Optimal Public Goods Provision: Implications of Endogenizing the Labor/Leisure Choice

Nicholas E. Flores and Philip E. Graves


Conventional analysis of public goods provision aggregates individual willingness to pay while treating income as exogenous, ignoring the fact that we generate income to allow us to purchase utility-generating goods. We explore the implications of endogenizing the labor/leisure decision by explicitly considering leisure demand in a model of public goods provision. We consider benefit analysis of public goods provision and find that increments of the public good will generally be under-valued using conventional analysis while decrements to the public good (rare in public good settings) will be overvalued. (JEL C91, D61, Q51)

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