Collective goods are goods that the markets have some difficulty in dealing with. This becomes particularly problematic when access to such goods is hard to restrict. Examples include air, water and soil, physical and virtual networks, infrastructures and the systemic effects of financial transactions. One of the services that science can render for society is to identify precisely where the problems lie with these goods and compare the institutional rules that regulate their availability. The Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn addresses these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective that combines economics, law and psychology. Whereas in the past the researchers were primarily concerned with environmental protection issues, the most important areas of application for the work today include cartel law, regulation and the stability of the financial markets.
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