I'm interested in a history of these terms, and wondered if anyone knows where I might find such a thing.

The first mention I can find for excludability is a 1957 law journal paper referring to a court case (inaccessible to me).

The earliest citation I've been able to find for rival goods is Chapman (1909), but mostly I see economics papers cite more recent textbooks (1980-2000).

Tangible goods seems to be a legal term, for which I can find the first mention in an 1889 law journal (which I also can't acccess).

The earliest reference I can find for durable goods is John Law (1750).

A secondary goal might be finding an authoritative source where all of these terms are tied together for the first time.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think these concepts are somewhat distinct so it would be better to post this as four separate questions. The "secondary goal" may be a fifth question. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Aug 27 '20 at 7:56

You can try Google Books Ngram Viewer. On the bottom of the graph, there is a Search in Google Books giving access to the references. enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ +1 this is nice solution, but is there way how to refine the search better? Economics+excludability just checks if the source uses those words not whether the source is about economics per se (one of the earlier sources is some migration law that does not even talk about excludability and economics in the same section) $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 28 '20 at 20:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @1muflon1 You are right. I also spotted that and tried to add "Economics+" but it doesn't seem to help much. As the OP mentioned a law journal, it may still be useful. I think it may work better for econ-specific concepts such as "rival goods". $\endgroup$
    – emeryville
    Aug 28 '20 at 20:28

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