2Public GoodsA shared good or service for which it would be inefficient or impractical…1. To make consumers pay individually and2. To exclude non-payersGovernment collects taxes to fund government projects in the public interest.Roads, Dams, Parks…Any number of consumers can use them without reducing the benefits to any single consumer.More cars driving on a highway do not significantly reduce the road’s benefits to you, or increase the governments cost of providing it.
3Public Goods Costs and Benefits The federal government steps in to act in the public interest whenever it determines that the benefits of a policy outweigh the drawbacks.DRAWBACK: We give up economic freedom—we don’t individually decide what roads get built and where.When a good or service is public—The benefit to each individual is less than the cost that each would have to pay if it were provided privatelyThe total benefits to society are greater than the total cost.Public sector- the part of the economy that involves the transactions of the government.Private sector- the part of the economy that involves transactions of individuals and businesses.
4Free-Rider Problem & Market Failures A free rider is someone who would not choose to pay for a certain good or service, but would get the benefits of it anyway if it were provided as a public good.Free riders consume what they do not pay for.If the government stopped collecting taxes and relied on voluntary contributions, many public services would have to be eliminated.Free riders are examples of Market Failures- a situation in which the market, on its own, does not distribute resources efficiently.Features of a Free market are not present.
5ExternalitiesAn externality is an economic side effect of a good or service that generates benefits or costs to someone other than the person deciding how much to produce or consume.Positive Externality- beneficial side effects (part of the benefit of a good to be gained by someone who didn’t purchase it.)Both the private sector and public sectorNegative Externality- generated unintended costs to be paid by someone other than the producer.Government encourages positive externalities, and tries to limit negative externalities.