Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish between public goods and private goods.

  • The similarities and differences between saving the atmosphere and the oceans, making progress in research, having a common currency, and building roads and airports, all of them involving the provision of public goods.

  • Why it may be so difficult to make people contribute voluntarily to the provision of public goods.

  • What the "the tragedy of the commons' is.

  • Why public expenditure expands over time.

  • Begin to think of politics as a compound of rules and decisions for the provision of public goods.

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