Is the set of subsidies exactly the same as the set of things that subsidise?

Put another way: can there exist something that subsidises that is not a subsidy?

Or are there two definitions of a subsidy: the narrow economic definition, and a wider definition that includes (for example) everything that has the effect of a subsidy.


My answer relies on two quotes. The first one:

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

And the second one is from the definition of State Aid by the European Union's competition authority:

State aid is defined as an advantage in any form whatsoever conferred on a selective basis to undertakings by national public authorities.

There is a difference between illegal state aid and subsidies, but the difference is in the "selective basis". Aid in any form that confers an advantage is aid.

  • $\begingroup$ I struggle to understand this answer. $\endgroup$
    – 52d6c6af
    Jun 20 '19 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ That's alright, I also struggled to understand the question. If you point out what exactly you do not understand I may try to elaborate. If you find the whole answer is gibberish please consider making the question clearer. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Jun 20 '19 at 14:56

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