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Economics and Magic

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.
posted by empath on Jul 12, 2014 - 23 answers

Most interesting science fiction/fantasy monetary or currency systems?

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]
posted by deathmarch to epistemic closure on Jul 6, 2014 - 18 answers

Explain business to an innumerate child.

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]
posted by Mister Moofoo on Jun 11, 2014 - 11 answers

How much does shaving your legs cost you?

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]
posted by Ollie on Jun 10, 2014 - 10 answers

Is your child's allowance dependent on chores?

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]
posted by lynnie-the-pooh on May 5, 2014 - 44 answers

Today's science-fiction story: P. Anderson's classic "A Plate of Beans."

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]
posted by Mr. Justice on Apr 21, 2014 - 4 answers

Like Gleick is to Information Theory, X is to Social Choice Theory

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]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Apr 3, 2014 - 2 answers

Economics... in space!

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]
posted by deathpanels on Mar 5, 2014 - 9 answers

Car insurance estimate without having to enter SSN.. see 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?
posted by brownrd on Mar 4, 2014 - 6 answers

Where have all the patients gone...

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]
posted by latkes on Mar 3, 2014 - 6 answers

The "Going to ????" Problem

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?
posted by derrinyet on Mar 1, 2014 - 4 answers

Differences/similarities between Great Recession & Great Depression

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]
posted by leitmotif on Feb 1, 2014 - 6 answers

Any great nonfiction books on the history of tea and its global trade?

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]
posted by cowbellemoo on Jan 13, 2014 - 11 answers

Where to look for an economist who might want to help write a book?

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]
posted by omnigut on Nov 10, 2013 - 19 answers

Economics 101: How to read national accounts

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]
posted by MuffinMan on Oct 22, 2013 - 6 answers

Career Change in Mid Life - International Development

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]
posted by spicynuts on Oct 10, 2013 - 15 answers

Activist filter: What is the cause with the most leverage/greatest need?

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".
posted by defmute on Oct 2, 2013 - 10 answers

Where can I find reliable economic data for Iran?

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!
posted by superquail on Oct 2, 2013 - 4 answers

Reputable, informative sources regarding South Sudan

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.
posted by thewalrus on Sep 25, 2013 - 5 answers

Daily online reads about Business & Economics

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]
posted by meadowlark lime on Sep 11, 2013 - 5 answers

Recommendations for biographies of big thinkers

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?
posted by EtTuHealy on Sep 9, 2013 - 4 answers

Economic Fantasy And The Anti-Anthem.

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]
posted by The Whelk on Aug 26, 2013 - 30 answers

What would be the PPP impact of cancellations of debt?

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]
posted by mary8nne on Jul 16, 2013 - 1 answer

How did we get from "tax haven" to "tax heaven" to "tax hell"?

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]
posted by ipsative on Jun 23, 2013 - 6 answers

Deficit? We don't need no steenking deficit!

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]
posted by humpy on Jun 22, 2013 - 21 answers

Where is this paper on economists being wrong I'm remembering?

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]
posted by DyRE on May 22, 2013 - 6 answers

I read it for the economics and the unicorns

What are some good scifi / fantasy / horror novels about economics? [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack on May 16, 2013 - 23 answers

Essay on fantasy fiction, economics and trade

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.
posted by maudlin on May 7, 2013 - 6 answers

Why are Bangladesh,Indonesia & Vietnam replacing China for cheap labour?

And where can I read more about the economics of the cheap labour industry? [more inside]
posted by ethelwulf on Apr 27, 2013 - 8 answers

Increased economic regulation in Europe over the past few decades?

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?
posted by espada0 on Mar 10, 2013 - 8 answers

Economics Grad school?

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]
posted by Geppp on Mar 7, 2013 - 11 answers

A better word for 'most valuable customer'?

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]
posted by heliostatic on Feb 28, 2013 - 22 answers

Marginal Revenue, Residual Demand Curves, Quotas and Monopolists

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]
posted by tokaidanshi on Feb 27, 2013 - 3 answers

Can you find this?

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?"
posted by tickingclock on Feb 20, 2013 - 8 answers

Middle of What?

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]
posted by Wretch729 on Feb 14, 2013 - 6 answers

Do global markets promote global peace?

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]
posted by ageispolis on Feb 10, 2013 - 7 answers

How much do successful, but not megasuccessful, musicians make?

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]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Feb 5, 2013 - 46 answers

help a layman understand money and price

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.
posted by larry_darrell on Feb 4, 2013 - 11 answers

Economics of online glasses sellers

I am looking for background on the means of production for the well known online glasses retailers (Zenni, 39dollarglasses, etc.) How are orders fulfilled, from placement to delivery in stores such as these? It is an intriguing business, but there is little background information available for the curious. [more inside]
posted by Lugos on Feb 2, 2013 - 14 answers

One last economics class to take. What are my online options?

My friend has one last class to take. Economics 10B at UC Santa Cruz. She's already clarified with the dean that she can take this lower division class at an accredited institution. Where can she get this done as quickly and painlessly as possible? BYU Online? [more inside]
posted by just.good.enough on Jan 13, 2013 - 5 answers

Community bike shop impact studies?

Are there any studies on community bike shop impact studies on adult personal & economic self-sufficiency? [more inside]
posted by aniola on Jan 7, 2013 - 11 answers

Does this behavioral bias have a name?

I’m interested in learning more about the phenomenon where people who experience a particular scenario become especially focused on that scenario, to the exclusion of other scenarios that may be statistically more likely, and possibly even leading to irrational or risky behavior. [more inside]
posted by payoto on Jan 5, 2013 - 9 answers

The economics of small manicure/pedicure spas in NYC

What are the economics of the tons of small manicure/pedicure spas and their employees in Manhattan? There are multiple places on many blocks, and when I pass them there always seems to be at least a dozen technicians in each, most of whom are just waiting for the next customer. [more inside]
posted by unionsquarepark on Dec 27, 2012 - 6 answers

Help me find and explore the methodological pigeon-hole of my department

Help me to philosophically pigeon-hole what I take to be the methodological views of many professors in my economics department. Then help me to explore that and other pigeon-holes. [more inside]
posted by mister_kaupungister on Dec 1, 2012 - 10 answers

Please recommend podcasts about accounting, economics, or finance.

Please recommend podcasts about accounting, economics, or finance. A Canadian focus would be a bonus but not a necessity.
posted by sockpup on Nov 30, 2012 - 7 answers

Which of these paths will point me in the best direction?

Please help me pick the most relevant program for my career/education goals. [more inside]
posted by Malleable on Nov 25, 2012 - 5 answers

Abundance Economics Truth or Fiction?

Abundance or Scarcity: Is current global aggregate production of consumable 'necessities' sufficient for current global population? Or are food shortages and starvation due to insufficient aggregate production? [more inside]
posted by mary8nne on Nov 23, 2012 - 4 answers

Economics for Mathematicians

Economics Mathematics: I have a Maths degree but lately I've become interested in Economics (Microeconomics and Macroeconomics) and have been reading some textbooks and classic texts and doing some online lecture courses on Economics. But find many of that the "handwaving" graphical "proofs" of economic theories lack a sense of mathematical robustness. Do more thorough mathematics for these ideas exist? Where can I find them? [more inside]
posted by mary8nne on Nov 16, 2012 - 9 answers

Wait, what IS economics anyways?

I read this article and I'm fascinated by the effects of current events on how money moves through the world and how money seems to affect other money. I've found a new interest! But, I don't even know what it's called! How can I study this? [more inside]
posted by windykites on Nov 8, 2012 - 8 answers

What is this behavioral economics experiment I am thinking of?

What is this behavioral economics experiment I am thinking of? [more inside]
posted by ManInSuit on Oct 28, 2012 - 4 answers

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