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10 Types of Merit Goods

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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.


Adequate 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.


Adequate 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.


Access 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.


Some nations offer free universal healthcare. Healthcare benefits public health, well-being, productivity and reduces risks such as the risk of an epidemic.


Access to culture such as art, music and traditional festivals. For example, an art museum that is free or subsidized.


Adequate internet services and access to libraries.


Community services such as family counseling.

Sports & Recreation

Activities such as sports and access to green space.

Safety Equipment

Safety equipment such as child car seats.
Overview: Merit Goods
A good that a government views as essential for all that risks being under-consumed due to ability or willingness to pay.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about goods.
Brown Goods
Business Goods
Capital Goods
Club Goods
Common Goods
Common Resources
Complementary Goods
Consumer Discretionary
Consumer Durables
Consumer Goods
Consumer Products
Consumer Staples
Digital Goods
Durable Goods
Economic Goods
Experience Goods
Fashion Goods
Final Goods
Finished Goods
Goods & Services
Inferior Good
Information Good
Intangible Goods
Intermediate Goods
Knowledge Product
Luxury Goods
Market Goods
Merit Good
Natural Resources
Necessity Goods
Perfect Substitute
Public Goods
Search Good
Social Goods
Soft Goods
Sporting Goods
Substitute Good
Superior Goods
Unsought Goods
Veblen Goods
Virtual Goods
White Goods
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