Economists love the concept of externalities – factors that cost you or benefit you, for which you made no contribution, or for which you bare no blame. In this week’s podcast Phil Dobbie describe show his new neighbour said he hopes he does his house up, because gentrification benefits everyone in the street because everyone’s house goes up in value. He asks Steve Keen whether, if that’s the case, he should charge his neighbour for some of the work, given he will benefit financially. Increasingly it’s possible to find ways that people can pay for the external benefits you receive – but, the fact that you can, does that mean that you should?
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