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Episode 4: Market Failures

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Ryan Bourne
Ryan Bourne

R. Evan Scharf Chair for the Public Understanding of Economics, Cato Institute

Develop a better understanding of how markets function and government interventions can impact their outcomes in this video from our Fundamentals of Economics series with economist Ryan Bourne. Throughout this video, Bourne uses relevant examples to explain the imperfections that exist already in markets and government and how the concept of “market failures” has been used to justify interventions that may not be warranted. Designed for high school students, this video may be utilized in conjunction with an AP economics class or as part of our lesson, Market Failure versus Government Failure.

Discussion question suggestions:

  1. What is the concept of market failure and how has it been used to justify interventions by the government?
  2. What is the key argument made regarding the government’s capacity to create perfect markets, especially when a perfect market for a particular good or service doesn’t exist?

Related Lesson: Market Failure versus Government Failure