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The role of government in paying for public goods

The key insight in paying for public goods is to find a way of assuring that everyone will make a contribution and to prevent free riders. For example, if people come together through the political process and agree to pay taxes and make group decisions about the quantity of public goods, they can defeat the free rider problem by requiring, through the law, that everyone contributes.

However, government spending and taxes are not the only way to provide public goods. In some cases, markets can produce public goods. For example, think about radio. It is nonexcludable, since once the radio signal is being broadcast, it would be very difficult to stop someone from receiving it. It is nonrivalrous, since one person listening to the signal does not prevent others from listening as well. Because of these features, it is practically impossible to charge listeners directly for listening to conventional radio broadcasts.

Radio has found a way to collect revenue by selling advertising, which is an indirect way of “charging” listeners by taking up some of their time. Ultimately, consumers who purchase the goods advertised are also paying for the radio service, since the cost of advertising is built into the product cost. In a more recent development, satellite radio companies, such as SirusXM, charge a regular subscription fee for streaming music without commercials. In this case, however, the product is excludable—only those who pay for the subscription will receive the broadcast.

Some public goods will also have a mixture of public provision at no charge along with fees for some purposes, like a public city park that is free to use, but the government charges a fee for parking your car, for reserving certain picnic grounds, and for food sold at a refreshment stand.

Read this article to find out what economists say the government should pay for.

In other cases, social pressures and personal appeals can be used, rather than the force of law, to reduce the number of free riders and to collect resources for the public good. For example, neighbors sometimes form an association to carry out beautification projects or to patrol their area after dark to discourage crime. In low-income countries, where social pressure strongly encourages all farmers to participate, farmers in a region may come together to work on a large irrigation project that will benefit all. Many fundraising efforts, including raising money for local charities and for the endowments of colleges and universities, also can be viewed as an attempt to use social pressure to discourage free riding and to generate the outcome that will produce a public benefit.

Common resources and the “tragedy of the commons”

There are some goods that do not fall neatly into the categories of private good or public good. While it is easy to classify a pizza as a private good and a city park as a public good, what about an item that is nonexcludable and rivalrous, such as the queen conch?

Questions & Answers

Price and output determination in a monopoly?
Ruchi Reply
Monopoly :its features, measures market power
Ruchi
Monopoly is market structure where he/she is d boss with no competition.Therefore he quote his own price for product as well for quantity he provide. Eg.Suppose desert area only one shop he/she selling 10ltr water bottle @25.But with same amt you could have bought 20ltr if it's perfect competition.
Tactful
Economics is a social sciences that have diverse application
Francis Reply
what is economics?
Osborne Reply
Economic is the study of human behaviour in relation with the scare resources and it alternate use.
Tactful
Economics is a social sciences that have diverse application...
Francis
the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth.
charlon
choice and opportunity cost?
SRIPRIYA Reply
choice is the next best alternative
Taina
Choice is option available. Opportunity cost means giving up other to get The 1st one. eg. U r hungry u got 2option available on fridge A and B. You select A over B. so this is opportunity cost. B is the Opportunity Cost over A.
Tactful
can I get simple language and examples?
Gajendra Reply
what is demand
Yavara Reply
what is fiscal policy
David
fiscal policy can be defined as the use of government's income and expenditure for a specific purpose
Nzenwata
ahhhh.. i dont what is expindetures
ian
It is the policy use by govt to influence economy ( manage inflation and deflation). Steps involved are govt spending and taxation.
Tactful
Demand is quantity of good a person is willing and ready to buy at given period of time at given price.
Tactful
good
abubakar
good but high language
Gajendra
lower the language @gajendra Singh
abubakar
What is natural monopoly
Ruchi
Natural monopoly is a market structure or system where the creation of goods and services, it's distribution and pricing mechanisms are undertaken by a sole firm resulting from demand, economies of scale and existing market survey other than legal constraints.
Gh
I don't really know anything about economics but am offering it at the University....
Oteng
Which uni if I may ask...?
Gh
can u help me guys to answer this question what are the different ways of defining money in your economy? Compare these with the monetary aggregates commonly used in another selected country. Explain their differences and the reasons for such differentiation.
aisyah
Why do we observe a wide variety of checking and savings accounts, rather than just one of each type? What are the reasons for the existence of financial intermediaries? Why do the ultimate lenders usually not lend directly to the ultimate borrowers?
aisyah
what is economic
David
The social science which study human behaviour and relationship between end and scare mean which have alternative uses.
Amadu
Explain economic growth with the use of ppf?
Michael Reply
what z the meaning of ppf
rivan
do u mean ppc
Nzenwata
Yes pls ppc
Michael
an expansionary fiscal policy could be achieved by what
David
if the price of cigarettes ,food and alcohol rised by 10% in a year ,which is most likely to affect the cpi the most.
David
what measures would be suitable for reducing a recessionary gap.
David
increasing the level of government government expenditure is an instrument of what
David
A reductionin income tax rates would blank the blank of the multiplier
David
progressive taxes may slow down economic recovery .This is as a result of what
David
money acts as a safe guard against inflation something and something one of a function of money
David
A rise in expenditure for consumer goods something and something ,one of the cause of cost- push inflation
David
PPC IS production possibility curve. It show possible good which can be produced by an economy with given resource and technology.
Tactful
Recessionary gap can be solved by Monetary and Fiscal policy
Tactful
What are the positive effects on the economy to legalize drugs?
Richard Reply
wat factor give raise to monopoly
Ebenezer Reply
a product which is unique /it has very less substitutes in the market. so this product has no much competition .... for example , railways
mikey
its a monopoly
mikey
does monology has factors or it has merits n demerits
rivan
monopoly or oligopoly is just a type of market in which demand and supply is measured to meet public interests
mikey
economy is all about psychological behaviour of humans to each other and to environment economists role is to keep everything in equilibrium
mikey
factors give rise to monopoly. 1. Patent right 2. Cartel 3. Govt policy. 4. Control over raw material. 5. money for investment
Tactful
oligopoly and monopoly are examples of imperfect market..
Nzenwata
First, second and third degree price determination under monopoly
Ruchi
please explain what is elasticity of supply
Austine Reply
is the responsiveness of quantity supplied of commodity to changes in its own price
rivan
what is the cause of a country's population
Destiny Reply
please it seems your question is not clear ,is it the cause of increase or decrease population in a country or what
okai
what is producer surplus
Destiny Reply
is the excess earns btn wat a producer was willing to charge for e commodity and wat actually receives after selling it
rivan
OK good
Destiny
yeap
Bright
what is supply curve
Destiny Reply
are curve that do not obey the law of supply eg aren't +ve
rivan
half of 1%
Destiny
as in what do u mean by that
rivan
it simply shows the quantity of goods that a film is willing to supply at each price of a commodity
Destiny
OK what is the law of supply as u said
Destiny
It is the indifference curve that indicates the aggregate responsiveness of supply to the price of a commodity, and sometimes its demand of that same commodity.
Gh
nice
Destiny
pls explain how indifference curve connects to the aggregate responsiveness of supply to the price of a commodity
JOSHUA
law of supply according to me states that wen thea z higher price of commodity, the higher will be the supply and lower the supply will be for a commodity other factors remain constant
rivan
Joshua be clear to your QN plizzz
rivan
pls read Gh's comment and break down for me
JOSHUA
may be he can explain more because am am also not getting what he was meaning in that statement
rivan
plizzz GH explain to us
rivan
When demand and supply intersection
Pronoy
then it z called what
rivan
can I learning what is meaning off economics
Jimcaale
can you tall me what is meaning
Jimcaale
good
abubakar
please oligopoly explan.......
Zahid
in oligopoly there is a competition between companies, becoz all those companies produce almost similar products in monopoly , product has no substitutes in the market for competition, so people have no choice to choose another similar product over this, becoz there is no similar product
mikey
oligopoly : mobile phone manufacturing companies have huge competition over one another
mikey
what is consumers surplus
Destiny Reply
is a difference btn consumers planned expenditure and actual experience on the commodity
rivan
OK good
Destiny
What exactly are factors that affects Demand and Supply?
Chandrapaul Reply
demand factors price o commodity size o population level o advertising season 4 commodity testes and preferences price o other related commodity level o consumers income government policy on taxation
rivan
supply factors general price level natural factor level o taxation technology political climate cost o production number o producers aggregate demand working conditions
rivan
yea___ Demographical psychographical geographical factors also account for determination of demand and supply
Gh
the study of economics helps in decision making in the framework of uncertainty and scarcity of resources. discuss the statement and elaborate with examples
Seth

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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