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Chapter 1-4

POL 1101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1-4: Externality, Zero-Sum Game, Opportunity Cost

Political Science
Course Code
POL 1101
Matthew Kerby

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Political Science Notes: Chapters 1 through 4
Chapter 1
Public goods
-public goods are something that a community wants but cannot obtain by their own individual
means ex: roads, fresh air…
-public goods are indivisible (supplied jointly to all individuals that want to use them)
-externality is the external effect on people’s action on other people’s satisfaction or utility ex: air
-the provision of public goods requires coordinative effort (voluntary/coercive)
Private goods
-supplied in separate pieces and consumed individually ex: car
Types of Public Goods
a) Network Goods; give higher potential benefits to each user the higher the number of
users ex: the internet
b) Pure Public Goods; can be used by one person without modifying anyone elses
satisfaction or utility ex: security
c) Rival Public Goods; suffer from potential congestion…One additional person’s use can
diminish the utility of other people using the good ex: roads (traffic)
Club Goods
-exclusion of certain people’s access to public good
-only “members” of the club can use the public good ex: lighthouses, highways and bridges
have tolls and you need to pay tuition to attend university
The Commons
-Rival goods like the atmosphere, oceans or animal species
“Tragedy of the Commons”
-since not everybody can be required to pay for their use of the commons, these goods tend
to be used excessively
-the tragedy emerges when the good is exhaustible
-ex: public field for farmers, farmers breed too many animals, animals erode the earth, and
no one can use the field any longer
Public Expenditure (Government)
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