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Integrating Sex and Drugs into the Principles Course: Market-Failures Versus Failures-of-Market Outcomes


  • David Colander


The author's central argument in this article is that the current micro principles course is structured around an approach to policy that avoids many of the controversial but central issues of policy. These include (1) the interplay of moral issues and efficiency, (2) questions of consumer sovereignty, and (3) questions of the interrelation between measures of efficiency and income distribution. The current market-failure organizing framework of microeconomics principles textbooks excludes discussion of a broader set of failures of market outcomes: situations in which the market is doing everything it is supposed to be doing, but society is still unhappy with the result. The author suggests a dual market-failure and failure-of-market-outcome policy framework that encourages discussion of these broader issues.

Suggested Citation

  • David Colander, 2003. "Integrating Sex and Drugs into the Principles Course: Market-Failures Versus Failures-of-Market Outcomes," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 82-91, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:34:y:2003:i:1:p:82-91 DOI: 10.1080/00220480309595203

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charles A. Holt & Monica Capra, 2000. "Classroom Games: A Prisoner's Dilemma," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 229-236, September.
    2. Reinhard Selten, 1973. "A Simple Model of Imperfect Competition, where 4 are Few and 6 are Many," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 008, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    3. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-1326, December.
    4. Brauer, Jurgen & Delemeester, Greg, 2001. " Games Economists Play: A Survey of Non-computerized Classroom-Games for College Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 221-236, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Green, Tom L., 2013. "Teaching (un)sustainability? University sustainability commitments and student experiences of introductory economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 135-142.

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