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Public Choice

, Volume 140, Issue 1–2, pp 1–13 | Cite as

Coase and Bertrand on lighthouses

  • Walter BlockEmail author
  • William BarnettII
Article

Abstract

Coase (Journal of Low and Economics 17(2):185–213, 1974) failed to appreciate that the construction and maintenance of nineteenth-century lighthouses were in part financed by British taxpayers. Bertrand (Cambridge Journal of Economics 30:389–402, 2006) rightly calls him to account. While agreeing with Bertrand’s conclusion, we dispute her reasoning and argue that lighthouses nevertheless could have been supplied by the private sector.

Keywords

Lighthouse Market failure Public goods Coase Bertrand 

JEL Classification

H41 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair, College of Business AdministrationLoyola University New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Joseph A. Butt, S. J. College of Business AdministrationLoyola University New OrleansNew OrleansUSA

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