For those interested in social work as a career, or who want to find new ways to improve the well-being of the public, and are eager to learn new skills that can be used to benefit society, the courses in this collection offer a wide array of opportunities to learn theories and techniques that advance the public good across many fields and sectors.

The concept of public goods has a fascinating and complicated history, with many theorists over the years debating the relative merits and challenges that public goods present, particularly in market-based economies. On the pro side are the facts that public goods promote community health, support social inclusion, and foster sustainable development. On the other hand, freely available goods can subvert market structures that depend on producers being able to restrict access to their goods and services to paying customers only.

In this collection, you’ll find a wide selection of online courses (many of them are free!) that cover economic theories of public goods, offer insights into how public policies are created, and make clear how communities and societies can benefit from public goods in market-based economies.

For those interested in social work as a career, or who want to find new ways to improve the well-being of the public, and are eager to learn new skills that can be used to benefit society, the courses in this collection offer a wide array of opportunities to learn theories and techniques that advance the public good across many fields and sectors.

The concept of public goods has a fascinating and complicated history, with many theorists over the years debating the relative merits and challenges that public goods present, particularly in market-based economies. On the pro side are the facts that public goods promote community health, support social inclusion, and foster sustainable development. On the other hand, freely available goods can subvert market structures that depend on producers being able to restrict access to their goods and services to paying customers only.

In this collection, you’ll find a wide selection of online courses (many of them are free!) that cover economic theories of public goods, offer insights into how public policies are created, and make clear how communities and societies can benefit from public goods in market-based economies.

Online Courses about Public Goods

Learn how public goods shape modern societies.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Johns Hopkins University

COURSE
Rated 4.9 out of five stars. 32803 reviews
How to Change the World

How to Change the World

Wesleyan University

COURSE
Rated 4.7 out of five stars. 124 reviews
Critical Issues in Urban Education

Critical Issues in Urban Education

The University of Chicago

COURSE
Rated 4.8 out of five stars. 56 reviews
Journalism Skills for Engaged Citizens

Journalism Skills for Engaged Citizens

The University of Melbourne

COURSE
Rated 4.5 out of five stars. 11 reviews
Social Work MasterTrack™ Certificate

Social Work MasterTrack™ Certificate

University of Michigan

MASTERTRACK™ CERTIFICATE
Supporting children with difficulties in reading and writing

Supporting children with difficulties in reading and writing

University of London, UCL Institute of Education, Dyslexia and Literacy International

COURSE
Rated 4.8 out of five stars. 835 reviews
Earth Economics

Earth Economics

Erasmus University Rotterdam

COURSE
Rated 5 out of five stars. 2 reviews
Intellectual Property in the Healthcare Industry

Intellectual Property in the Healthcare Industry

University of Pennsylvania

COURSE
Rated 4.8 out of five stars. 28 reviews
Revolutionary Ideas: Utility, Justice, Equality, Freedom

Revolutionary Ideas: Utility, Justice, Equality, Freedom

Rutgers the State University of New Jersey

COURSE
Rated 4.7 out of five stars. 33 reviews
Property and Liability: An Introduction to Law and Economics

Property and Liability: An Introduction to Law and Economics

Wesleyan University

COURSE
Rated 4.6 out of five stars. 330 reviews
Our Earth's Future

Our Earth's Future

American Museum of Natural History

COURSE
Rated 4.7 out of five stars. 443 reviews
Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy

Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

COURSE
Rated 4.8 out of five stars. 1352 reviews
Time to Reorganize! Understand Organizations, Act, and Build a Meaningful World.

Time to Reorganize! Understand Organizations, Act, and Build a Meaningful World.

HEC Paris

COURSE
Rated 4.3 out of five stars. 50 reviews
Our Energy Future

Our Energy Future

University of California San Diego

COURSE
Rated 4.7 out of five stars. 624 reviews
Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms

Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms

The University of Chicago

COURSE
Rated 4.9 out of five stars. 779 reviews
Microeconomics: When Markets Fail

Microeconomics: When Markets Fail

University of Pennsylvania

COURSE
Rated 4.8 out of five stars. 400 reviews
Microeconomics Principles

Microeconomics Principles

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

COURSE
Rated 4.8 out of five stars. 1497 reviews
The Power of Markets III: Input Markets and Promoting Efficiency

The Power of Markets III: Input Markets and Promoting Efficiency

University of Rochester

COURSE
Rated 4.8 out of five stars. 31 reviews
Public Economics

Public Economics

National Research University Higher School of Economics

COURSE
Rated 4.4 out of five stars. 117 reviews
Large Marine Ecosystems: Assessment and Management

Large Marine Ecosystems: Assessment and Management

University of Cape Town, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), IW:LEARN, Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP-The GEF), UNESCO-IOC, United Nations Environment Programme

COURSE
Rated 4.7 out of five stars. 125 reviews
Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries

Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries

University of Cape Town

COURSE
Rated 4.7 out of five stars. 292 reviews
Climate Adaptation in Africa

Climate Adaptation in Africa

University of Cape Town

COURSE
Rated 4.8 out of five stars. 46 reviews
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

Princeton University

COURSE
Rated 4.7 out of five stars. 2290 reviews
Sustainable Tourism – promoting environmental public health

Sustainable Tourism – promoting environmental public health

University of Copenhagen

COURSE
Rated 4.6 out of five stars. 500 reviews
The Power of Microeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World

The Power of Microeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World

University of California, Irvine

COURSE
Rated 4.7 out of five stars. 1224 reviews
Introduction to Economic Theories

Introduction to Economic Theories

Erasmus University Rotterdam

COURSE
Rated 4.4 out of five stars. 131 reviews
Electric Utilities Fundamentals and Future

Electric Utilities Fundamentals and Future

University of Colorado System

COURSE
Rated 4.7 out of five stars. 390 reviews
Master of Public Health

Master of Public Health

University of Michigan

DEGREE
Global Master of Public Health

Global Master of Public Health

Imperial College London

DEGREE

What is public good?

From the standpoint of economics, in order for goods and services to be classified as public goods, they must be both non-rivalrous, and non-excludable.

Goods and services are considered rivalrous if consumption by one party serves to prevent consumption by another party. Goods and services are considered excludable if they are only accessible to paying parties. Public goods, then, are those goods and services that are available to all, where the supply does not decrease to one party through consumption by another party.

In his landmark 1954 paper, The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure, Paul Samuelson defined collective consumption of good and services as “[goods] which all enjoy in common in the sense that each individual's consumption of such a good leads to no subtractions from any other individual's consumption of that good.”

Popular Categories on Coursera: Business | Computer Science | Data Science | Information Technology | Health | See All

Popular Degrees on Coursera: Business | Computer Science | Data Science | Health | See All

To help our community keep learning, we’ve made a selection of popular courses completely free through July 31, 2020. This means that, in addition to getting access to lectures and quizzes, you can now earn a valuable certificate upon completion.

To get started, click one of the following links to find a free course—your free discount will be applied at checkout: Public Health | Career Development | Mental Health and Well-Being | Cloud Technology | For High School Students | For College Students | Courses in Spanish

Community
Join a community of 60 million learners from around the world
Certificate
4.8 million people have earned a course certificate on Coursera
Confidence
72% of all learners say their courses made them more confident
Career
83% of people reported tangible career benefit from content on Coursera
All courses include:
  • Check100% online
  • CheckFlexible schedule
  • CheckMobile learning
  • CheckVideos and readings from professors at world-renowned universities and industry leaders
  • CheckPractice quizzes

Can’t decide what is right for you?

Try the full learning experience for most courses free for 7 days.

Register to learn with Coursera’s community of 35 million learners around the world