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Imperfection as the Norm


  • Schaeffer, Peter V.

    (WV U)


Although we generally teach economics as if markets formed a perfect system, in reality, there are many instances of partial and complete market failure in the real economy. Imperfections complicate models and analyses. Therefore, it is better to first introduce students to the model of the ideal-typical perfect system. In addition, in many circumstances, equilibrium and partial equilibrium models derived from the ideal-typical system have yielded good insights and results. However, ignoring imperfections carries several costs, including neglect of the role of institutions, and probably too much confidence in the self-correcting power of markets by policy makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Schaeffer, Peter V., 2009. "Imperfection as the Norm," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 39(1), pages 1-7.
  • Handle: RePEc:rre:publsh:v:39:y:2009:i:1:p:1-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, January.
    2. Robert D. Atkinson, 2004. "The Past and Future of America’s Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3538.
    3. Roemer John E, 2009. "Changing Social Ethos is the Key," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 6(7), pages 1-4, July.
    4. Manuel Couret Branco, 2011. "Economics for Human Rights," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2011_02, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
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    More about this item


    Economics; Equilibrium; Institution;

    JEL classification:

    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact


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