Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

'Public Good,' or 'Good for the Public?' How Political Entrepreneurship Has Endogenized the Public Funding of Science

27 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2014 Last revised: 17 Jun 2016

Ryan Safner

Hood College

Date Written: May 20, 2016

Abstract

Public goods are traditionally classified according to an exogenous, technological definition of possessing the characteristics of nonrivalry and nonexcludability. This paper takes a more endogenous approach, where goods are defined by the political purposes that specific actors have revolving these goods, and emerge through political entrepreneurship. I use government sponsorship of basic scientific research as a case study. Proponents argue that scientific research constitutes a public good requiring government assistance, but in fact, government provision of science is endogenous, and better explained by the political entrepreneurship involved in convincing the public of the superiority of political over private provision.

Keywords: public goods, public choice, political economy, political entrepreneurship, science

JEL Classification: H40, H41, B25, D70

Suggested Citation

Safner, Ryan, 'Public Good,' or 'Good for the Public?' How Political Entrepreneurship Has Endogenized the Public Funding of Science (May 20, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2488655 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2488655

Ryan Safner (Contact Author)

Hood College ( email )

401 Rosemont Avenue
Frederick, MD 21701
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
78
Rank
267,553
Abstract Views
506