An Austrian Re-assement of the Theory of ‘Public Goods’: What Is Left (and Right)?

A Research Agenda for Austrian Economics, edited by Steven Horwitz and Louis Rouanet, Forthcoming

25 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2021

See all articles by Rosolino Candela

Rosolino Candela

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Vincent Geloso

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 3, 2021

Abstract

This chapter is motivated by the following questions: what are the implications of an Austrian reassessment of the theory of public goods? What would be left to say that’s right about public goods? The implicit assumption in the theory of public goods being utilized is to frame it in terms of an outcome of its emergence, and neglects to address the process by which so-called “public goods” emerge. By redirecting our focus on this cumulative process, this sheds light on two important points: the non-rivalrous aspect of public goods are a by-product of overcoming rivalry in the first place, via the endogenous formation of excludability mechanisms. Secondly, and therefore, an Austrian reassessment of the theory of public goods completely transcends the inherent distinction between public and private goods, and with it, negates the economic justification of the state.

Keywords: Austrian Economics; Public Goods; Rivalry

JEL Classification: B51; H12; P52

Suggested Citation

Candela, Rosolino and Geloso, Vincent, An Austrian Re-assement of the Theory of ‘Public Goods’: What Is Left (and Right)? (June 3, 2021). A Research Agenda for Austrian Economics, edited by Steven Horwitz and Louis Rouanet, Forthcoming , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3859810 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3859810

Rosolino Candela (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Vincent Geloso

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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