Eamonn Butler

Author and broadcaster on economics and social issues

Public Choice: A Primer

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‘Market failure’ is a well known term. But what about government failure?

Public Choice economics applies realistic insights about human behaviour to the process of government, and is extremely helpful for all those who have an interest in – or work in – public policy to understand this discipline. If we assumes that at least some of those involved in the political process – whether elected representatives, bureaucrats, regulators, public sector workers or electors – will act in their own self-interest rather than in the general public interest, it should give us much less confidence that the government can ‘correct’ market failure.

This primer helps the reader to understand the limits of the government’s ability to correct market failure and also explains the implications of public choice economics for the design of systems of government – a topic that is highly relevant in contemporary political debate

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