## Visualizing the Tragedy of the Commons

When a resource is abundant, it makes sense for it to be cheap. But as the scarcity of a resource (whether it’s renewable or non-renewable) is intensified under the pressure of growing demand and diminishing supply, a market failure arises if an efficient price is note established that assures the resources is consumed at a sustainable quantity. This lesson illustrates a simple supply and demand analysis of the Tragedy of the Commons.

A nation’s terms of trade determine the value of its exports relative to the price of its imports. Using price indexes, a nation can calculate its terms of trade and analyze changes in in it to determine whether imported goods are becoming relatively cheaper or more expensive compared to its exports.

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## Asymmetric Information as a Market Failure

When the buyers or sellers in a market do not know all the same information, it is possible that the equilibrium quantity will be greater than what is best for society. The existence of such “information asymmetry” can lead to market failures, as will be explained in this lesson.

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## Public Goods as a Market Failure

A market failure exists when the private sector fails to produce the socially optimal level of output (where marginal social benefit equals marginal social cost). An extreme form of market failure arises in the case of public goods, which, due to their characteristics, are not provided by the free market at all.

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## Calculating the Effects of a Specific, Indirect Tax

This lesson will apply linear equations to calculate the exact impact of an excise tax on cigarettes, determining the new equilibrium price and quantity, and calculating the amount of tax paid by consumers and by producers.

## Calculating Exchange Rates from Linear Equations

An exchange rate is simply an equilibrium price in a market for a currency, and like the prices of other goods, services and resources, a currency’s value can be calculated if the equations for supply and demand are known. This lesson will demonstrate how to calculate an equilibrium exchange rate from linear equations, and in part 2 demonstrate how an intervention by a central bank can lead to a change in demand or supply of a currency and thus trigger a change in its value.

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## Calculating Prices in different Currencies using Exchange Rates

If you know the exchange rates of two currencies, you can calculate the prices of goods in one country in another country’s currency. This lesson walks you through several problems in which calculations of different exchange rates allow us to determine how much goods and services in one currency will cost in terms of another.