The Public Goods Fairy?


In a characteristically thoughtful post, Will Wilkinson muses that the most vital public goods aren't the sort of things that either states or markets provide, since they are preconditions for the smooth functioning of both states and markets—things like a baseline level of social trust and norms of civic responsibility and non-predation, especially among those in positions of authority. For those with an eye to helping the developing world get developed, the vital question becomes: Where do these "higher order" public goods come from?