Public Goods (Economics)

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  • For goods such as recreational parks, the airwaves, and national defense, the principle of mutual exclusivity does not hold, where mutual exclusivity is the theory that precludes the common use of privately owned property. By definition therefore, the consumption of public goods by an individual does not preclude others from deriving utility or benefit from the consumption of such goods.

    The freedom to use public goods has the potential of generating social problems in the form of common tragedies (abuse) and free-rider problems (enjoying the benefits of a good or service at the expense of others). For example, without private ownership rights or culpability for the use of public resources, potential abuse of such resources because of self-interest is real, even when the abuse is ...

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