Study Notes

Public Bads

AS, A Level
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

A public bad has negative effects (externalities) on people and their communities leading to a significant loss of social welfare

Examples of public bads include:

  • The spread of infectious diseases such as Ebola
  • Modern slavery / human trafficking
  • Environmental threats to the global commons
  • Gender and other forms of discrimination in labour markets
  • Disposal of household and commercial waste
  • Web viruses / denial of service attacks
  • High rates of global inequalities of income and wealth
Outrage over mile long illegal waste tip in Purfleet, Essex

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