Edexcel A Level Economics A:复习笔记3.6.2 The Impact of Government Intervention

The Impact of Government Intervention

The Desired Outcomes Of Government Intervention

Prices Profit Efficiency
Affordable & stable prices Permitting enough to keep firms in the industry (normal profit) but limiting how much they make so that household income is protected Reducing wastage of valuable resources & one of the best ways to achieve this is by developing rigorous competition
Quality Choice
Ensuring products are fit for purpose & contribute to a better standard of living Wider choice improves the standard of living & also helps to improve product quality. More choice also generates more economic activity in an economy & increases the gross domestic product (GDP)

Limits to Government Intervention

  • Government intervention is not always effective. Two of the main reasons for this are the existence of regulatory capture & asymmetric information

Regulatory Capture

  • Regulatory capture occurs when firms influence the regulators to change their decisions/policies to align more with the interests of the firm
    • Firms spend millions lobbying regulators directly - or in many cases lobbying politicians who can issue instructions to the regulators e.g in 2021 the former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, was caught in an embarrassing case of lobbying for a failed financial venture by a firm called Greensill Capital
  • Some lobbying activity is corrupt & there is a fine line between influencing activity & bribing. The UK Government has an agenda to improve the transparency of any lobbying activity
  • Naturally, regulatory capture can completely prevent fair outcomes in the markets concerned

Asymmetric Information

  • Often governments believe they are making the best decision in order to meet their aims
  • Many times it is not the best decision due to the fact that the government or regulators either do not have the full & relevant information - or they do not understand the market they are trying to regulate e.g. many financial markets are fast moving & incredibly complex
  • This existence of asymmetric information has been responsible for some spectacular government failures

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