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Knowledge is an example of a public good. Analyse this statement, drawing on further research to inform your argument. - Essay Example
Journalism & Communication
Pages 9 (2259 words)
Knowledge as a Public Good This paper discusses the extent to which knowledge can be regarded as a public good. Arguments supporting as well as challenging this view are discussed in the following sections. Some of the implications and challenges of creating a knowledge economy based on knowledge as a public good are identified…
These include non-rivalry and non-excludability. Suber (2009) describes that knowledge is non-rivalrous in the sense that its sharing among several people does not deplete its stock. This characteristic of knowledge is shared by other public goods such as air and sunshine. The second feature of knowledge is non-excludabilty. Once knowledge has been created, it is extremely difficult or impossible to limit people from accessing it as long as they have the resources and mental capacity to access it. At the same time, Suber (2009) also distinguishes between knowledge and its forms of expression. According to his argument, knowledge is a public good while its expression in the form of books and journal articles is not. Anderson (2006) argues that knowledge should be considered primarily as a “public good” while its position as a private asset should be secondary. This reflects the diverse opinions that regard knowledge as an economic asset as well as a social good. Anderson (2006) describes four different views of knowledge along a continuum of private and public good. He describes that in the United Kingdom, knowledge is first regarded as a private asset and then as a public good. He argues that the perception should be reversed and British society should view knowledge first as a public good and then as a private asset. ...
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