Logotipo librería Marcial Pons
Social contract, free ride

Social contract, free ride
a study of the public-goods problem

  • ISBN: 9780865977013
  • Editorial: Liberty Fund
  • Lugar de la edición: Indianapolis. Estados Unidos de Norteamérica
  • Colección: The Collected Papers of Anthony de Jasay
  • Encuadernación: Rústica
  • Medidas: 22 cm
  • Nº Pág.: 273
  • Idiomas: Inglés

Papel: Rústica
29,24 €
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Access to public goods is free either because it would be too costly to exclude "nonpaying customers" from such access (e.g., pollution control) or because it would be morally repugnant to do so (children's playgrounds). The received wisdom in economics has long been that voluntary contribution to the cost of such goods is collectively rational but individually irrational, free riding being preferable. This suggests a need for a social contract under which everyone accepts coercion to contribute, since everyone else is coerced to do the same. In this work, the author shows how the social contract, in its quest for fairness, actually helps to breed the parasitic free riding it is meant to suppress. He also shows how, in the absence of taxation, many public goods would be provided by spontaneous group cooperation. Jasay demonstrates that when indivisibilities and the risks of nonprovision are duly accounted for, voluntary contribution is an individually rational choice. The key argument for coercion turns out to be indecisive, and the need for a social contract at best unproven.


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