On externalities and making economics loveable

Brian Caplan at EconLog writes: “When Princeton’s Roland Benabou visited GMU a couple weeks ago, he made an argument I’ve occasionally heard before: Non-economists would disagree with economists less, and respect our views more, if we put more emphasis on the concept of externalities. When economists talk about markets, the argument goes, we usually seem tone deaf to non-economists’ concerns. If we put more emphasis on the concept of externalities, non-economists could see that it is easy to translate their concerns into our language – and that we have every reason to take their concerns seriously.” read more

So should economist put more emphasis on externalities? Here are Brian Caplan’s and Tim Harfod’s views on the matter.

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