Defining International Public Goods

Conceptual Issues
  • Oliver Morrissey
  • Dirk Willem te Velde
  • Adrian Hewitt


International public goods (IPGs) achieved prominence with the United Nations Development Programme’s publication Global Public Goods (Kaul, Grunberg, and Stern 1999). That study adopted a wide-ranging definition of IPGs that encompassed a broad range of development activities. Analytically, the definition has since been narrowed by, for example, Kanbur, Sandler, and Morrison (1999). Operationally, the World Bank (2001) has further distinguished between core and complementary activities associated with the provision of IPGs (see also chapter 1 in this volume). The essential point here is that IPGs provide widely available benefits, and providing these benefits is the core activity. However, helping people or countries to actually avail themselves of the public goods (to “consume” them) may also be necessary. Such enabling expenditures are complementary to the core activities.


Public Good Complementary Activity Core Activity Global Knowledge Financial Instability 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Morrissey
  • Dirk Willem te Velde
  • Adrian Hewitt

There are no affiliations available

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