How the price mechanism determines the equilibrium price in the market and why governments may intervene

1699 WordsJun 15, 20057 Pages
Matthew McDowell Assuming there is pure competition in the market place, and no government intervention, we are able to focus on how the price mechanism determines the equilibrium price in the market. Markets can be effective at resolving the basic issues of what and how much to produce at a certain price level although left to operate on its own, the market can still create unsatisfactory outcomes. When markets do not produce the desired outcome, it is known as market failure and when this occurs, governments may intervene in the market. How the price mechanism brings about the equilibrium price in the market can be determined assuming we have pure competition in the market place and no government intervention. Simply put, the concept…show more content…
Although markets can be effective at resolving the basic issues of what and how much to produce, left to operate by itself, the market can still create unsatisfactory outcomes. For goods and services in product markets, the market price may be considered to be too high or too low. From the free interplay of demand and supply, the equilibrium quantity that results may also be considered too high or too low. Some goods and services may not even be produced at all. Market failure, when a market left to itself does not allocate resources efficiently and when the desired outcomes of a market are not produced, occurs because the price mechanism takes account of the private costs and benefits of production, to producers and consumers, but does not take into account the impact of an economic activity on outsiders. For example, the market may ignore the costs imposed on outsiders by a firm polluting the environment. Governments may intervene in the market when market failure occurs. The market determined price for some commodities may be thought by the government to be too high or too low. The government may therefore intervene in the marketplace in order to apply either price ceilings, where the government imposes a limit on how high a price can be charged for a product, or price floors, the minimum price that can be charged for a particular commodity. Affecting the

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