Efficient provision of multiple public good types in a system of cities

Kenichi Tsukahara, University of Pennsylvania


This thesis consists of three theoretical spatial models of multiple public good provision and city size. In the first model, cities must determine the efficient location and service level provision of superneighborhood goods (distance sensitive) and city level public goods. This allocation decision is examined under a single city scenario and competition and cooperation scenarios between two continuous cities. In the single city case, we showed that optimal location of the superneighborhood good is a function of the government's objective (i.e., whether the government maximizes total land rent or resident utility level). In the two-city case, budget allocation decisions depend upon whether the two cities cooperate or not. In the second model, competing profit maximizing private city developers provide noncongestive and divisible congestive public goods. The city developer chooses city population, noncongestive public good service level and the unit level of the divisible congestive public goods. In this model, city residents trade off higher service level provision of the noncongestive public good with increasing commuting costs as the city increases in size. Therefore, a lower transport rate leads to a larger city which in turn leads to higher provision level of the noncongestive public good. Also a large city provides many units of the congestive public goods so as to reduce congestion costs. The third model relaxes the restriction of the previous models where all public goods were required to be available to all city residents at some positive service provision level. In this final model, cities may provide a zero service provision level of nonessential public goods. This is done under two scenarios, where noncooperative profit maximizing private city developers provide essential public goods and may provide nonessential public goods, and where cooperative utility maximizing city governments may jointly provide nonessential public goods. The first model says that where the minimum investment level of the nonessential public good is "small" then city developers will provide that. In the second model, cities may jointly provide nonessential public goods when the spill-over effect is "large" and then cities may jointly provide nonessential public goods.

Subject Area

Economic theory|Urban planning|Area planning & development

Recommended Citation

Tsukahara, Kenichi, "Efficient provision of multiple public good types in a system of cities" (1993). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9321492.