I've come across a website exporting used silk and rayon saris from India. A few seem in poor condition, or have some obvious stains. But some appear pristine. My question is, one, is there not a market for second-hand saris in India? Two, what renders a sari unwearable, apart from stains and rips and obvious wear? Like, would you not be seen dead in a fabric pattern from 5 years ago? And three, would you not want your mother's or grandmother's vintage silk saris, and if not, wouldn't somebody else? I can't understand why it makes economic sense to export this stuff: the garments on the website seem too cheap for 5 yards of vivid silk, even if the buyer has to discard portions of it.
I'm looking for a book or website I read a few years ago about sovereign default and how it's actually a GOOD thing. The author pointed out several examples in history where countries had defaulted on their debt and emerged more-or-less okay (if I recall correctly there were examples dating back to antiquity). Does anyone have any idea what this was?
It is said that economics is about scarcity, and scarcity is defined by economists as the fundamental economic problem of having seemingly unlimited human wants in a world of limited resources. What economists and other social scientists have cried out and poked at this idea? [more inside]
Which articles, written before and as "shock therapy" economic liberalization policies were being implemented in Russia, have best been borne out over time? [more inside]
Around the time of the Occupy protests, I read an article that described a concept like "Subsumed State" or "Shadow State" or something. I thought it was by Mike Konczal, but I can't find it his archives and I'm pretty sure he was referring to someone else's ideas about this. [more inside]
I'm looking for an essay that I once read which talks about how business owners tend to let employees go or reduce their hours (and pay) as productivity increases, pocketing the difference for themselves as profit rather than sharing (any of) it with their employees. I believe it takes the stance that it would be better for everyone, in the long-run, if the owners shared at least some of the gains they realize from increased productivity with their workers. [more inside]
Does the labor force participation rate account for undocumented workers?
I want to become literate in two of the major fields that are the most foreign to me, business and finance or economics. Can you help with book or website recommendations? [more inside]
I'm currently traveling in a developing country (Ghana) and got the very common feeling that "I'm so privileged/lucky" compared to some of the underprivileged people here. I'd like to continue this train of thought, and read more books about privilege, dealing with privilege (do we have a responsibility to give back since we have privilege?), and generally how inequality comes about. What do you recommend? Some books I've found on this topic are inside. [more inside]
I'm basically teaching myself how to do pass an PhD economics placement test, and I'm looking for resources to learn these things that aren't books. [more inside]
I have just completed my MSc in mathematics in Europe. I do enjoy math, but I spent my uni years feeling like a autodidact hippie marooned on an island full of Mr and Mrs I-Want-A-Good-Job. My main interests revolve around humanities (literature/history/anthropology) and economics (but not finance), and instead of starting a "stable" well-paying career I dream about something inter-disciplinary. I am very open to earning little money and relocating just to do kind of work that engages those skills. What are some random uses of my degree? [more inside]
How common is it for American workers to deliberately get fired in order to collect on unemployment insurance?
Has anyone ever attempted to realistically and fully work out what the economic and/or sociological implications of a world where dungeons and dragons or lord of the ring-style magic exists? For example, how it would impact the feudal system and so on. In any form, essay, fiction or otherwise.
There are lots of interesting SF&F economic systems that are without money -- post-scarcity AI-nano cornucopias, magic subsistence economies, etc. For those who imagine worlds that still have money, though, what are the most interesting speculative monetary/currency/financial systems? (Please feel free to mention the obvious-to-you, as I've got big gaps in my SF&F reading and watching.) Thanks! [more inside]
I'm working on a novel (yeah, yeah) in which the bad guys are, among other things, a couple of rival business-criminal assholes. I know nearly zero about business, finance, and politics, and I don't want to talk about these folks in ways that show me to be the faffy prancing buffoon I really am. [more inside]
I'm looking for any studies that examine time use and grooming, for men and women, and what that means for financial outcomes. NOT: Do well-groomed people get paid more?, but the time that women spend maintaining a traditionally "feminine" appearance, over a lifetime, means time NOT spent cultivating X Y and Z lucrative skills. Have you seen any economists studying this? [more inside]
Hi, My ten year old daughter wants to start getting an allowance this summer when school is out. My husband and I thought about it and we thought 10 dollars a week would be good. But we are trying to decide the pros and cons of attaching the allowance to chores. [more inside]
In Poul Anderson’s “The Last of the Deliverers,” (spoilers ahead) he describes a future America in which, for all practical purposes, cheap solar energy and a culture of decreased desires for material advancement (people are essentially satisfied with a comfortable, but low, standard of living) have led to a kind of utopia. The plot of the story is, more or less, that two representatives of remnants from an older culture – a small-government type in the Barry Goldwater mold as well as a member of the American Communist Party – meet in a village and argue about the virtues of their respective ideologies, but cannot appreciate that social evolution and the lack of scarcity produced by it has made their political differences (and their politics) largely pointless and obsolete. So how am I to understand the last half-paragraph of the story, which seems to undercut the entire story in a most paradoxical way: [more inside]
What are some great, accessible books that would allow me to learn more about social choice theory without having to become an economist? I am thinking something along the likes of James Gleick's "popular science" Information Theory book, but for social choice theory. [more inside]
I am looking for resources, online or in print, for how a society spanning many planets could function economically. I have read some novels that treat this matter seriously, but rarely in the level of detail that I am looking for. [more inside]
Greetings. 16 year old daughter is completing an assignment for Economics and she needs an insurance quote for a 22 year old female who lives in a smallish city (Baltimore) for a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. She was gonna enter her SSN in an insurance site and say she is 22. I told her (for obvious reasons) no... but we can't find a site which will give us a quote without one. Suggestions?
I work at my local County Hospital and for the last two weeks we've had a very low census. I hear rumors that the local Giant HMO and local For Profit Hospital Chain are packed right now. I also know one Local For Profit but Independent and Unaffiliated Hospital is at risk of closing right now because of extremely low census. So for folks who actually work in hospitals (and clinics?) are you seeing a change in number of patients since Obamacare started? [more inside]
Have you ever heard of a problem in economics called something like "Going to Cleveland"? I read about it years ago, maybe even here, but I can't find it anywhere now. As I remember it, it involves a group of people who are making plans to drive somewhere, but each of those people would secretly prefer not to go. Since they don't reveal their preferences to each other, though, they each assume that the others would rather go, and so they agree that they will too. The result is a suboptimal outcome for everybody. Am I making this up? Or does this really have a name and a full explanation?
What good articles have you read about the Great Recession? I'm particularly interested in resources that help explain the causes, effects and responses to the recent Recession. Bonus if the article/video/infographic/etc. helps explain how the causes, effects, or responses are similar to or different than the causes/effects/responses to the Great Depression. [more inside]
I'm interested in tea and its history, especially its role in global trade and conflict. Are there any great nonfiction books that cover the subject without focusing exclusively on a certain time period or location? [more inside]
I'm writing an update of a very old and very funny short book. In the original, the author rails against God; in my modernisation it will rail against the free market — replacing one invisible hand with another. I need someone who is very well-versed with economic theory, who still has their finger on the pulse, who has a sense of humour, and who is willing to brainstorm with me for an hour or two a week. More info inside. [more inside]
I'm trying to reconcile two numbers from the same national statistical agency. I'm looking for a dummy's guide for what defines the difference between the two numbers and how to use one to estimate the other. [more inside]
Am I employable at 46 years of age in the area of International Development/Public Policy if I get a Masters having had no prior experience in the 'industry'? [more inside]
One day I googled "what is the most effective way to help the world" and found a link that told me to "identify a cause with lots of leverage".
I'd really like to write a paper exploring the macroeconomic effects of the Iran sanctions for a grad-level class, which requires some analysis of raw data. However, official data sources are obviously unreliable and I'm not having much luck finding unbiased unofficial data, gah. Does anyone have any ideas of potential data sources? I have access to a good academic library. Thanks!
I'm looking for news sources, reports written by reputable NGOs, detailed maps, long-form magazine articles regarding newsworthy events and other general info on the current state of politics, economics, stability and other issues of geopolitical interest related to South Sudan. I would like to dedicate approximately one or two full working days to informing myself about the past 10-15 years of history and the current state of the country.
I'd like to read some things online each day that make me think about business and economic principles. Know some good blogs / publications / message boards? [more inside]
I just finished reading Jeremy Adelman's biography of Albert O. Hirschman. I loved the book because it vividly explained Hirschman's ideas (he was an economist and scholar of political thought) and because Hirschman had a fascinating and compelling life story. Can you recommend biographies of major thinkers in the social sciences and philosophy?
Settle a bet: Friend claimed that Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal" and "Making Money" where unique in the fantasy genre for dealing so much with the economics and " white collar" systems of a fantasy setting. I said that couldn't be true but couldn't think of any examples ( they abound in Sci-Fi, but we're talking wands and robes here, and the Baroque Cycle is only kind-of-fantasy). So, what are some examples of fantasy novels where things like labor unions, mediums of exchange, guild politics, trade imbalances, commodities markets, hostile takeovers and government regulation are both explored and woven into the plot? [more inside]
Economics question regarding the relationship between the relatively high purchasing power of the "developed nations" and the debts (sovereign and other) of the so called "developing nations". If the Make Poverty History campaigns to cancel debts of developing nations are successful will this result in a noticeable reduction in the purchasing power of average people in "creditor nations" like the UK, USA, Germany, etc? [more inside]
Has anyone come across good sources on the history and evolution of the term "tax haven"? I am looking for sources detailing at least its first appearance in written or spoken English, and if possible the date in which it was (wrongly) translated into French as "tax heaven" (paradis fiscal). [more inside]
Why can't the US Government just mint 17 of the trillion dollar coins and be done with it, and just pay off the whole deficit in one go? [more inside]
Some time ago, I came across a paper analyzing the predictions or theories of a number of economists relating to the recent economic troubles. The paper was very detailed (I didn't finish it) but the gist was that every single theory or prediction analyzed was wrong. Anyone know what I'm talking about and where I might find it? [more inside]
What are some good scifi / fantasy / horror novels about economics? [more inside]
Many years ago I read an essay that was pretty critical of the way so much fantasy fiction could not build believable societies with plausible economic underpinnings. The author was fairly concise and snarky, arguing that (I'm paraphrasing here) she could suspend disbelief about dragons and magic, but that she couldn't slog her way through a book where not the least bit of thought had been given to how all these characters and their associates could make a living, grow or acquire food, and otherwise acquire money and engage in trade. I think it was an essay by Joanna Russ in Fantasy & Science Fiction in the 70s, when she had a regular book review column there, but I could be conflating like mad.
And where can I read more about the economics of the cheap labour industry? [more inside]
Europe has seen a gradual but definite expansion in economic regulation. While in recent years it has had a lot to do with the financial crisis, there has been an increasing trend in economic regulation for the last few decades. Why has this been occurring exactly especially since so many speak of an era of deregulation prior to the financial crisis?
What are my chances of getting into a decent economics grad program with a math degree with a "meh" GPA (3.2ish), a law degree with a pretty good GPA (3.7+), and a high GRE quantitative score (790)? Also, how much does the prestige (rank) of grad program matter in the economics field? [more inside]
I'm looking for a better word or term of art for the most important customer of a company, in particular one that provides the most revenue. [more inside]
How do I calculate the differences in welfare for a state when an import quota is applied to an industry that is controlled by a monopolist at home, vs an industry that is perfectly competitive at home? [more inside]
I'm asking this for a friend in neuroeconomics. She says:
A man is looking outside a window at the 13th floor and see another man is falling. The former asks the latter "How are you doing". The latter answers: "Fine so far".Can you help her find this comic? If not the exact comic, could you suggest any other comics that "illustrate people's ignorance to the incoming risk or uncertainty?"
How have sociologists and/or economists historically defined or measured "middle class" in the United States or the developed world generally? I mean over the last 100-200 years. [more inside]
I am interested in conducting some preliminary research on this topic and am looking for the key thinkers and arguments on either side of this debate. [more inside]
I'm curious about the real-world economics of being a musician who "made it" but is not, say, Sir Elton John or Bruce Springsteen or Jay-Z. For instance, how's James McNew, bassist of the incomparable Yo La Tengo, doing? Is Ken Bethea, guitarist for the Old 97's, comfortable? Ian Matthews, drummer for Kasabian, are you sorted for a comfortable retirement? [more inside]
If a bucket of bolts (BOB) costs $10 today and $23 a month later, is the BOB worth more or is money worth less? How do I know when money is worth less or more, or the thing it's buying is worth more or less. Or am I saying the same thing? Arghhhh. Please be gentle.