A Short History of Socialist Economic Thought by Gerd Hardack, Dieter Karras, Ben Fine

By Gerd Hardack, Dieter Karras, Ben Fine

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However there would also be an indirect benefit to society because lower energy prices imply lower input costs for industry and this might make a minor contribution to lowering inflation. However, there are also potentially significant external costs associated with the generation of nuclear energy. In particular there are serious environmental and health risks to those who work in the power station or live in its vicinity. More generally in the case of a nuclear leak, radiation can contaminate vast areas, as the Chernobyl disaster of the 1980s demonstrated.

The response of consumers to a change in real income is referred to as the income effect. However, when the relative prices of goods change, there will also be a substitution effect. When the relative price of a good falls the substitution effect is simply the substitution of this good for other goods which are now relatively more expensive. The substitution effect is therefore always negative. ) Conversely for most goods and services the income effect is positive. ) However, for some goods, usually of low quality, the income effect is negative; that is, demand falls as real income increases.

A good is non-excludable when it is either impossible or too expensive to prevent someone from consuming it. Again, if a lighthouse is constructed, it is impossible to prevent ships from using it as a navigational aid. Option 2 is therefore correct. Because public goods are non-rival in consumption and non-excludable it is impossible to levy a charge for them. Who would pay to consume a public good when the amount available does not diminish with use, and non-payers cannot be prevented from consuming it?

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