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 Chapter 30
Public Goods Help When Markets Fail

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I. Private versus Public Goods.
A. Private good are
          1. Rivalrous -
only those who will to buy a good can have the benefit
          2. Exclusive - bought by person A, it is not available to person B
          3. Private goods satisfies an individual want while public good satisfies a collective wants.
Public good is a good that is non-rivalrous and non-excludable
Public Choice by William F. Shughart II of the Library of Economics and Liberty

D. The Predator State Video Part 1 and Part 2 discusses the place of public goods.>  1/14

II. Demand for public goods
A. Demand for public goods is difficult to determine. 
  1. Once public goods are provided, everyone may use them. 
2. The absence of a price mechanism to provide the rationing function means politicians must decide
               which goods to produce.
    B.  Determining which goods to produce using cost-benefit analysis is difficult.
          1. Many costs (MC) are difficult to predict and measure.
          2. Many benefits (MB)  are subjective and difficult to measure.
Public-choice-theory-and-the-politics-of-instant-gratification 9/16/12 econintersect
  D. Readings
Our Mismeasured Economy
III. Cost  Benefit Analysis
compare marginal cost with marginal benefit. from Thayer Watkins of San Jose State

Many Agree With This Very Old Statement! 


Comedian Groucho Marx


 IV. Externalities
     A. Externalities are costs or benefits not accounted for in the price of a product that accrue to those outside or
to the market place.
     B. Please review Part IV of 
6) Government's Economic Functions for an analysis of government action to
          decrease externality costs and increase externality benefits
Econ Concepts in 60 Seconds Video on Negative Externalities (Spillover Costs)
     D. Coase's Theorem
         1. Analysis by Ronald Coase revealed that government should not get involved with disputes over externality costs
             when property ownership
is well-defined and the number of people involved is small. 
         2. He
demonstrated that individual maximizing behavior would correct these problems. 
         3. The government should only be involved when the number of
participants is so large as to make bargaining costs
         4. For example, the government should not get involved in a noise pollution problem near an amusement park because
             of the small number of people involved but should get involved with acid rain
generated in the Midwest and falling into
             New England because of the large number of people involved.
         5. Read
The World According to Coase, Illustration of the Coase Theorem for more information and
Orange Blossom Special: Externalities and the Coase Theorem
             how Ronald Coase demolished current libertarian ideas about property
 6.  Coase theorem - from Wikipedia has additional information.
E. Solving the pollution problem Orange Blossom Special: Externalities and the Coase Theorem
          1. The market solution
              a. First, taking into account diminishing returns, calculate the economically tolerable level of pollution acceptable
                  to society. This can be done by comparing the marginal costs to society of
  pollution (supply), which increases
                  with more anti-pollution spending, with the marginal gain to society of a clean
environment (demand), which 
                  decreases with additional spending.
              b. The resulting quantity of acceptable pollution would be fixed and sold as "rights" to pollute.
              c. Industrialization causes an increase in the demand to pollute and with a fixed supply, the costs of rights to pollute 
                  would increase.
              d. Those who want goods that pollute would simply have to pay!


MCS is marginal cost to society

MGS is marginal gain to society

MRPP is marginal revenue product of pollution



          2. Other solutions
              a. Taxes and subsidies
              b. Regulation
              c. Moral suasion
          3. For more insight into tradable rights read
Trading the Earth, the politics behind tradable pollution rights 
              by Sharon Beder.
   V. Using liability rules and lawsuits to eliminate externality costs.
         A. Laws and a damage recovery system exist.
         B. Cost, time delays and uncertainty as to outcome hamper this method.

VI.  Externalities (or transaction spillover) are a cost or benefit that not transmitted through prices
       A Government Intervention is used to affect externalities
Externalities are the subject of chapter
31) The Economics of Government Subsidies.

VII. Democracy and economic efficiency
       A. Majority rule is often inefficient
           1. A slight majority of people may vote less public spending in an area because their perceived benefit is slightly
               below the good's average cost they would pay as a taxpayer.
           2. Those voting for the activity (the minority) would receive a benefit substantially greater than the average costs. 
           3. As a result society does not invest in something with a positive total return. 
           4. An example would be people who feel spending on education is
not beneficial and vote for less spending in spite
               of the
substantial benefit received by children. 
           5. The public good is
voted less money even though total benefit exceeds total cost.
       B. Rent-seekers are people attempting to use public policy to
secure economic rent for themselves at the expense
           of consumer surplus and in some cases, the public interest.

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SC is surplus going to consumers 

SL is surplus lost

SR is surplus going to rent-seekers

Economics AP Reviews from amazon.com


      C. Special interest groups are composed of a few people with much to gain from a political outcome. 
          1. Through political efforts they foster desired results at the expense of the many who acquiesce because
              individually they have little to lose. 
          2. These groups often
form Political Action Committees (PACs) to lobby on their behalf.
D. Logrolling - wiki is trading votes and influence for projects which are not of interest in return for votes and influence
           for projects which
are of interest
No Country for Young People examines wage policies affect on younger workers.

VIII. An attempt to apply cost-benefit analysis to government regulation  


Annual Deaths Per 100,000 Exposed

Cost Per Life Saved

Mandatory seat belts



Prohibit alcohol and drug use by railroad workers



Control and disposal standards for benzene



Disposal standards for uranium waste



Restrictions on worker exposure to asbestos



1"Bringing Reason To Regulation," Louis S. Richman, Fortune, October 19, 1992

     B. Read Grandfather Government Regulation Cost Report - by MWHodges for a conservative view. Liberal view is hard to find.

IX Non-Defense Discretionary Spending  Source 5/21/14


X. Sundry Materials
Everyone Is On Welfare
Boondoggle name given to government project during early in FDR's presidency to describe wasteful government projects.
     3. Outsourcing State and Local Government Services is  About Looting  1/6/14
     4. Improving Public Policy Through Behavioral Economics 
NYU Podcast


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