[Ip-health] The Use and Abuse of the Phrase “Global Public Good” – India China Institute

James Love james.love at keionline.org
Fri Jul 10 06:25:54 PDT 2020

This is an essay on the use of the phrase "global public goods".  The essay
focuses on the three papers Paul Samuelson wrote in the 1950s that are
often used, and misused, to define public goods.  Samuelson's own papers
were more inclusive and nuanced that would be suggested by the frequent
citing of his "extreme" and "polar" [his words] case used for his 1954-5
definition for a "pure" public good.

The issue for COVID 19 is, are goods that are rival in consumption or
excludable "public goods?"  I think that Samuelson's 1954 and 1958 papers
make it pretty clear that he would say yes.


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