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Running head: Assignment 2: Externalities Assignment 2: Externalities
Professor: Dr. Camille Castorina
Economic Problems & Issues
November 8, 2015 2 Assignment 2: Externalities
Introduction Externalities are considered the consequence of a commercial or business activity that has
a direct impact on other people or businesses without the cost of goods and services being
affected. According to relevant information covered in the textbook, "Externalities are
considered the benefits or costs incurred in the production or consumption of goods and services
that do not accrue to the production and consumption unit, but rather accrue to the remainder of
the society. Externality in consumption is considered a change in satisfaction, which can be
either positive or negative, for someone other than the direct consumer of an item. Externality in
production is considered the production of good or service leading the cost changes, either
positive or negative, in the production of other items. Externality in consumption, positive is an
increase in the satisfaction of one person caused by the consumption of a good or service by
another person; education, especially K?12, is said to create such externalities." [Sha13]
Positive externalities occur when the production or consumption of a good of service provides
third-party benefits. A negative externality occurs when the production or consumption of a good
or service provides a hardship to a third party.
Positive and Negative Externalities
The first example of externality from a negative standpoint is a city deciding to
implement and build a new highway. The external cost could be the elimination of a beautiful
landscape that society will no longer be able to enjoy. In addition, the new highway can also
have a private cost impact on the community through tolls and increased taxes. The government
would benefit from the highway being developed because it can collect more taxes. Society
would benefit because although the landscape would be no more, commutes to and from Assignment 2: Externalities 3 destinations in the local area would be more convenient because of the highway. The solution to
this negative externality can be for the government to utilize tax or toll money from the highways
to improve academics within public schools.
The second example of externalities from a positive standpoint is a local farmer who
grows oranges and provides benefit to the local grocery stores. The local grocery stores get a
quality local grown product to help increase revenue. The orange production provides a social
benefit to society which will be far greater than the farmer?s personal benefit. The government's
benefit would be that with the increase in revenue of local grocery stores, increased taxes can be
collected. Societies benefit would be that local oranges will be available for purchase at the local
grocery stores at a lower cost.
The third example of externalities from a positive standpoint is a student earning an
education from a strategic college. Although this is considered a private benefit, the student can
then use the education to help educate other people creating a social benefit. The government's
benefit would be that the student educated will go and gain employment and pay into the federal
tax system and stimulate the economy. Business organizations can benefit because this will be
one more educated person available for hire.
Just to recap the elements covered throughout this paper, externalities our benefits within
the production or consumption of goods and services. Externalities are an important element
within society. It can create incentives and benefits that people and businesses can embrace. I
consider it a fact that externalities are the impacts on society as a result of our actions as a whole. Assignment 2: Externalities
Externalities are a part of what people say and what they do. Externalities can help society to
bridge the gap between what is considered the best and worst benefit for people or community. 4 5 Assignment 2: Externalities
Sharp, A., Register, C., Grimes, P. (2013). Economics of Social Issues, 20th Edition.
[VitalSource Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from
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