Public Goods and Government Action

JONATHAN ANOMALY
POLITICS, PHILOSOPHY AND ECONOMICS 14.2 (2015): 109-128

Abstract: 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.