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Global Public GoodsInternational Cooperation in the 21st Century$
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Inge Kaul, Isabelle Grunberg, and Marc Stern

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130522

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195130529.001.0001

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Intergenerational Public Goods

Intergenerational Public Goods

Strategies, Efficiency and Institutions

Chapter:
(p.20) Intergenerational Public Goods
Source:
Global Public Goods
Author(s):

Todd Sandler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195130529.003.0002

We live in a “brave new world” in which allocative decisions on public goods today can have consequences that cross political and generational boundaries. Although the international aspects of public goods have received much attention in recent years, particularly with respect to environmental activities, intergenerational public goods have received relatively scant attention.

In response, this chapter has five main purposes. First, it presents a taxonomy of public goods with benefits spanning generational or national boundaries. Second, it describes the implications for economic efficiency of a variety of public goods that affect nations or generations. Third, it explores the strategic aspects of intergenerational public goods. Fourth, it offers design principles for institutional arrangements, intended to address concerns about the allocation of transgenerational public goods. Fifth, the analysis is applied to specific cases of intergenerational public goods throughout. A number of policy insights derive from this analysis. At the national level, decision‐makers are unlikely to achieve optimal levels of these public goods. If intergenerational awareness of public goods spillovers is only encouraged within a country, then that country's well‐being may actually deteriorate as others free ride on its enhanced far‐sightedness. Thus, cooperation and increased awareness of spillovers must have both an international and an intergenerational dimension for all nations to gain.

Keywords:   aggregation technologies, club goods, economic efficiency, global public goods, impure public goods, intergenerational clubs, intergenerational public goods, joint products, Nash equilibrium, pure public goods, spillovers

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