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The limitations of markets: Background essay

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  • Goodwin, Neva

Abstract

Business leaders and voting citizens as well as policy makers are influenced in their decision-making by the idea that a “perfectly free” market can produce a social optimum (a “best of all possible worlds”). Because this idea is so influential, it is important to understand the conditions that must be met for the theory to work. The theoretic prediction of the optimality of market outcomes presupposes a number of requirements, which can be grouped into three broad categories: (1) the assumption of perfectly functioning markets; (2) market-oriented patterns of motivation and behavior, on the part of both individuals and firms; and (3) the universal existence and scope of markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 27940.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:27940

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Related research

Keywords: optimality; market imperfections; public goods; externalities; transaction costs; market power; human needs; equity;

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References

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  1. Kovacic, William E. & Shapiro, Carl, 1999. "Antitrust Policy: A Century of Economic and Legal Thinking," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt5zb4g387, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Fisher,Franklin M., 2005. "Microeconomics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023290, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Goodwin, Neva, 2010. "A New Economics for the 21st Century," MPRA Paper 27907, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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