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Socially Desirable Merit Goods - Essay Example

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Name: Institution: Course: Date: Socially Desirable Merit Goods Grant and Vidler define merit goods as goods perceived to be socially desirable but are likely to be under-produced and under-consumed if left under the market forces (70). These goods exhibit certain characteristics that differentiate them from other goods…
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Socially Desirable Merit Goods
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Download file to see previous pages Merit goods are normally provided by the state because of the feeling that citizens tend to under-consume them, as well as the fact that they need to either be subsidized or provide freely to the people at the point of consumption so that its consumption is not tied to an individual’s ability to pay for the good. There are quite a number of merit goods that can be provided by the government namely health services, public libraries, education, inoculations for children, work training programmes, and Citizen's Advice Bureaux among others (Grant and Vidler 70). The National Health Services (NHS) is a good example of a merit good provided by the U.K. government. NHS is considered a merit good because the services received from the hospital confers personal benefit to the person receiving the services since there is personal satisfaction in becoming healthy or being healed of a disease. In addition, being healthy allows people to engage in development activities such as getting employment that enables one to earn a living and live a decent life (Grant and Vidler 70). This is because an individual cannot work when he or she is sick. Being healthy also has certain social benefits attached that prompted the establishment of NHS. Firstly, healthy people tend to be more productive than unhealthy people are in the workplace. Unhealthy people are normally not able to perform certain jobs because of their unhealthy status, thus making them less productive ((Riccardo and Tryphon 1367). Healthy people, on the other hand, can perform different jobs in an organization including jobs that require the use of a lot of energy. Furthermore, healthy people are able to work longer hours thereby improving productivity in an organization they work for. Economists agree that many organizations prefer productive workforce to unproductive workforce because it enhances economic growth that increases the national income (Grant and Vidler 70). This statement can be proved by comparing the GDP of countries where health care service provision is poor and those with good health care services like the U.K. In this regard, it can clearly be seen that the GDP of the U.K. is higher than that of developing countries in the word that are still struggle with the proving of quality health care services. Role of the government in providing this merit good to the public Grant and Vidler note that the government plays a big role as far as provision of merit goods is concerned (71). NHS is an example of a merit good that the government of the U.K. has provided for its citizens in order to increase access to health care services in the country. The government took this initiative for a number of reasons. Firstly, the government introduced the NHS for the U.K. citizens to ensure that there is universal health care in the country for all regardless of status. This is because the government felt that leaving the provision of health services solely to the private sectors would make it had for low-income earners, the old, and the disabled in the country to afford this valuable service. The reason being most private health care providers charge high prices for their services to the people and would only be affordable to the rich in the country. Therefore, the provision of this valuable merit good by the state is a means of promoting the consumption of merit good so as to achieve positive externalities attached to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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