The visible hand in economics

Objective of the blog

Posted on: July 20, 2007

The main aim of this blog is to discuss areas where government involvement makes sense. While we agree that the free and unfettered market often provides the most effective way of allocating resources, we also believe that thinking the free market can solve every economic problem is naive and even dangerous.

With our writing we wish to impress upon you the important role that the government can play in the economy. The most obvious role of government is to circumvent market failures, which are usually derived from externalities or excessive market power. Beyond this, the government has a structural role. Government regulation and investment can be used to change the structure of the game that firms compete in, to the detriment or the benefit of society.

We also believe that government failure exists. Governments may have less information then other market players, and so might make the wrong choice. Furthermore, governments may come under the control of interest groups or ideology, and may no longer follow the objective of maximizing the true social welfare function. While we may mention this type of failure, it will not be our primary focus.

It is also important to note that we do not necessarily support the current scope and role of government. We are merely stating how certain government choices could improve social outcomes. The set of policies we would support is likely to be very different then those established under any nations government.

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