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PUBLIC GOODS AND PRIVATE COMMUNITIES

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PUBLIC GOODS AND PRIVATE COMMUNITIES

The Market Provision of Social Services

9781852789510 Edward Elgar Publishing
Fred E. Foldvary, has taught economics in Latvia, Virginia Tech, and California State University, Hayward and currently teaches at the John F. Kennedy University, US
Publication Date: 1994 ISBN: 978 1 85278 951 0 Extent: 276 pp
Rejecting the market-failure hypothesis, Dr Foldvary argues that an entrepreneur can provide collective goods by consensual community agreements. Instead of focusing particular services, as previous studies have done, this book concerns itself with entire private communities. A series of case studies demonstrates how real world communities, such as Walt Disney World, the Reston Association in Virginia and the private neighbourhoods of St Louis, are in fact financing their own public goods and services in accordance with this theory. For such communities to rise and prosper, the author contends, government must eliminate restrictions such as zoning as well as the taxation of private services.

After considering the implications of his work for urban economies – at a time when many of America’s cities are plagued by decay, violence and poverty – Dr Foldvary argues that prosperity can be restored to cities if private communities are allowed to develop. As an original response to an urgent, contemporary problem this well-written book will be welcomed by social scientists, policy makers and business leaders seeking solutions to problems of urban decay.
Awarded the 1995 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award

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Do public goods and services, such as streets, parks and dams have to be provided by government? In Public Goods and Private Communities, Fred Foldvary’s innovative application of public choice and spatial theory to questions of urban economics and governance shows how collective goods can be provided by agents in a market process.

Rejecting the market-failure hypothesis, Dr Foldvary argues that an entrepreneur can provide collective goods by consensual community agreements. Instead of focusing particular services, as previous studies have done, this book concerns itself with entire private communities. A series of case studies demonstrates how real world communities, such as Walt Disney World, the Reston Association in Virginia and the private neighbourhoods of St Louis, are in fact financing their own public goods and services in accordance with this theory. For such communities to rise and prosper, the author contends, government must eliminate restrictions such as zoning as well as the taxation of private services.

After considering the implications of his work for urban economies – at a time when many of America’s cities are plagued by decay, violence and poverty – Dr Foldvary argues that prosperity can be restored to cities if private communities are allowed to develop. As an original response to an urgent, contemporary problem this well-written book will be welcomed by social scientists, policy makers and business leaders seeking solutions to problems of urban decay.
Critical Acclaim
‘Foldvary’s book provides an interesting and exciting contribution to ongoing discussions on deregulation, privatization, and constitutions, taking place not only in the United States but in European countries and especially within the European Union as well. Readers interested in these topics will find the book of great interest.’
– Olivier Binet, Kyklos

‘. . . there is much of interest in this small volume. . . . Foldvary’s contribution raises some provocative issues and offers some insights into how we provide shared goods and services in a variety of nontraditional settings.’
– Holley H. Ulbrich, American Journal of Agricultural Economics

‘Foldvary has written an admirably substantive work. It conveys much fresh and enthusiastic thinking, and it reports solid research on specific projects. His work stands in admirable contrast with several “Austrian” writings that paw away, abstractly and ineffectually, at the very concepts of public goods and market failure and even of externalities.’
– Leland B. Yeager, Auburn University, Alabama, US

‘The book contributes a significant argument to debates over the limits to government and the increasing privatization of society.’
– R.A. Beauregard, Social & Behavioral Sciences

‘Fred Foldvary has made a valuable contribution to the economic literature on public goods and public finance. If it is fully appreciated by the economics profession it could revolutionize and dramatically improve the study of urban economics specifically and public economics in general’.
– Roy E. Cardato, The Freeman

‘The author uses several case studies to lend an empirical foundation to this innovative thesis which, in turn , is cogently presented in this well written book.’
– Vani Borooah, Economic Journal

‘The most pleasing element of Foldvary’s work is the wonderful streak of Utopianism which runs throughout. As Hayek noted some 30 years ago, advocates of the liberal order are often negative and defensive in their style. Here is a positive vision of how the future could be, of which all liberals can be proud.’
– Mark Pennington, Economic Affairs
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