Carden & Horwitz: "Is Market Failure a Sufficient Condition for Government Intervention?" | "EE" | Economics & Economists - İktisat & İktisatçılar |

Market failure is a tricky topic even for professional economists. And when non-economists raise the examples of market failure that we discussed here, matters become even trickier. Not only do all of these terms have technical meanings that often do not match what the non-economist thinks the terms mean, but most non-economists also are unaware of the various criticisms that have been raised in the literature on these topics. Most important, non-economist critics of the market are frequently unaware of the comparative institutional analysis that public choice theory has made a necessary part of thinking about the role of government in the economy. Pointing out imperfections in the market does not ipso facto justify government intervention, and the only certain way that market "failures" are "failures" is by comparison to an unreachable theoretical idea. Market imperfections are not magic wands that make market solutions and government imperfections disappear. Real understanding of comparative political economy begins rather than ends with the recognition that markets are not always perfect.