"Non-Market" Failures and Market Failures

by Charles Wolf, Jr.


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Comparisons between the shortcomings of markets and those of nonmarket attempts to provide remedies are rare. When attempted, as in Lindblom's recent [Politics and Markets], the result usually criticizes the market's shortcomings more severely and effectively than those of the "nonmarket." A major reason for this is the ready availability of a powerful and familiar theory of market failure, and the absence of a corresponding theory to explain nonmarket failure. This paper is a condensed version of P-6034, [A Theory of Non-Market Failure: Framework for Implementation Analysis].

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