Club Good

… a core concept in Economic Analysis and Atlas102

Click for MRU video

Click for MRU video

Concept description

A club good is an excludable but non-rival good. See Excludable Good and Non-rival Good.

Alex Tabarrok (reference below, video on right) explores how markets provide club goods such as cable TV.

Tabarrok says:

“Club goods are non-rival and excludable. For instance, HBO is a club good, as you need to pay a monthly fee to access HBO (excludable) but more viewers does not add to costs (non-rival). Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to turn public goods into club goods – cable TV and satellite radio being two examples. Some entrepreneurs have even figured out how to profit from providing public goods – for instance, radio and broadcast television are public goods, but, thanks to advertising, they are profitable.”

ClubGoodsHe notes that some club goods, such as Wi-Fi are provided in a number of ways:

  • through subscription, by a cable or phone company, where non-subscribers are excluded
  • for free, by coffee shops as a way of attracting customers
  • for free by some providers if you watch ads
  • for free, by some public institutions, as a public good
Practice questions

From, accessed 10 May 2016.

Atlas topic, subject, and course

Public Goods and Commons Problems (core topic) in Economic Analysis and Atlas102 Economic Analysis.


Alex Tabarrok, Club Goods (5-minute video), Marginal Revolution University, at, accessed 10 May 2016.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 109 May 2016.

Image: Alex Tabarrok, Minute 0:15 of Club Goods (5-minute video), Marginal Revolution University, at, accessed 10 May 2016.