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Article Title

Toxic Public Goods

Authors

Brian L. Frye

Abstract

Everybody loves public goods. After all, they are a perpetual utility machine. Obviously, we want as many of them as possible. But what if the consumption of a public good actually decreases net social welfare? I refer to this kind of public good as a "toxic public good." In this essay, I discuss three kinds of potential toxic public goods: trolling, pornography, and ideology, and I reflect on how we might make the production of toxic public goods more efficient.

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