What sort of strategies do macro hedge funds employ? [more inside]
I'm looking for some good, meaty non-fiction to read over Christmas break while I'm home from grad school. Something with difficult ideas, yet readable and contemporary, and taking a fairly "big picture" view of a particular field. Any suggestions? Examples below. [more inside]
Yet-Another-Major-Filter: Economics vs. Finance vs. Accounting [more inside]
Why are mortgage interest rates currently so low? [more inside]
Is there an accepted expression or term that communicates when a corporation or capitalist venture jumps the shark? [more inside]
I was watching The Social Network yesterday when I realised that I don't know a thing about how economics work. What is stock dilution? What's a subprime? What are they selling in the stock market? Where can I find a simple, for-dummies guide to understanding modern economics? [more inside]
I was reading an article about fiscal responsibility legislation and the author referred to passing to (what I infer) was a spectacular budget blowout or deficit condition in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo. The article was dated 1996 so whatever it was, it would have been before that. Googling turns up nothing useful. Does anyone know anything about this, or have any pointers to any further resources (in English please)? Thanks in advance.
So I'm looking for some hard data on the Alberta Oil Sands: Employment rate, type of employment, demographics, who owns what, etc. I'm finding plenty of opinion pieces, and plenty of environmental assessments, but not much hard data on the economics of it. Does anyone know where to look for this kind of information?
I used to be a statistician. Now I work in Health Care IT. Help me unleash my inner RA Fisher and return to the land of skewness and kurtosis. [more inside]
Everyone seems to agree that the middle class is disappearing in the USA. What (reliable) studies and figures back this up? [more inside]
Is it just me, or are we at the start of the Greater Depression? Please either convince me I'm just paranoid, OR help me plan a reasonable course of action. [more inside]
How can I overlay global literacy and economic (poverty) data onto a map? [more inside]
Where can I find historical GDP data for the old Soviet Union? [more inside]
Economics: Is free trade good? 90% of economists say yes. But free trade depends on comparative advantage, and comparative advantage depends on capital immobility. And capital isn't immobile anymore; everyone invests everywhere now. So what gives? [more inside]
The US states are massively in debt, and public-sector layoffs are causing unemployment to stay high, even while the private sector recovers. The Federal Reserve can create dollars from nothing, and at the moment inflation is apparently a minor concern compared to deflation. What would happen if the Federal Reserve assumed much or all of the debt of the states? They could pay off the debts ex nihilo at a speed of their choosing, while allowing the states to create or save jobs. They could also simply grant money to those states that have relatively little debt. Does anything like this happen, and should it? [Not an economist]
Is there an economic measure that describes what proportion of GDP is produced by firms of different sizes? [more inside]
I'm reading Marx's "Capital" Vol. I and I'm looking for a "Dummy's Guide" to his economic theories. [more inside]
While looking at used Priuses on Craigslist (Minneapolis), I discovered a dealer in Faribault, MN that sells "repairable" cars. I started wondering where the money was in "repairable" cars and whether it was a scam or not. [more inside]
Is getting a minor in college worth anything? [more inside]
Help me find the name of this "Marxist Sceptic" thinker. I remember reading on aldaily.com within the last few months about a Marxist thinker who essentially came to the conclusion that though desirable, no socialist system of government would exist in the immediate future. I'm not sure if it was an obituary or something else.
I'm going to be starting up a new research agenda on the economics of marijuana policy with an undergraduate student this fall, and I'm looking for materials which can help both me and my student navigate through the legal jungle that is US marijuana policy. I had a few questions. [more inside]
Approximately how much of the productivity gains of the past 125 years has been a result of using fossil fuels? [more inside]
A desperate college student needs your advice, and also needs his homework checked. [more inside]
How can a private company offer stock options? [more inside]
Is this poll bogus? A conservative friend has sent me a link to this poll, conducted by Zogby International (which appears reputable), that gives low scores on "economic enlightenment" to women, the less-wealthy, infrequent Wal-Mart shoppers, non-Nascar fans, the unmarried, union members, Obama voters, etc., and doesn't correlate it with college attendance. [more inside]
Our stores are full of billions of items. What percentage of these things actually get bought and used? What happens to it all in the end? [more inside]
What effect will the change in US tax rates on dividends have on share prices and dividend payouts? [more inside]
Can you think of examples where a firm tried marketing a more expensive "fair trade" version of a standardized manufactured commodity in parallel? [more inside]
Where can I learn - in a hurry - the technological basics of the telecommunications/internet infrastructure? [more inside]
How can I as an "economist" make the most of an extended internship interview with a financial planner? [more inside]
Why doesn't the law of supply and demand seem to apply to certain professionals? For instance, there seems to be an abundance of lawyers. I've never met a lawyer who was too busy and had to turn down work. Yet they all seem to charge $250-500 or more an hour. I've also looked for programmers and designers. It's extremely difficult to find anyone good, and when you do, they're almost always too busy to take any additional work. Yet they still charge much less than lawyers. What factors are causing this?
Can anyone recommend a book which explains the basics of economic theory in a way accessible to physicists/mathematicians? [more inside]
I'm 24 and I already have an undergraduate degree. Now I want to study something completely different: economics. Turns out it's a little trickier than I first thought [rant inside] [more inside]
Is there an 'expiry date' on your studies when it comes to being admitted to a PhD? I'm thinking of working for a while first. [more inside]
The volcanic activity of this past week has revealed a significant weakness in our existing infrastructure. But what happens if Eyjafjallajokull's big sister Hekla erupts as it did in 1912? I am less interested in the most obvious impacts, but rather am fascinated by the unseen shifts that would have to occur in the background. [more inside]
What are the best articles and books that thoughtfully look back and analyze the financial crisis so far and its causes?
Does anyone know of a quick hit economic dashboard where I can get all the economic data in a snapshot? [more inside]
I last flew in September and the price was 300 bucks for one way non-stop flight. Now, in April, it's 600 dollars for the non-stop, and the cheapest flight has a layover, AND is 80 (380) dollars more. Is there a reason for the large increase in flying costs these past 6 months? [more inside]
In an OLS regression the coefficient is b = cov(X,Y)/var(X). What is the plain english interpretation of this coefficient in terms of variations (ie. b is the variation in Y that can be explained by variation in X)? How does this relate to r^2?
How can the weird advertising strategy employed by the walk-in tax prep places be worth it to the owners?
How do the economics of hiring minimum-wage sandwich board carriers work? [more inside]
I just read this in passing: "The State of Washington pretty well went broke on the Townsend Plan (during the 1930s) without getting the economic benefits it had hoped for. (I simplify, but it's a reasonable summary.)" I can find references to Francis Townsend, and his plan. What I haven't been able to find are any specific references to the state of Washington trying it out, with middling to bad effects. Anyone? Bueller? Thanks in advance.
Simple economics simulation for demonstrating economic concepts and instilling a gut feel for what various regulatory interventions would do? [more inside]
Help me get my head around the rationale or philosophy behind the budget for the U.S. Department of Defense. According to my rough numbers, it is more than 10 times that of the Department of Education. What is the justification / business case? Jobs? DARPA? China? I don't get it. Please enlighten me.
Media mail doesn't seem to make economic sense, and I'm curious why it exists... [more inside]
Economics for clotheshorses: Help me learn how consumer goods and services & manufacturing and business practices have changed for better and/or worse. [more inside]
I've heard it said that (in theory) the advent of a cure for cancer would cause a serious financial crisis because of the vast scale of the healthcare complex devoted to current treatments. So, the obvious question: Is there any credible evidence that promising (not woo-woo) therapies for diseases such as cancer and diabetes have been derailed because of the sheer scale of financial and institutional resources invested in the status quo?
How do I make microeconomics fun? [more inside]
From a Reuters newsreport about Greece's government response plan to their economic meltdown: "From 1. Jan. 2011, every transaction above 1,500 euros between natural persons and businesses, or between businesses, will not be considered legal if it is done in cash. Transactions will have to be done through debit or credit cards" Are they doing this for any other reason than making it easier to collect a sales tax? How can they enforce it? What will happen if someone pays for an item with over 1500 euros in cash, will someone repossess it? Have other countries done something like this?
I am watching this yale lecture on game theory and the Nash equilibrium. Please explain why the cost coefficient is exponential. [more inside]
When I was in 4th (maybe 5th) grade, we were shown a series of educational programs where a dude with magical powers helped kids solve everyday problems (what leisure activity is the best? how should I invest my allowance to get what I most desire?) through basic ecnomic principles. What is this show? [more inside]