1. Price-inelastic demand eventually leads to efficiency failures — which is why many goods subject to long-term price-inelastic demand end up being heavily regulated and/or socialized.
2. Rampant speculation has led to market failures through cycles of overvaluation, undiversified concentrations of capital, over-extended leveraging, and subsequent collapse…and to overly abstracted and complex instruments that “game the system” (the post-financialized system, that is) and perpetuate this cycle. This leads to greater debt burdens, bailouts, knee jerk regulations, and tanking of economic activity (constriction of credit and capital flows, etc.).
3. Negative externalities create market failures with the costs catch up with production and are finally accounted for — often because the externalities end up being situationally imposed, widespread and inescapable across entire markets (regardless of regulatory reactions, legal actions, product boycotts, etc., which also interrupt market allocations).
4. Resource depletion is a pretty common contributor to market failure.
5. Runaway rent-seeking also consistently leads to market failures because the market was excluded from the get-go.
6. Monopolies (whether naturally occurring or as a consequence of crony capitalism) are probably the single greatest contributors to longer-term market failure.
7. Unattended markets (i.e. unregulated markets) nearly always fail — there are only a handful of exceptions to this in recorded history.
There are more situations, but those are some of the ones worth researching carefully to understand why markets to fail in various ways. Pareto efficiency is a useful standard to evaluate failure, but there are many other metrics that help us evaluate when a market isn’t working as intended.
My 2 cents.
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