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Is air a public good?

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We had a class discussion about public/private goods and teacher asked us to come up with public goods which should never be privatised. One of our suggestions was air. However, we got into an intense argument was air a public good or not, even teacher did not know which side to support. So, I ask you, is air a public good or not?

For: it's non-excludable and non-rival, thus it fits the definition of a public good.

Against: it's really not a good, because it isn't scarce and it cannot be provided by anyone, therefore it's not a public good.

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If the air gets extremely polluted, clean air in bottles or tanks/restriction to areas with extremely fresh air (e.g. mountains, deep forests), Anyway, I don't think it has anything to do with the question - would air fit under a category of public goods?

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Well in order for the good to be a public good, it must be non-excludable and non-rivalous.

Good is non-excludable if it is impossible to stop other people consuming it, ones it has been provided. Can you stop me consuming air? In most cases no

Good is non-rivalrous when one person consuming it does not prevent another person consuming it as well. If we stand in one place, you will be able to consume it at the same time as I will.

Hence it is a public good, since it will be pointless for private individuals produce it

However, if you generate extreme situation like for example if we would live under water, and oxygen would be sold in containers, than it would not be a public good.

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air is not an economic good at all, it doesn't have a price, provide utility and so on. it is therefore a free good and cannot be classified as a public good.

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