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The powerful theorems of welfare economics operate under a range of assumptions. Two of the most significant are the existence of competitive markets for all goods and services – including futures markets – and the unbounded rationality of all economic agents who act independently to maximize payoffs. In the contributions discussed in this research review, economists come to grips with the consequences of markets falling short of assumptions, as well as the response of institutions to observed market characteristics. This comprehensive study will be of interest to economists and policymakers who wish to understand the strengths and limitations of the market mechanism of resource allocation.