A merit good is a good that a government views as essential for all. These are things that are important to quality of life that people may not consume on their own due to ability or willingness to pay. Governments may encourage the consumption of merit goods with subsidies, incentives and promotion. The following are common types of merit goods.
NutrientsAdequate food and nutrients. In some cases, a government mandates that a commodity such as salt be fortified with nutrients that are under-consumed. Governments may also directly feed people healthy foods with programs such as a school lunch program.
HousingAdequate housing. For example, public housing in a city where many people have been priced out of the market.It is common for preschool, kindergarten, primary school and secondary school to be free. In many cases, colleges and universities are subsidized.
TransportAccess to basic transport such as public transportation. It is common for roads to be free with subsidies for use of public transport such as trains.
HealthcareSome nations offer free universal healthcare. Healthcare benefits public health, well-being, productivity and reduces risks such as the risk of an epidemic.
CultureAccess to culture such as art, music and traditional festivals. For example, an art museum that is free or subsidized.
InformationAdequate internet services and access to libraries.
CommunityCommunity services such as family counseling.
Sports & RecreationActivities such as sports and access to green space.
Safety EquipmentSafety equipment such as child car seats.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about goods.
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