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Category Archive for 'Market Failures'

Maybe we’ll get less of this economic nonsense? Here’s the latest from Vox: The simple danger is that monopolies tend to charge high prices. I am sure lay readers don’t see the problem with it. But if I actually put a single question on a Intermediate micro final exam that asked, “what is wrong with this comment?” […]

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The “left” sees the last 34 years as a revival (was there ever a VIVAL?) of laissez-faire dogmatism. Some folks like myself see it as almost the diametric opposite. Of course, some of this could be “settled” by empirical evidence. The number of pages of regulations? The dollars spent complying with regulations? The number of […]

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No Brainer Indeed

In this month’s edition of Popular Science in an opinion piece titled “No Brainer” we are treated to: If the government wants to fund a grand national effort, it should attack problems whose solutions are bad for business. For instance, let’s cure cancer. The biomedical industry treats cancer with drugs, surgery, and other high budget […]

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The following thoughts were motivated by my colleague’s musings this morning. When we discuss possible justifications for providing subsidies to students to attend college, aside from the possibility that educating young people in Universities might provide benefits to the rest of us that we do not pay for ourselves (you KNOW I am very skeptical […]

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Perhaps the most sophisticated argument that markets “fail” is that two parties to a transaction are rarely privy to the same information (you can write down a problem where total ignorance is better than partial ignorance for market outcomes). In the presence of information asymmetries you would expect certain parties to be driven from the […]

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How often do you encounter organizations that seem to have “no agenda” or claim to be “non-partisan.” If ever there was a time to do some mental substitution, this would be it. I worked for a “non-partisan economic research foundation” once. They were gold bugs and some strange blend of Marxist sympathising libertarians. I had […]

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I am sure you folks are familiar with the claim that “markets are prone to monopolies.” Let’s just take that as given and accept the conclusion that this requires considerable government interference in the course of voluntary transactions. The data are not very clear that this is, indeed, what happens. Take a look at the […]

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A canard of the uninformed left is that capitalism leads to monopoly – which of course requires either the elimination of capitalism or the heavily regulation of it by … a … monopoly with guns. And never mind the actual history of anti-trust, which originates in the “Progressive” movement and is now manifest in the […]

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Uh Oh

Here is a new paper from Geophysical Research Letters: The resulting enhancement of atmospheric solar absorption (only the direct effect of aerosols is included) over Asia induces tropospheric heating anomalies that force large-scale circulation changes which, averaged over the twenty-year period, add as much as an additional 0.4°C warming over the eastern US during winter […]

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Too Few, Not Too Many

Last week I rambled on about Michael Sandel's argument that markets were too prevalent today. I disagree. Take this example. I live in a small, sleepy suburban development – about 200 houses were built on old farmland here about 50 years ago, most homes are on 1/4 acre plots, most homes are mid-sized split-level ranch-ish […]

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