Keywords: Merit goods - primary goods - common pool resources - services of general interest
The Rodotà Commission proposed an innovative reform of the Italian Civil Code concerning the types of property rights. It introduces the category of common goods, intended as «those goods which are functional to the enjoyment of human rights»; these have to be withdrawn from the market and managed by publicly-owned entities. This article uses the economic theory to provide a critical assessment of this approach. Despite many similarities, the economic approach diverges substantially from the Rodotà Commission's proposal, especially as far as management of the common goods is concerned. The article suggests that the new theory of collective action may provide a common ground for the analysis. Moreover, it argues that the role of economic analysis is to draw attention onto the many constraints that bind collective action itself.