Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Macro-economics studies the large-scale behaviour of the whole economy. Micro-economics studies small-scale behaviour from individual transactions to the behaviour within particular ...

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273 views

Do US food stamp recipients outnumber women who work full-time?

This story has been circulating through the conservative media channels: In the average month of 2012, according to the Department of Agriculture, there were 46,609,000 people participating in the ...
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0answers
183 views

Is tax wedge 80%-90% in most of western Europe vs 50% in US?

Wikipedia definition of tax wedge references a document, which makes following claim: Europe's comparatively high tax burden has created big marginal effects and tax wedges. For example a 2007 ...
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2answers
2k views

Was pepper once worth its weight in gold?

It's a frequent claim that common black pepper was worth its weight in gold in early modern times. Just yesterday I heard it again in a documentary about the Dutch East India Company's spice trade in ...
-1
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2answers
157 views

Is Moore's law just a special case of an experience curve? [closed]

I recently stumbled upon the notion of an experience curve: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experience_curve_effects#The_experience_curve . It basically says, that plotting the cost per item over the ...
2
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0answers
67 views

Is the US economic downturn slowing scientific research?

Nature magazine claims: The financial crisis of the past few years has led to deep cuts in funding for scientific research by governments and charitable organizations, hiring freezes across ...
2
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1answer
430 views

Has a company fired its employees by deactivating their access badges?

A few years ago, at the beginning of the financial crisis, there was this rumor that traveled from mouth to mouth about some company that did some layoffs. The story says the company's management ...
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0answers
237 views

Do any precious stones actually have intrinsic value? [closed]

I watched this CollegeHumor video "Why Engagement Rings are a Scam", which claims that diamonds - particularly dimaond rings - derive all their value from a one hundred year marketing campaign by ...
0
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0answers
138 views

Does government spending on healthcare promote economic growth?

As governments attempt to get their finances back into balance, many have cut back on a wide range of spending commitments. Some governments such as the UK have chosen to protect spending on ...
3
votes
0answers
152 views

Do obese people have lower lifetime healthcare costs?

I've always been told that obesity is a drain a country's healthcare system...and it's generally accepted as fact. In online debates I frequently see reference to this. I remember seeing news ...
6
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0answers
121 views

Can technological innovation increase overall unemployment? [closed]

This is my first question on the site, it may look hypothetical at first but its not. For those unfamiliar with the Luddite Fallacy its synonymous to 'Technological unemployment' Apparently ...
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2answers
314 views

Has the Catholic Church lifted more people out of poverty than any other civic institution?

The New York Times published an editorial on December 29, 2013 about Pope Francis titled "Radical Pope, Traditional Values" which includes the following statement: As a result of its work in basic ...
120
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0answers
81k views

Has Stack Overflow saved billions of dollars in programmer productivity?

John Carmack is a renowned developer and CTO. His Twitter account has over 100,000 followers. On the occasion of Stack Exchange's 5th anniversary, he quipped on Twitter: [... Stack Overflow] has ...
10
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1answer
524 views

Is helium being “wasted” on party balloons?

From Tim O'Reilly: Good Q?, the kind politicians are loathe to answer RT @jamesoreilly: "Is it right to waste helium on party balloons?" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24903034 … and ...
5
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2answers
460 views

Was 31.5% of Medicare payments in 2006 the result of fraud?

To much fanfare, in 2006 Medicare announced that only 7 percent of its payments were a result of fraud. Two years later, The New York Times reported that it was actually 31.5 percent -- and ...
24
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2answers
2k views

Are there enough unused houses in America for each homeless person to have six?

I can't find a source for this, and that number seems much too high to me (although I don't know much about the subject). Is this true? If not, what is the actual ratio of homeless people to vacant ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Has the cost of wireless services in Canada fallen nearly 20% during 2008-2013?

On Stephen Harper's Facebook page (the Prime Minister of Canada), I found many claims that I am skeptical of. The first one is that since 2008, the cost of wireless services has fallen 20 per cent. ...
12
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1answer
512 views

Is climate change currently good for the world economy?

Bjorn Lomborg has just edited a new book How Much have Global Problems Cost the World? (Kindle version here) in which he assembles economic analysis of the world's major challenges. The point of the ...
7
votes
1answer
439 views

Did Roosevelt's New Deal Program Prolong the Great Depression?

Many libertarian economists argue in favor of laissez-faire economic policies. As a supporting argument, they often claim that Roosevelt's New Deal program actually prolonged the Great Depression. I'm ...
8
votes
4answers
914 views

Are GMO crops to blame for farmer suicides in India?

Anyone who follows the genetically modified organism (GMO) debate has probably heard the claim that GMO crops, and specifically the inability to save seed and other associated production costs, have ...
8
votes
3answers
764 views

Is the cost of preventing climate change 50 times higher than the cost of adapting to it?

Political activist Topher has created the "50-to-1" project. In the explanatory video, he claims that: It's 50 times more expensive to try to stop climate change than it is to adapt to climate ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the increase of automation lead to unemployment? [closed]

According to this Huffington Post opinion piece, it's possible that in the future the ongoing process of automation will lead to less job opportunities. It quotes economist Paul Krugman arguing one ...
2
votes
4answers
575 views

Was there a downturn in the South African economy after the end of apartheid?

I have heard claims, that there is a strong correlation between the end of the Apartheid in South Africa, and an economic decline there. Does this have any factual basis? More concretely, did any or ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Does United States throw wheat in the ocean to keep the prices high?

In Iran, there is a wide-spread belief that the USA throws extra wheat it produces into the ocean to keep the prices high. The official website for Iranian presidential office [Persian] quotes ...
14
votes
1answer
460 views

Do Europeans have a greater chance of making it into the top 1% of income earners than Americans?

In a 2011 Vanity Fair article, Nobel-Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote: America has long prided itself on being a fair society, where everyone has an equal chance of getting ahead, but ...
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2answers
156 views

Are there no rules mandating disclosure of conflicts of interest for academic economists?

The documentary movie Inside Job is a polemical attack on and analysis of the policies and people who contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. It doesn't pretend to be a balanced view. Some of the ...
5
votes
0answers
305 views

Does immigration have a positive economical impact on Sweden?

DN.se made an article(2013-06-13) about immigrants contributing economically more than the cost. Immigration is a very hot topic in Sweden, and Sweden have a very high number of refugees. In 2009, ...
18
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1answer
1k views

Do typical modern pharmaceutical firms spend more on marketing than on R&D?

Developing new drugs is an expensive process. As a result the pharmaceutical industry spends a lot on R&D (15% of turnover is not unusual and is higher than most other major industries: see report ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Is the value of a tree $193,250?

There is a sign, at the Eden Nature Park & Resort in City of Davao, Philippines, that says this: Of concern to all! A tree is worth $193,250 According to Professor T.M.Das of the ...
6
votes
1answer
229 views

Do Americans spend 9.14 billion hours on government paperwork every year?

Cass R. Sunstein, a former head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the author, most recently, of "Simpler: The Future of Government.", has made this claim (The New ...
8
votes
3answers
496 views

Are there mobile phones in North Korea?

Is it true that there are no mobile phones in North Korea? I have heard opposing views saying that there is a working mobile network that many people use and views that say there isn't any of them in ...
5
votes
3answers
242 views

Are there fewer Americans in the labor force than in 1979?

Just wondering if this claim is true, Picture reads, There are fewer AMERICANS in the labor force today than anytime since 1979!! LIKE and SHARE this if Americans need more OPPORTUNITY!
12
votes
1answer
288 views

Is the recent surge in bitcoin prices driven by Cypriot investors?

There are numerous stories out there linking the rise in bitcoin prices seen in the last few weeks with events in Cyprus. Some stories go as far as claiming that Cypriots are buying the things ...
6
votes
0answers
92 views

Has a carbon price lead to a 8.6 percent drop in electricity demand in Australia?

In a press release China’s pilot carbon trading market taps UNSW expertise (press release is by the UNSW, which is my employer) Minister Combet highlighted the benefits to date of Australia’s ...
8
votes
2answers
604 views

Do women drive 80% of consumption?

The Men's Rights organization, Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) have claimed (quoting The Observer Watches Blog) that: Consumption in the modern world today is driven overwhelmingly by women ...
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votes
2answers
272 views

x percent of people own y percent of the wealth

It is very common in infographics such as the following: to make a point about wealth inequality by showing a disproportionate amount of money owned by the richest people. I am slightly skeptical ...
18
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0answers
2k views

Could McDonald's pay a $10.10 minimum wage with an increase of only 4¢ per meal?

This caught my eye and seems like powerful statement, if true. WARREN: During my Senate campaign, I ate a number 11 at McDonald’s many, many times a week. I know the price on that. $7.19. ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Walmart the largest company in history?

I have seen a post going around on Facebook containing a list of "facts" about Walmart. Two of them seem like very large claims: Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world's largest private ...
4
votes
2answers
466 views

For the same size, is real estate cheaper in Australia than Japan?

From an upvoted comment: Size of an apartment isn't very good measure of how rich some is. Let's say a house that would make you filthy rich in Tokyo might be considered tiny rathole in ...
8
votes
1answer
800 views

Does the US have $54 trillion?

There's a viral video going around about the wealth inequality in the US. It claims the US has $54 trillion. It cites economists from Harvard Business school, but I didn't see where that particular ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Will the Affordable Care Act negatively impact radiologists in America?

My doctor, and numerous medical students and residents* I know, have told me recently that most doctors, and especially radiologists, are going to be negatively impacted by the Affordable Care Act, ...
13
votes
1answer
563 views

Are Americans less prosperous and less educated than their parents for the first time?

In the movie Inside Job, Matt Damon makes the following claim: For the first time in history, average Americans have less education and are less prosperous than their parents. Is that true? What ...
12
votes
2answers
636 views

Do banks typically lose as much money as they make in the long term?

Nicholas Nassem Taleb makes the following passing statement in his latest meditation on the nature and management of risk (Antifragile): ...businesses with negative optionality (that is, the ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Is the pharmaceutical industry the most profitable business in the United States?

The Russia Today article Pharmageddon: America’s bitter pill claims The pharmaceutical industry remains the most profitable business in the US. More success and financial gain for the companies ...
10
votes
0answers
365 views

Does McDonald's periodic release of the McRib sandwich drive up market prices for pork trimmings?

According to an article based on an interview with University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Roger Mandingo, the reason McDonalds' infamous McRib sandwich is only available periodically, and for ...
2
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0answers
118 views

Are Taiwanese people gambling on when cancer sufferers will die?

Police investigate claims of gambling with dying patients - Taipei Times Greater Taichung police on Tuesday said they have launched an investigation into a report that gamblers are betting tens ...
16
votes
1answer
588 views

Were more than a half of all Silicon Valley tech companies founded by immigrants between 1995 and 2005?

Source: CNN Global Public Square: A new book caught my eye this week. It’s called The Immigrant Exodus by Vivek Wadhwa, a former tech entrepreneur who now studies and lectures on immigration. He ...
8
votes
2answers
909 views

Do casinos have a negative economic and social impact on the neighborhoods they are located in?

In a recent article of the Toronto Sun that discusses a proposed waterfront casino for the city of Toronto, the author Christopher Hume makes the following statement: Experience around the world ...
10
votes
1answer
395 views

Is avoiding global warming by preventing CO₂ emissions far too expensive compared to geoengineering or adapting to a warmer world?

Experts in the science of global climate change often criticise their opponents by disparaging their expertise in climate science. But experts in climate science are not experts in economics. So when ...
51
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2answers
6k views

Is there a worldwide helium shortage?

I've seen a number of news articles about scarcity of Helium lately, for example: At the moment, helium is cheap, primarily because the US government built up a large surplus supply, then decided ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Does food aid cause famines?

This article claims: While all efforts should be made to get emergency food aid to Africa during this famine, the tradition of US food aid in Africa is actually part of the problem. Giving ...