Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Future of Law and EconomicsEssays in Reform and Recollection$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Guido Calabresi

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300195897

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300195897.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Of Merit Goods

Of Merit Goods

Commodification and Commandification

(p.24) II Of Merit Goods
The Future of Law and Economics

Guido Calabresi

Yale University Press

This chapter examines two categories of merit goods: goods whose commodification is in itself costly, and goods whose allocation through the prevailing distribution of wealth is highly undesirable to a significant number of people. Both types of merit goods differ from the generality of goods whose market allocations lead to more traditional sorts of external costs. The external costs caused by merit goods are mental sufferings that their allocation in the ordinary market imposes on other people. Before explaining commodification and commandification in more detail, this chapter considers the particular and special externalities associated with some goods and bads that seem to differentiate them from most goods and bads. It also discusses these externalities and these goods and bads within the context of economic theory. Finally, it explores tort law as an example of the attempted optimization and allocation—through modified command and markets—of merit goods that we do not wish to deal with through pure command or pure markets.

Keywords:   merit goods, commodification, market allocation, external costs, commandification, externalities, economic theory, tort law, modified command and markets

Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.