The Lighthouse Debate and the Dynamics of Interventionism

The Review of Austrian Economics, Forthcoming

44 Pages Posted: 29 May 2018

See all articles by Rosolino Candela

Rosolino Candela

Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Vincent Geloso

Bates College

Date Written: May 16, 2018

Abstract

Coase’s publication of “The Lighthouse in Economics” (1974) sparked a polarizing debate over his claim that government intervention is not necessary for the existence of a private lighthouse market. The purpose of this paper is to reframe this debate by asking the following question: why was nationalization the outcome of lighthouse regulation? We answer this question by utilizing the Austrian theory of interventionism to illustrate how regulation of the lighthouse market distorted the entrepreneurial market process. We argue that the nationalization of the lighthouse market in England and Wales was a result of prior government failure to exclude private lighthouses from the market, not a failure of the entrepreneurial market process to privately provide lighthouses.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Dynamics of Interventionism; Lighthouses; Regulation

JEL Classification: B53; D72; L51

Suggested Citation

Candela, Rosolino and Geloso, Vincent, The Lighthouse Debate and the Dynamics of Interventionism (May 16, 2018). The Review of Austrian Economics, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3179536

Rosolino Candela (Contact Author)

Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Vincent Geloso

Bates College ( email )

Department of Economics
Lewiston, ME
United States

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