The Importance of Public Goods Provision to the Communities and the Associated Problems

Imuetinyan Press John Ugiagbe


The initial theory on public goods was by Kenneth Arrow, Richard Musgrave and Paul Samuelson (1954-1955). Arrows (1972) discourse on the role of the public and private sector and Musgrave (1959) book on public finance provided the frame work to what has become known as the proper role of the state in the economy. The importance of public goods provision in any society cannot be underestimated by any responsible government because a non –provision of it could mean the people would live in life of penury of perpetual deprivation of an abject poverty. Unfortunately public goods provision is a difficult phenomenon for any government to provide partly because it is very sumptuous to provide and also because of free riders problem resulting from the unwillingness of some users of the goods to pay for it and also because of jurisdictional spill over effects. This article is based on desk research using secondary sources of information. It is argued that the provision of public goods while remaining the preserve mostly of the government can be a complex issue and that public goods provision is mostly a budgetary fiscal decision and that the size of the budget coupled with the will of political leaders and the wiliness of the electorate to pay for it is very necessary and crucial to the adequate and amount of provision of public goods and services.     

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