Social Contract, Free Ride

Social Contract, Free Ride

A Study of the Public-goods Problem

eBook - 2008
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Liberty Fund
This book provides a novel account of the public goods dilemma. The author shows how the social contract, in its quest for fairness, actually helps to breed the parasitic ?free riding” it is meant to suppress. He also shows how, in the absence of taxation, many public goods would be provided by spontaneous group cooperation. This would, however, imply some degree of free riding. Unwilling to tolerate such unfairness, cooperating groups would eventually drift from voluntary to compulsory solutions, heedless of the fact that this must bring back free riding with a vengeance. The author argues that the perverse incentives created by the attempt to render public provision assured and fair are a principal cause of the poor functioning of organized society.

Anthony de Jasay is an independent theorist living in France. Jasay ?believes that philosophy should be mainly, if not exclusively, about clarifying conclusions that arise from the careless use of, or deliberate misuse of, language. There are echoes here of . . . Wittgenstein's later philosophy.” His books, translated into a half dozen languages, include Justice and Its Surroundings and The State.

[source/credit line] I. M. D. Little in Ordered Anarchy, 2007


This book provides a novel account of the public goods dilemma. The author shows how the social contract, in its quest for fairness, actually helps to breed the parasitic ?free riding” it is meant to suppress. He also shows how, in the absence of taxation, many public goods would be provided by spontaneous group cooperation. This would, however, imply some degree of free riding. Unwilling to tolerate such unfairness, cooperating groups would eventually drift from voluntary to compulsory solutions, heedless of the fact that this must bring back free riding with a vengeance. The author argues that the perverse incentives created by the attempt to render public provision assured and fair are a principal cause of the poor functioning of organized society.

Anthony de Jasay is an independent theorist living in France. Jasay ?believes that philosophy should be mainly, if not exclusively, about clarifying conclusions that arise from the careless use of, or deliberate misuse of, language. There are echoes here of . . . Wittgenstein's later philosophy.” His books, translated into a half dozen languages, include Justice and Its Surroundings and The State.

[source/credit line] I. M. D. Little in Ordered Anarchy, 2007



Publisher: Indianapolis, Ind. : Liberty Fund, [2008]
ISBN: 9781614878179
161487817X
Characteristics: 1 online resource (vii, 276 pages) : illustrations

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