The public goods rationale for government and the circularity problem

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (2):265-277 (2003)
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Abstract

George Mason University, USA It has been suggested that the production of public goods through a government involves a circularity problem. Since government itself is a public good, how can we use government to produce other public goods? Several solutions to this supposed circularity are offered. Government is a unique kind of public good with some potentially self-generating and self-supporting features. The public goods theory of government remains intact, and this enterprise helps shed some light on the special features of government. Key Words: public goods • theory of the state • free riders • circularity problem.

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