''Non-Market Failure'' Revisited

The Anatomy and Physiology of Government Deficiencies

by Charles Wolf, Jr.


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The principal rationale for public policy intervention lies in the inadequacies of market outcomes. A reasonably well-structured theory already exists for explaining and predicting these inadequacies or failures. But nonmarket remedies for market failures may themselves fail. The theory that is needed to help solve the problem should embrace the wider range of activities, outputs, and "failures" covered by the "nonmarket" sector as a whole, rather than the "public" (government) sector alone. This paper analyzes the nonmarket sector as a whole. It discusses nonmarket success and failure, nonmarket demand, perceptions and realities, nonmarket supply, and equilibrium, nonmarket failures, and government deficiencies.

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