense by free riding on the tax payments of his fellow citizens.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • public good — public good, collective good Public goods were defined initially by (‘The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure’, Review of Economics and Statistics, 1954) as those where person A s consumption of the good did not interfere with person B s… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • public good — n. The well being of the entire community. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. public good See …   Law dictionary

  • Public good — For the egalitarian terms, see Common good and Public interest. In economics, a public good is a good that is nonrival and non excludable. Non rivalry means that consumption of the good by one individual does not reduce availability of the good… …   Wikipedia

  • public good — noun a) The general welfare of the people; the best interests of the community. b) a good that is non rivalrous and non excludable …   Wiktionary

  • public good — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Global public good — A global public good is a good that has the three following properties : * It is non rivalrous. Consumption of this good by anyone does not reduce the quantity available to other agents. * It is non excludable. It is impossible to prevent anyone… …   Wikipedia

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  • Public ownership — (also called government ownership, state ownership or state property) refers to government ownership of any asset, industry, or corporation at any level, national, regional or local (municipal); or, it may refer to common (full community) non… …   Wikipedia

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