Public good

A public good is, from the legal point of view, one that belongs to or is provided by the State at any level through all those organizations that are part of the public sector. From the economic point of view, it is a good that is available to all and of which the use by one person does not subtract from the use by another.

This conception dates back to Roman law, in which the Res publica ('public thing' or 'administration', political affairs in general) made references to the properties of Ancient Rome or its citizens as a whole (such as sources of city ​​water, streets, etc.). The influence of this meaning has extended with some modifications to the present; For example, Andrés Bello writes (in relation to “national assets”): “If, in addition, their use belongs to all the inhabitants of the nation, such as that of the streets, squares, bridges and roads, the adjacent sea and its beaches, they are called national goods for public use or public goods”.Note that in this definition Bello uses two criteria: the property is state property, the usufruct is general to the inhabitants.

At present, this conception survives mainly in the legal tradition, that of political science and that of political economy. Thus, in these areas, in general, public domain is understood as the set of goods and rights of public ownership, intended for public use.

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