Global Public Goods

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Author: 
U. Sankar
Description: 
WORKINGPAPER 28/2008
JEL codes: 
Organisation: 
Abstract: 
Recognition of the interdependencies characterizing the Earth (a global common) and the globalization phenomenon necessitate collective actions at the global level to solve multilateral issues in trade, finance, environment, spread of infectious diseases and security. There is also growing awareness that the existing institutional arrangements to solve multilateral issues exhibit signs of adaptive (dynamic) inefficiency, with institutional changes lagging behind rapidly evolving realities as manifested in growing tensions in reaching cooperative solutions. An International Task Force on Global Public Goods was constituted in 2003 to identify relevant international public goods froma perspective of reducing poverty and to study the provision and financing issues. See International Task Force on Global Public Goods (2006). This Task Force has identified the following priority global public goods (GPGs): (a) preventing the emergence and spread of infectious disease, (b) tackling climate change, (c) enhancing international financial stability, (d) strengthening the international trading system, (e) achieving peace and security, and (f) generating knowledge. We need a framework for defining, identifying, providing and financing GPGs. Section 2 reviews alternative approaches to defining GPGs. Section 3 classifies GPGs into two categories: pure global public goods and global public goods by global public choice. Section 4 considers delivery systems for GPGs. It assesses the existing institutional frameworks for the supply of pureGPGs through the lens of GPGframework developed by Kaul et al (2003). Then it considers the division of labour among stakeholders at global, national and state levels using the Subsidiarity Principle. Finally, it suggests some changes in the delivery systemfor an efficient provision of GPGs. Section 5 explores the financing options. Section 6 contains concluding remarks.