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]
The story of how Corporations became legal people using the 14th amendment is pretty famous. But that's a US phenomenon. How did it work out in other countries? Are corporations legal people in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia etc? [more inside]
Help a student decide on a college: Mines or DU. [more inside]
Enlisting Armchair Economists: Help me find articles on a variety of economic topics. [more inside]
Profit has been an effective motivator for progress in a variety of areas in our society. But often when left unchecked by regulation or social norms, the drive for profits leads to exploitation and abuse. What are some examples of systems where profit is still an effective driver, but where regulations do a good job of curbing abuse?
What common salad bar items provide the best ratio of weight versus nutrient value for optimal cost-effectiveness? [more inside]
With hundreds of years of accumulated data on how economies 'work' available for analysis, how is it possible that it is still unclear (it seems) whether or not - and to what extent - a government should boost an economy that is in a slowdown? [more inside]
"Sweatshops"? Overseas labor. looking for pros and cons; discussion on how to define/evaluate whether work done overseas is beneficial or harmful for the workers and country involved. [more inside]
What was the economic impact of Jim Crow? [more inside]
I used to have a really nice chart showing the growth of the US GDP from the early 1800s through now. I think it was a Fed chart with the recession eras shaded. Can anyone help me find this?
What if all the major world economies defaulted on their external debts at once? [more inside]
Is it better, environmentally speaking, to buy a physical CD for £6 and have it mailed to me, or to buy a digital copy for £7? [more inside]
Why is my energy company asking me to cut back on energy use? The grocery store doesn't try to get me to buy less food. The gas station doesn't try to help me get better mileage. [more inside]
Considering grad school for public policy, economics, international development. Help me sort out my life. [more inside]
Do-Gooder Needs Help With Amusing Slackronym! [more inside]
Did ancient greeks pay for their tickets to the theatre? The Romans for their seats at the Circus? [more inside]
[Economics101Filter] How is it that the cost of living can go up, but salaries stay the same? Economics n00b questions inside. [more inside]
Trying to understand issues around cricket as compared to baseball -- player drafting, financing, culture/conduct, etc. -- hoping an enthusiast can help me. [more inside]
Examples of anything that conservatives DON'T think would benefit from the free market? [more inside]
Does anyone have any experience with the USDA Graduate School in DC? Is this an acceptable place to do prerequisites for graduate programs? [more inside]
What is the difference between spending and consuming? And what is the meaning of "luxury goods"? [more inside]
Are there good articles/books that explain in detail the economics concept of fundamental demand vs. speculative demand, and how one might distinguish one from the other? What is the basis of this distinction in the economics literature and which famous economists, living or dead, talk about it (and in which of their works)?
Arline prices: a specific question (Italy, late September, how to minimize cost?). And a general (airline econ 101). [more inside]
As a former scientist, help me gain some faith in economics. What were the great successes of economics as a tool for making better decisions in the last 100 years? [more inside]
In what cases is game theory a good model of actual human behavior? [more inside]
Do you know any accredited post graduate program in economics that is offered completely online? I am finishing my undergraduate through distance learning and am very interested in economics. I would like to get my MA but due to my work/life schedule attending at a campus is not feasible. I have been unable to find any, but am optimistic that the filter can help me out. Thanks for your time.
Did Keynes really say, "Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."? [more inside]
Is there some database of historical market prices for commodities? As in, if I wanted to know the average market price for a tonne of salt petre in 1835 where would I look?
What are the best "grand theory" books and essays purporting to explain generally how the world works - at the macro, economic/political/historical/sociological/foreign policy scale - written in or after the 20th century?
What single book presents the most forceful argument against both Randian Objectivism and the libertarian political philosophy that presents itself (in some ways, at least) as having followed naturally from Rand's ideas? [more inside]
The Federal Reserve just ended its College Federal Reserve Challenge Competition, which I have always enjoyed competing in. What other economics, public policy, or problem solving collegiate-level competitions can you recommend? [more inside]
Looking for source of an anecdote about social capital and trust. It involves renting a car: and apparently, in some developing countries (or possibly rural China?) where there are low levels of trust of outsiders, people at first found even the idea of renting a car implausible because they can't see why you would let a stranger drive away with your car or why you would return the car to a stranger you will never see again. [more inside]
Economicsfilter: How do mortgages work in developing countries with high rates of inflation and high interest rates? For example, Pakistan has a 20% inflation rate and the average fixed term prime residential mortgage for people with good credit is priced at 17%. What are the effects of this on a market? [more inside]
I'm a recent master's graduate in Applied Economics (Concentration: Community and Economic Development), and I’m looking for a research position with the government or a consulting firm that performs public policy-related research (e.g. The Urban Institute, Brookings, Pew Research Center, etc.). I've had no luck to this point (been looking for about two months), and I'd like some advice. [more inside]
[EconomicsFilter] Deflation is evil... or so everyone in government and main stream media says. The government has an obvious conflict of interest in this instance (inflation is essentially a hidden tax) and I'm unimpressed with the main stream media's coverage of monetary policy. What's the real deal? [more inside]
Why is all this money going to industry and commerce, not the citizenry? [more inside]
[MonetaryPolicyFilter] In relation to the Fed's huge injection of money yesterday, please explain to me how, if at all, the Federal Reserve can destroy money on its balance sheet in a way that offsets the inflation that normally would result. [more inside]
paper filter: I'm doing a paper on information technology's effect on population growth/migration. Where do I start?! [more inside]
I'm writing an essay on the blindness of experts. Kremlinologists didn't see the collapse of the Soviet Union coming. Economists thought U.S. home prices would keep going up forever. Can you think of more examples?
What were the social impacts of the lost decade in Japan? Yes, I know economists are all about growth-growth-growth and if you don't have it you're a failure. But what were the actual impacts on levels of personal happiness and satisfaction? [more inside]
What are the day-to-day details of a world based on Social Credit? How do companies conduct their business? How are civic services accomplished? [more inside]
Is there a website or other source that lists graduate student placements across universities? [more inside]