Article Title

Textbook Confessions: Government Failure

Journal Title/Source

The Journal of Private Enterprise

Publication Date

2014

Volume

29

Issue (if applicable)

3

Page Numbers

159–175

Document Type

Journal Article

Department

Economics

Abstract

What students learn in the Principles of Economics course may become the permanent lens through which they view and understand how the economy works. While most textbooks cover a core of material in a consistent manner, the same cannot be said for the treatment of government failure. We review twelve principles of economics textbooks to analyze the treatment given to government failure. Our analysis shows that authors fall short in adequately addressing this topic, thereby exposing students to the fallacy that government is the solution to market failure and drawing dangerously close to the line between positive and normative analysis.

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