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Questions tagged [economics]

Economics is the analytical study of the costs and benefits of producing, distributing, and consuming goods and services. This tag should not be used for personal finance questions, nor for most questions about expensive items, e.g. exorbitantly priced houses, autos, jewelry. It can be used for ...

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Is the equity ratio of US banks around 3%?

Did John H. Cochrane, a professor of economics at Chicago, wrote: In order to make $100 of loans, a typical bank borrows $97—from depositors, from money-market funds, from other banks, or from ...
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1answer
634 views

Were there fewer first-home buyers in Australia in 2017 than seventh-home buyers?

An ABC news item today quoted a claim about the Australian property market without any indication that they verified it: [Queensland] State Housing Minister Mick De Brenni said that last year more ...
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2answers
508 views

Will smart meters cost each UK household 420 GBP?

The roll out of smart meters is well on its way in the UK. In this article it is claimed that smart meters will cost each household 420 pounds. Apparently, this money will be taken from each customers ...
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155 views

Were official poverty rates in India distorted by changes to dietary needs?

In this January 2006 episode of BBC Hard Talk, then Director of Action Aid India, Babu Mathew, was asked whether poverty amelioration is linked to economic growth in light of the fact that in 1978 ...
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734 views

Is the median income for African Americans at an all time high?

President Trump, in a press conference on 9 October 2018, said the following to reporters. You know, [Kayne West] loves what we're doing for African-American jobs, for so many different things. ...
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2answers
421 views

Is 49% of Indonesia's wealth owned by 1% of its population?

Prabowo Subianto, a leading opposition leader in Indonesia, claims that Indonesian's Gini coefficient is 49%, and that that means 1% of Indonesian own 49% of the wealth. The text said that Gini ...
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Do rich Americans pay a lower portion of their income in federal taxes than the middle class?

Not quite the same as this related question but similar. According to Wikipedia, the origin of the "Buffett Rule" oft-quoted by former-President Obama is that: rich people, like himself, could pay ...
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215 views

Do women in all-women shops earn less then men in all-men shops? [closed]

Many women & men raise issues of equal pay for equal work, but a recent analysis of Uber Drivers showed that women earned less because of working less or driving slowly; Uber Payment system did ...
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484 views

Do women earn less than men for the same exact work? [duplicate]

Previous questions on the site such as this one and this one, as well as the answers and their sources address the gender pay gap on a broad scale, comparing the careers of all men to the careers of ...
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921 views

Is Moscow metro the only profitable metro in the world?

Omsk Oblast first vice-governor Sineugin when explaining why they stopped building metro in Omsk, has claimed that Moscow metro is the only profitable in the world: The first deputy governor ...
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1answer
13k views

Did Donald Trump get America's GDP growth to 4.2%?

In a recent tweet, Donald Trump wrote: “President Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP,” stated President Obama. I guess I have a magic wand, 4.2%, and we will do MUCH better than this! ...
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1answer
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Is the presidential family net worth growth/loss portrayed in this infographic true?

Is the presidential family net worth growth/loss portrayed in this infographic true? (I am not asking about the other assertions in this infographic) I'm skeptical of the massive gains both the ...
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2answers
854 views

Do pharmaceutical companies contribute to anti-drug campaigns?

According to an article by The Guardian, a pharmaceutical company called Insys lobbied against marijuana legalization in Arizona; and then was approved for a cannabis-derived pharmaceutical five ...
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185 views

Is lack of adequate funding a substantial factor determining the poor accuracy of US state-level polls?

One of the conclusions of an AAPOR paper on the 2016 US polls contains this detail: As this report documents, the national polls in 2016 were quite accurate, while polls in key battleground states ...
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1answer
2k views

Does Great Britain have the lowest state pensions (relative to average wages) in the OECD?

I recently came across this political post on Facebook It is arguing that Great Britain is the 'worst' in the developed world, and I'm sceptical of a few assertions made here. UK pensions don't seem ...
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Quasi-consensus among economists that neither trade deficits nor surpluses are necessarily 'good' or 'bad' for an economy?

The BBC has a story that says: Economists generally agree that neither trade deficits nor surpluses are necessarily 'good' or 'bad' for an economy. Is there some way to verify there's a level of ...
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1answer
716 views

US trade deficit and the iPhone

CNBC has an article arguing that the way the US trade deficit with China is quite misleading, particularly as to the ultimate source of the deficit, using the iPhone as an example: Some $70 billion ...
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2answers
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Do one in three workers in Romania work for minimum wage?

I've read on a website that I don't know much about that (in 2017) Romania is a country viewed as an economic miracle in the European Union. Its unemployment hovers around five per cent, its ...
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1answer
724 views

Did 20th-century Marxists acknowledge that the central social predictions of Marxism were wrong?

In this video, starting at 5:36, Stephen Hicks claims that there are three central "social science" Marxist predictions, which I would sum up as follows: Over time, in any capitalist society, The ...
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1answer
8k views

Is “Earth Overshoot Day” a useful or reliable metric of humanity's effect on the world?

Apparently, we are rapidly approaching Earth overshoot day and that day gets earlier every year. The Guardian explains: Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive ...
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292 views

Was the UK's drive to acquire civilian metals to use in WW2 necessary for the war effort?

This question was asked here recently: Were World War II scrap drives in the United States truly necessary for the procurement of raw materials? And it has produced some very solid analysis and ...
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871 views

Is Noam Chomsky right in saying the economic benefits of British colonialism to Britain were nonexistent?

In an interview about imperialism Chomsky claims there were no overall benefits of colonialism to the British population, and asserts there are studies confirming this. But, going back to the ...
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1answer
300 views

Have unions destroyed the US automobile industry? [closed]

Elon Musk claims that unions have destroyed the US automobile industry: http://labor411.org/411-blog/2056-elon-musk-blasts-labor-unions-they-destroyed-once-great-us-auto-industry But he is not alone,...
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380 views

Are African-Americans more impatient than whites or Hispanics?

A 2017 paper written by five economists (Andreoni et al.) finds that Time preferences have been correlated with a range of life outcomes, yet little is known about their early development. We ...
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Does breastfeeding affect patience, altruism, and risk taking (even as an adult)

A 2016 paper from DIW Berlin unambigously states: In a sample of preschool children we find that longer breastfeeding duration is associated with higher levels of patience and altruism as well ...
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Even the healthiest of elders show profoundly compromised decision making?

That's the indomitable conclusion quoted from the summary of a 2013 PNAS paper. In a bit more detail: We identified several important age-related patterns in decision making under uncertainty: ...
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1answer
478 views

Almost all the US jobs created between 2005-2015 “are temporary” (alt-work)

A piece of research from a pair of well-known economists, Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger as summarized in Quartz a couple of years ago: “We find that 94% of net job growth in the past decade was ...
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2answers
366 views

Were the vast majority of lost manufacturing jobs since 2000 lost due to automation?

There has been a lot of discussion here in the US about manufacturing and about bringing back jobs from overseas. While interviewing US presidential candidate Andrew Yang on the Waking Up podcast, ...
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332 views

Are roughly 90% of H-1B visa workers in the IT sector paid below-market rates?

In an article penned last year by (present and former) IEEE-USA presidents, we read that (my experpts and emphsis): In 2014 (the last year we have good data), Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro, and Tata ...
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2answers
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In the American west—the world of cowboys and cowhands—was ammunition traded for alcoholic “shots” of a drink?

CLARIFICATION: Just so it’s clear, this question is specifically about the economic claims made by the meme presented below. It is a NOT question concerning the origins and etymology of the word “shot”...
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754 views

Do US Pharma firms have an incentive to develop useless cancer drugs?

An economic analysis of cancer drug approvals in the USA was recently published. Drug regulators’ acceptance of any statistically significant improvement shown in a single randomized trial and ...
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1answer
691 views

Are the locations of Roman roads still linked to higher prosperity today?

The Romans built a large number of roads across much of Europe. Their primary function was to aid military movement and communication. But they became useful routes for trade and were, therefore, ...
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1answer
663 views

Do cars drop 7% in value every month?

In their email communication car-buying organization wijkopenautos.nl (wkda.de) claims cars drop 7% in value each month. Their exact claim is: Let op: een auto verliest iedere maand ongeveer 7% aan ...
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2answers
600 views

Does corporate lobbying provide benefits to those funding it?

This 2018 Bloomberg article claims that "Lobbying Doesn't Help Companies or Their Shareholders". The numbers instead indicate that lobbying hurts the underlying capital values of the corporations. ...
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1k views

Do pricey medicines in the USA subsidise R&D for the rest of the world?

A recent (February 2018) report by the US government Council of Economic Advisors makes the following argument (my highlights): The United States both conducts and finances much of the ...
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1answer
448 views

How much does the White House pay to their employees?

Once I read that White House has 377 employees and Brazil's Palácio do Planalto has 3.800 employees. I wonder if this number, 377, is true and how much does the USA pay for White House's employees.
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208 views

Is the rate of new job creation and destruction slowing down in the US?

Marc Andreessen said in an interview with Tim Ferriss: Most people would guess it's rising. technology is having an ever greater impact right and so things feel like they are accelerating it's a ...
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2answers
494 views

Was $262.9B worth of Star Wars merchandise sold in 2016?

The website, Cracked, recently posted an article which stated: In 2016, $262.9 billion worth of Star Wars merchandise was sold. According to the 2016 GDP by country, if Star Wars was a country, ...
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236 views

Is it true that besides Volkswagen, many other car companies also similarly cheated in the emission test but faced limited consequences?

The Volkswagen emission cheating is well-known at this stage. However, I heard some people say that many other car manufacturers have actually been performing similar cheating in emission tests. Last ...
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463 views

Are “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” truthful? [closed]

John Perkins wrote a book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" as a disclosure of US foreign policy to economically destroy underdeveloped countries. Perkins claims that US grants and loans increase ...
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6k views

Do Americans use 500 million straws per day?

CNN claims that Americans use 500 million straws per day. Every day, Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws, enough to circle the Earth twice, or fill 125 school buses. Other sources ...
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1answer
958 views

Were iron nails at one time so scarce that pioneers in America burned down their cottages to retrieve them?

Heilbroner and Thurow, Economics Explained (1982, 1998): Iron nails were so scarce that pioneers in America burned down their cottages to retrieve them. Another writer (2003): Nails at one time ...
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305 views

Are retail clothing prices going down significantly enough to impact the used clothing market?

This article at Bloomberg claims that "...new clothes are becoming as cheap as used ones, and poor countries are turning their backs on the secondhand trade". It also says that "...The tide of ...
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5answers
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Does China control 85% of the supply of rare metals used in lithium batteries?

A selected letter in The Guardian talking about electric vehicles claims: The rare metals in lithium batteries are produced only in inconvenient places. More than 85% of the world’s supply comes ...
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1answer
2k views

Did Britain borrow $120 billion in 1945?

This copy-paste has being doing the rounds of local newspaper letters pages and dodgy hard-core pro-Brexit Facebook pages, etc: JEAN Claude Juncker should be forced to walk past every white ...
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1answer
6k views

Did the US spend 7 trillion in the Middle East?

In response to the recent train accident in Washington State, the current President of the United States, Donal Trump, made a claim in a tweet that the US has spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. Is ...
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589 views

Were nearly all founders of large companies existing in mid 20th century uneducated “rude mechanicals”?

Y-Combinator cofounder and famous hacker Paul Graham publishes essays, and one of his recent ones was 2016 "The Refragmentation". One of the ancillary claims he made was that for the known founders ...
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1answer
322 views

Did tax revenue improve after tax rates were cut after Kennedy's death?

This CNN op-ed about Trump's recent attempts to cut taxes makes some historical claims: President Kennedy declared at the New York Economic Club that "it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are ...
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610 views

Does the Bitcoin network consume as much energy as Denmark?

According to Ars Technica: One estimate suggests the Bitcoin network consumes as much energy as Denmark. There are other sources that make similar claims: Greentech Media claim: The Bitcoin ...
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1k views

Did ISP “pocket” $400 billion that was supposed to be dedicated toward fiber cable infrastructure?

Bruce Kushnick, author of "The Book Of Broken Promises: $400 Billion Broadband Scandal And Free The Net," makes some pretty major claims. The most prominent article, an ad for his book written by ...