Intrinsically Scarce Goods

November, 2004

We are concerned with a class of goods that are both scarce and valued for experiences that depend on their authenticity and unmediated access to them. Such goods include prehistoric cave paintings, spectacular natural sites, and several of the arts. Because these goods are scarce, access to them must be restricted if they are to survive. After characterizing the goods we have in mind, we will propose a scheme for distributing access to them. Finally, we will suggest that the lessons learned from considering these goods and their distribution can be applied to other kinds of goods.

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