Town Planning Review

The political economy of Coase's lighthouse in history (Part I): A review of the theories and models of the provision of a public good

Town Planning Review (2008), 79, (4), 395–426.

Abstract

As a contribution to policy planning for public goods provision, Part I of this multi-disciplinary article critically reviews the literature and facts for and against the 1974 paper by Ronald Coase on the lighthouse; discusses theoretical issues omitted; and develops a model that characterises an alternative mode of light due collection under different cost and demand conditions. The review and discussion, informed by the precise meanings of key concepts of public goods and a free market, are relevant for a study and application of the economics of planning as well as the changing nature of the lighthouse due to technological advances in shipping.

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Lai, Lawrence

Davies, Stephen

Lorne, Frank