Unintended Consequences

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Unintended consequences entail the attainment of ends not originally envisioned when a person decides to pursue a particular course of action; the employment of particular means, expected to produce a certain desired consequence, actually produces different or additional consequences not intended ex-ante by the chooser. This chapter discusses both the underlying theory of unintended consequences and a number of empirical studies, both domestic and international, detailing negative unintended consequences of interventions generally presumed to be conceived and instituted out of the benevolent motives of government actors.