Moving Beyond Market Failure: When the Failure is Government’s

Joseph Heath lumps in rent-seeking with cartelization, taking advantage of information asymmetries, seeking a monopoly position, and so on, as all instances of behaviour that can lead to market failures in his market failures approach to business ethics. The problem is that rent and rentseeking, when they fail to deliver socially desirable outcomes, are instances of government failure. I try to argue that this is so, offer an amendment to Heath’s approach, and then explain why accurately describing the failure matters.