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The Free Rider as a Basis for Government Intervention

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07/30/2014E.C. Pasour Jr.

The "free rider problem," arising from the fact that an individual may be able to obtain the benefits of a good without contributing to the cost, is discussed in a number of different contexts. In the case of a "public good" where the provider cannot exclude, a good which others provide for them- selves will also be provided to the free rider. In the public good view of charity, for example, each donor is said to have an incentive to hold down his own contribution and free ride on the redistribution from other members of the non-poor group. Thus, the free rider in the case of charity and other public goods is commonly taken to provide a rationale for state intervention.

Volume 5, Number 4 (1981)

Cite This Article

Pasour, E.C. "The Free Rider as a Basis for Government Intervention." Journal of Libertarian Studies 5, No. 4 (1981): 453–464.

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