Goods and Bads

Ralph Turvey

Published: December 2000

There is a high degree of symmetry between economic goods and economic bads. Snow, litter and street mud are cited as examples. Economic growth obviously results in an increase in the supply of bads as well as goods. In addition, however, because it raises the value of time it can turn goods into bads and it can result in an end to the transformation of bads into goods. This is illustrated in some detail by two case studies for nineteenth century London, relating to domestic refuse and to horse manure. As a result of economic growth, horse manure had almost ceased to be an economic good and had become an economic bad by the end of the century.

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