Chapter

Games, Conventions, and Public Goods

Ian Malcolm David Little

in Ethics, Economics, and Politics

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780199257041
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601293 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199257043.003.0009
 Games, Conventions, and Public Goods

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Game theory analyses the best behaviour of individuals when this depends on the reaction of others. The prisoners’ dilemma is the best‐known theorem, and has been thought to be an important reason for government intervention in markets. This is misleading because trust and conventions play a large part in oft‐repeated economic and other transactions. The nature and provision of public goods is analysed. In practice, the state typically supplies many goods, which could, in principle, be efficiently supplied by private enterprise.

Keywords: conventions; game theory; prisoners’ dilemma; private enterprise; public goods; repeated games; trust

Chapter.  4464 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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