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Last edited 12 Sep 2022
The Green Book, Central Government Guidance On Appraisal And Evaluation, Published by HM Treasury in 2020, suggests: ‘Market failure occurs where, a market is unable to function fairly according to the economic ideas of efficient markets, from a Green Book perspective which looks beyond simply economic efficiency this means the market is unable to provide satisfactory levels of welfare efficiency.’
The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy published by HM Government in March 2021, states: ‘Market failure is where the market mechanism alone cannot achieve economic efficiency. Economic efficiency is achieved when nobody can be made better off without someone else being made worse off. Economic efficiency enhances social welfare by ensuring resources are allocated and used in the most productive manner possible. One potential cause of inefficiency is when the private returns to an individual or firm from carrying out a particular action or activity differs from the returns to society as a whole, meaning there are external costs or benefits.’
Global Warming of 1.5 ºC, Glossary, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2018, defines market failure as: ‘When private decisions are based on market prices that do not reflect the real scarcity of goods and services but rather reflect market distortions, they do not generate an efficient allocation of resources but cause welfare losses. A market distortion is any event in which a market reaches a market clearing price that is substantially different from the price that a market would achieve while operating under conditions of perfect competition and state enforcement of legal contracts and the ownership of private property. Examples of factors causing market prices to deviate from real economic scarcity are environmental externalities, public goods, monopoly power, information asymmetry, transaction costs and non-rational behaviour.’
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