Merit Goods are those goods and services that the government feels that people will under-consume and which therefore ought to be subsidized or provided free at the point of use. The consumption of merit goods is thought to generate positive externality effects where the social benefit from consumption exceeds the private benefit. Examples of merit goods are health services, education, public libraries, and inoculations against certain diseases. Van Eecke has assembled a collection of articles and papers that covers the issue of merit goods from a variety of perspectives and has provided a single source for researchers and economist interested in the issue. The work begins with a thorough look at Musgrave's notion of merit goods. The subsequent sections expand the definition of merit goods and provide information on the application of merit goods theory in economic, philosophical, social, and religious terms. The reference also has an extensive bibliography.