Market Failures

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This chapter discusses the question “What is a market such that it can fail?” First, it is not a given that a market can fail. For a market failure to be identified, relatively well-established criteria of success – and failure – of the market need to be established. Market failure thus implies some rendering of a market and how it operates. Further, it is not a given how markets are rendered, nor what is rendered a failure and how to address it. Sometimes a market may be rendered a failure with a view to social life; sometimes market failures are rendered as part of rendering the market in terms “more or less idealized”; and sometimes the failures dealt with are failures of the operation of a particular market, designed with a view to specified purposes or concerns. In sum the chapter argues that market failures – addressing them, repairing and correcting them – have contributed significantly to remarkable changes in markets and their place in social life today, not least as found in the design of markets to serve as a policy instrument – so-called markets for collective concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge International Handbook of Failure
EditorsAdriana Mica, Mikolaj Pawlak, Anna Horolets, Pawel Kubicki
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9780367404048, 9781032371047
ISBN (Electronic)9780429355950
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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