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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 current events, and in historical contexts.

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7k views

Did only one banker in the US go to prison for the Financial Crisis of 2007-08?

In the movies The Big Short (2015) and Capitalism, a love story (2009), it is claimed that only a single banker, Kareem Serageldin, went to prison for the Financial crisis of 2007–2008, for which many ...
32
votes
1answer
5k views

Has the FTSE lost more value in 12 months than the UK has paid into the EU during the 45 years since they joined?

Regarding the claim “The FTSE has lost more value in 12 months than the UK has paid into the EU during the 45 years since we joined.” Is this claim accurate and furthermore what does this mean? Is ...
17
votes
0answers
594 views

Was it illegal in Venezuela for doctors to list starvation as cause of death for children?

In this video Jordan Peterson says the following: Do you know that it is now illegal for physicians to list starvation as the cause of death for a Venezuelan child in a hospital. That's how ...
5
votes
2answers
365 views

Do Low-skill workers earn one cent in extra income for every 19 cents the government spends on walling off Mexico

From Quartz - The ROI on border walls is terrible, the following claim was made:: Low-skill workers earn one cent in extra income for every 19 cents the government spends on walling off Mexico It ...
11
votes
2answers
592 views

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 ...
28
votes
2answers
8k views

Do Greeks evade taxes by not finishing their houses?

I've heard this claim several times: Q: Why are there so many unfinished houses in Greece? A: as long as the house is not finished, they don't have to pay building tax for it. So the leave it ...
15
votes
1answer
724 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
558 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Does Sallie Mae earn more from defaulted education loans than properly repaid ones?

I was sent an article by Catherine Austin Fitts, the author of the Solari Report, entitled William M. Diefenderfer: The Financial Hit Man of Student Loans. It contained some rather striking claims ...
7
votes
1answer
720 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
163 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
705 views

Did DR Congo use banknotes with hole where Mobuto's face used to be after he was deposed?

On almost every list on the internet featuring strange banknotes that were at one time in circulation, one can find a picture of old Zaire banknotes with the image of the dictator Mobutu's face ...
8
votes
2answers
751 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
433 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
900 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
740 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 ...
26
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the total cost of treating the uninsured in emergency rooms more expensive than government-subsidized urgent care would be in the US?

One of the claims I have frequently heard in support of some sort of government intervention in providing health insurance above and beyond Medicare and Medicaid in the US, is that it will reduce the ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
226 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
507 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
959 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Did the US national debt fall by $100 billion in the first two months of Trump's office?

According to Joe Hoft at thegatewaypundit.com: In First 2 Months in Office – Trump Reduces Debt by $100 Billion – Obama Increased Debt by $400 Billion – Half a Trillion Dollar Difference! Is this ...
39
votes
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! ...
47
votes
1answer
8k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
436 views

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 ...
5
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0answers
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
860 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
996 views

Is 90% of world trade conducted on WTO terms?

The European Union is, among many other things, a large free trade block with few barriers to cross-country trade within it. The United Kingdom has voted to leave the EU and is currently trying to ...
24
votes
2answers
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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

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 ...
43
votes
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 ...
4
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0answers
254 views

Did a dust storm in Saudi Arabia cause it to “rain” money?

The report Video: Storm in Saudi Arabia (or Dubai) causes money to rain. Emirates 24|7 News, February 24, 2015 claims that a recent dust storm in Saudi Arabia contained, briefly, bank notes flying ...
15
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0answers
301 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
820 views

Are contactless payment cards/phones insecure?

I've heard claims that contactless cards and NFC is no less secure than chip and PIN as indicated below. According to Barclays: All our new Contactless debit cards include the latest advanced ...
2
votes
1answer
311 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,...
5
votes
0answers
389 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
260 views

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: ...
4
votes
0answers
114 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
481 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
378 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, ...
17
votes
2answers
8k views

Is the income of the porn industry 50% of the revenues made on the Internet?

Yesterday a friend of mine told me that most of the money which is made in the internet is going to the porn industry. First I didn't believe any word and I was like "Hey, shut up! There is still ...
98
votes
2answers
18k views

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”...
106
votes
3answers
14k views

Are there more open jobs than available developers?

A recent Stack Overflow blog post claims that: With nearly five open jobs for every available software developer, the need for qualified technical talent is higher than ever. I have seen this ...
6
votes
0answers
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 ...
25
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1answer
2k views

Are Fairtrade farmers paid worse than other farmers in the same regions?

There have been a few articles recently on the (in)efficiency of fair trade organisation Fairtrade. Here is an example from the Guardian: Sales of Fairtrade-certified products from Uganda and ...
29
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3answers
7k views

Is empowerment of women a cure for poverty?

It is stated that giving women equality and control over their reproduction reduces the poverty in any community. Christopher Hitchens: "We already know the cure to poverty...it's quite simply, ...
8
votes
2answers
755 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 ...
20
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2answers
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
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 ...