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MARKET FAILURE: A condition in which a market does not efficiently allocate resources to achieve the greatest possible consumer satisfaction. The four main market failures are--(1) public good, (2) market control, (3) externality, and (4) imperfect information. In each case, a market acting without any government imposed direction, does not direct an efficient amount of our resources into the production, distribution, or consumption of the good.

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NAFTA: An abbreviation for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is an economic, international trade treaty between the three nations that occupy the North American continent -- Canada, Mexico, and the United States -- that was launch in 1994. The North American Free Trade Agreement is designed to eliminate assorted trade barriers between Canada, Mexico, and the United States, including the reduction or elimination of many tariffs and nontariff barriers. While economic theory clearly indicates efficiency is enhanced by the reduction and elimination trade restrictions, NAFTA has been strongly opposed by those potentially harmed by more efficient trade, especially labor unions. However, NAFTA is merely one of several international trade agreements created over the years to reduce trade restrictions. Others include the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the Maastricht Treaty.

     See also | international trade | foreign trade | tariff | nontariff barrier | labor union | trading bloc | General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade | Maastricht Treaty | common market | customs union | economic union | free-trade area | WTO |


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FREE-RIDER PROBLEM

A problem underlying the provision of public goods that occurs when a person consumes or benefits from a good without making payment. The free-rider problem is the primary reason that public goods are produced by governments. Because public goods are characterized by the inability to exclude nonpayers, once a public good is produced anyone, everyone, can consume without making payment, that is, get a "free ride." Voluntary payments like those occurring in markets will not provide enough revenue to pay production costs. The only way to finance public goods is to force free-riders, and everyone else, to pay through government taxes. The free-rider problem also applies to common-property goods.

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APLS

BLACK DISMALAPOD
[What's This?]

Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling through a department store trying to buy either a cross-cut paper shredder or a birthday greeting card for your father. Be on the lookout for letters from the Internal Revenue Service.
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General Electric is the only stock from the original 1896 Dow Jones Industrial Average remaining in the current index.
"Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed."

-- Peter F. Drucker

JLEO
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization
A PEDestrian's Guide
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