Principles of Economics- Mankiw (5th) 197

Principles of Economics- Mankiw (5th) 197 - supply and...

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IN THIS CHAPTER YOU WILL . . . Examine the various government policies aimed at solving the problem of externalities Examine how people can sometimes solve the problem of externalities on their own Learn the nature of an externality See why externalities can make market outcomes inefficient Consider why private solutions to externalities sometimes do not work Firms that make and sell paper also create, as a by-product of the manufacturing process, a chemical called dioxin. Scientists believe that once dioxin enters the en- vironment, it raises the population’s risk of cancer, birth defects, and other health problems. Is the production and release of dioxin a problem for society? In Chapters 4 through 9 we examined how markets allocate scarce resources with the forces of
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Unformatted text preview: supply and demand, and we saw that the equilibrium of supply and demand is typically an efficient allocation of resources. To use Adam Smith’s famous metaphor, the “invisible hand” of the marketplace leads self-interested buyers and sellers in a market to maximize the total benefit that society derives from that mar-ket. This insight is the basis for one of the Ten Principles of Economics in Chapter 1: Markets are usually a good way to organize economic activity. Should we con-clude, therefore, that the invisible hand prevents firms in the paper market from emitting too much dioxin? E X T E R N A L I T I E S 205...
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