In today’s episode I’m honoured to welcome back Bryan Cheang of Students for Liberty to discuss the fascinating topic of market failure. We discuss the textbook definition of the phrase, how it deviates from the mainstream use of the term, and whether state intervention is the best means to solve market failures. This is an episode jam packed with much to learn and many cases to learn from, including market failures regarding pollution, healthcare, education, and much more.

In this episode, we discuss:
  • The textbook definition of market failure with its feature of competitive equilibrium and Pareto efficiency
  • 2 examples of market failure arguments, positive and negative externalities, and how they play out in the real world
  • Where the mainstream use of the term deviates from the textbook definition
  • Why it is wrong to use equity as a standard to judge capitalism
  • The “nirvana fallacy” and why it can be dangerous to regard the State as infallible
  • Public Choice Theory, special interest groups, and the insidious consequence of concentrated benefits with dispersed costs
  • The inefficiencies of the NHS in the UK, and alternative solutions to state intervention
  • How PIC grants in Singapore can have negative societal effects

Much thanks again to my guest Bryan for being such a wonderful guest on the show, if you would like to learn more about him, you can check out his organization and what they do, you can go to, or from an earlier podcast episode here.

Lastly, links to SFL’s coming event on the economic impact of prohibition can be found here.

For more content, you can follow the Economical Rice Podcast at the following links below:




Image credits goes to the Associated Press.

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