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Focus Question: What are public goods?


Public goods are products that anyone can consume without reducing how much is leftover for other people (stories, websites, clean air)
  • Click here for a working definition of a public good

Streetlights and highways are examples of public goods
Streetlights and highways are examples of public goods

lesson_plan_icon.jpgFollow this link for a lesson plan on public versus private goods!

game_icon.svg.pngClick here for a way to teach public goods through a card game


primary_sources.PNGRead an economist's explanation of public goods here!

Multimedia.pngWatch a video explaining public goods!

Multimedia.pngWatch a video comparing private and public goods here

Public Goods in the United States
Click here to review the use of public goods in the United States.
Some major public goods that the U.S government provides it's citizens are
Public Education- Through public libraries and public schools the United States government provides its citizens with easy access to an education. Click here for an opinion piece on how American Public Education is failing it's students.
National Parks
The Interstate Highway System
Fun fact-
At 3,020 miles, I-90 is the longest interstate highway. It connects Seattle, Washington, with Boston, Massachusetts
Listen to this song or this video for some info for understanding the number system of highway system.

multicultural.pngRead a paper from the Oxford Journal on how public goods are unequally distributed among racial groups.


Yankee Stadium, New York City
Yankee Stadium, New York City

Why the Federal Government Should Stop Spending Billions on Private Sports Stadiums, Brookings Institution (September 8, 2016)
  • Includes Federal Financing of Stadiums, by team, since 2000



Public Services

Public service is a service provided for the people by the government either from public funds or from financial backing from the private sector (like education, fire departments, public libraries, and public broadcasting networks)

Streetlights and highways are examples of public goods
Streetlights and highways are examples of public goods