April, 2015

Public Choice, Market Failure, and Government Failure in Principles Textbooks

  • Rosemarie Fike

    Instructor of Economics, Texas Christian University
  • James Gwartney

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Public choice uses the tools of economics to analyze how the political process allocates resources and impacts economic activity. In this study, the authors examine twenty-three principles texts regarding coverage of public choice, market failure, and government failure. Approximately half the texts provide coverage of public choice and recognize the presence of both government and market failure. The coverage of market failure is nearly six times that of government failure. Given the size and scope of government, analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of both market and political allocation is important to student understanding of modern economies.

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