Public Goods and Government Action

Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Forthcoming)

20 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2013 Last revised: 15 Apr 2015

Date Written: June 26, 2013


It is widely agreed that one of the core functions of government is to supply public goods that markets either fail to provide or cannot provide efficiently. I will suggest that arguments for government provision of public goods require fundamental moral judgments in addition to the usual economic considerations about the relative efficacy of markets and governments in supplying them. While philosophers and policymakers owe a debt of gratitude to economists for developing the theory of public goods, the link between public goods and public policy cannot be forged without moral reflection on the proper function and scope of government power.

Keywords: Public Goods, Government Intervention, Public Policy, Contingent Valuation

JEL Classification: H14

Suggested Citation

Anomaly, Jonathan, Public Goods and Government Action (June 26, 2013). Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: or

Jonathan Anomaly (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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