The article explores the controversial topic of the extent to which governments should actively engage in the supply of public goods. In this undertaking, the author distinguishes between public goods and private goods that are publicly provided. Further, the article explores different ways through which an efficient level of public goods supply can be characterized. First, the article explores the characteristics of public goods as those that are not feasible to ration and whose rationing is not desirable. The distinct features of pure and impure public goods are further explored with a focus on the feasibility band desirability of their rationing and exclusion. The article argues that an efficient management of the government is an important public good because of the value accrued by all participants. However, the provision of public goods on voluntary arrangements is faced with the challenge of attracting free riders that enjoy the benefits of these goods at the cost of others.
The focus on private goods is quite evident in the paper through the emphasis on the characteristics and unique attributes. The approach employed in explaining the basic structure of public goods brings out a clear and concise understanding of the concept. Indeed, there is a difference between pure and impure public goods based on their inclusivity and rationing feasibility. By ensuring a clear understanding of the differences between public and private goods, the author manages to build a strong foundation within the minds of the readers with respect to the subject. It is true that public goods cannot all be provided by the state and some of these must be monetized and provide by the private sector. The opposite would be to have a voluntary engagement that would eventually result to the existence of free riders that benefit from the goods at the cost of others. Such a setting is often not desirable and is unfeasible in a general setting.
The paper successfully explores the characteristics of public goods and the provision of these goods to the public. Normally, the state is tasked with the provision of public goods but it has limited this task to only pure public goods. For instance, such goods as security and defense form part of the pure public goods whose provision is a reserve of the state. However, there are other public goods that can only be provided by the private sector although they are public and these form the impure public goods. By clearly differentiating between pure and impure public goods, the author manages to show the logic behind the state not providing all the goods to the people. Further, the efficiency with which the government provides its services can be used to determine the volume of goods that it provides to the public. In normal instances, public goods are bet provided privately thus limiting the number of free riders in the process.
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