Facilitated Market Solutions for Social Problems

This working paper by Mercatus Center Research Associate, Andrew Perraut and Richard Williams, the Managing Director of Regulatory Studies Program and Government Accountability Project explores the

Prior to the wave of regulations that began sweeping the country in the 20th century, virtually all solutions to social problems were solved by private markets. One solution for ensuring the quality and integrity of products was the creation of third party certifications, such as the "Seal of Good Housekeeping," which is still in use today. Word of mouth served for many to spread information about good and bad products. Direct word of mouth has now been amplified by internet RSS feeds, blogs, and other information on the Web. Normal market processes still solve most of the social problems confronting society today, matching society’s productive resources to the particular demands of consumers.