Economics and Finance


The Internet – the Creator of Public Goods?

Authors: Blair D. Macdonald

Media and entertainment industries are in decline; profitability down due to ‘freer access on computers. Is the internet producing ‘Public goods’ from what were Private goods? With respect to these goods and the Internet, the assumption used to classify ‘Private goods' and Public goods in an economy (the degree of excludability and rivalry) was analysed, and the respective industries tested for being Public Goods. It was concluded these goods within the entertainment/media industries are slowly being repositioned from what are termed 'private' or 'club'/'congestion' goods, to their extreme opposite, Public goods. The ‘free rider problem’ of Public Goods has become the ‘free copy problem’ with respect to these goods. It was hypothesised the Internet was the cause. It was discussed Public Goods – by tradition – failure in the market, and are therefore provided by Government: is this to be the destiny of Internet goods, or any item on the internet subject to file sharing or digital copying in any form including – at the extreme – the human genome, solid object 3D printing, and even money in the form of bit-coins?

Comments: 5 Pages.

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Submission history

[v1] 2015-03-28 15:00:22
[v2] 2017-04-11 02:25:27

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