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Chapter 11 Reflection

March 8, 2013

Responses for:

1) An example of a public good.

2)What are the costs of providing the good.

3) What are the benefits?

4) Is there another way to have the good provided?

5) Did this chapter cause you to think of public goods differently? In what way?


An example of a public good is a public library.

According to Phillip Torrone’s blog “Is It Time to Rebuild & Retool Public Libraries and Make ‘Tech Shopes’?”, there are about 9000 public libraries:

“Total operating expenditures in public libraries steadily rose during the study period, going from $8.29 billion in FY1999 to $10.72 billion in FY2008 (figures are in constant 2008 dollars), an absolute increase of $2.43 billion and a percentage increase of 29.4 percent… Per capita operating expenditures increased during the period as well. Per capita operating expenditures increased from $31.56 in FY1999 to $36.36 in FY2008, an absolute increase of $4.80 per person and a percentage increase of 15.2 percent…”

Continuing on he states: ” In the same report(s), 24% of public libraries had operating expenditures of less than $50,000; 42% expended $50,000 to $399,999; and 34% expended $400,000 or more.”


The benefits of having a public library: It provides general knowledge and education, and not to mention free rentals of books, movies, and music.

Another way to have the services provided is through the libraries’ online resources, especially through online lending with apps. There are even some public school libraries that allow the general public to use their facilities. Also, along the lines of apps, Kindle, Amazon, and Apple provide free books such as the classics.

When I thought of public goods, I originally thought of just utilities and nothing else. I did not think of services provided that, in general, are free and yet are not free (paying taxes to provide for goods and services to be free).


(Link to Phillip Torrone’s blog piece: )


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