Tragedy of the Commoners in Economic Space as a Public Good

  • Hiroshi Ohta


The Japanese are the great children lovers, ever since the era of Manyoh (700s AD) when the poet Okura Yamanoue declared that silver, gold and precious stones were nothing compared to his beloved children. If the wife is the master of the household, the children as its core are the kings of a typical Japanese family. Nevertheless the present Japan may be characterized by gross underproduction of children per family. One of the many reasons cited casually is poor housing conditions with cramped spaces often referred to as ‘rabbit hutches’. It goes without saying that the greater are the costs of anything, the less is the quantity demanded, and supplied accord-ingly, in the market. The higher cost of housing, however, does not ipso facto imply underproduction of it, nor does it imply the underproduction of children as an output(!?) of the housing input.


Public Good Marginal Benefit Social Optimum Public Good Provision Economic Space 
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Copyright information

© Hiroshi Ohta and Jacques-François Thisse 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Ohta

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