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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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 ...
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17 votes
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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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14 votes
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Are beggars in the Nordic countries cities typically part of organised networks?

In Sweden and other Nordic countries, the presence of beggars on the streets is a relatively new phenomenon, with many beggars originating from new EU member states. There are frequent claims that ...
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14 votes
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Did Comcast attempt to coerce Netflix by slowing down its traffic?

In 2014, a news story erupted over a dispute between Netflix and Comcast over connectivity and distribution. Comcast was accused of deliberately blocking or restricting Netflix traffic. For example, ...
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12 votes
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Is this €150k beach club bill real?

This bill, with a total amount of over €150,000, from a beach club in Monaco is currently circulating on social media. Is it real? I've checked the website of the beach club; some of the more common ...
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12 votes
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Does the meat industry cause 414 billion dollars in externalized costs?

About 34 minutes into the 2014 Documentary Cowspiracy, there is a statement by David Simon, the author of Meatonomics, about hidden costs of animal food production. I've added up the costs of ...
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12 votes
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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 ...
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11 votes
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Can a Cuban taxi driver make a doctor's monthly salary in just one hour?

A recent video by the Guardian, 'It's not fair': why Havana's taxi drviers vastly out-earn doctors looks at the difference between public sector workers and the privately employed in Cuba. The video ...
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11 votes
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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 ...
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11 votes
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Is racial income inequality currently in US worse than it was in Apartheid South Africa

As reported here, (and here) white/black wealth inequality is worse now in the US than it was under Apartheid South Africa. The figures brought up during the segment are backed up, too. America's ...
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11 votes
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In the economic crisis of 2008, were some companies truly "too big to fail"?

During the first of the half of the current economic crisis, some companies began to collapse due to the subprime mortgage crisis or from the cascading economic damage that it entailed. A danger was ...
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Did two brothers steal credit card information worth millions and walked away scot-free because banks were embarrassed?

In this DEFCON talk at around 24:52 minute mark, the speaker (a Cambridge professor) tells a story of two brothers stealing millions of dollars using a weakness in credit card terminal technology, and ...
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Did the IMF admit that capital controls have been successful in Malaysia?

A DW article says Malaysia stood out as a country that refused IMF assistance and advice. Instead of further opening its economy, Malaysia imposed capital controls, in an effort to eliminate ...
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Are Jim Rogers, George Soros, Warren Buffet converting their stocks into cash holdings?

According to the article “Buffett's $55 Billion Gamble is a Bet on U.S. Collapse, Warns CIA Economist”, a number of billionaires have taken a cash position on their holdings at the expense of stocks. ...
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Is having a "sign waver" an effective marketing strategy?

It started a few years ago. The first one I remember seeing was Little Caesars $5 Hot-And-Ready pizzas. I don't know if this was the source, but it was the first symptom... (source: Sign wavers, ...
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Glut of dolphin meat in Japan going into pet food?

Is there any truth behind the claim that Japan doesn't need all the dolphin meat it gets and the excess is being passed off to the pet food industry because there is little demand for the meat or they ...
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9 votes
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Are/were US broadband internet service providers making 90%+ profit margins?

A 2012 blog article from Stop The Cap quotes the Wall Street Journal (without a link) as saying: Cable executives and analysts say that about 90% of the money cable operators charge for broadband ...
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Do candles create more carbon dioxide than light bulbs?

During the annual ritual of Earth Hour: ...around one billion people are expected to switch off their lights for one hour as a political statement against climate change and fossil fuels, and in ...
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9 votes
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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, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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8 votes
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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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7 votes
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Do 30 year old Millennials have lower average household income than Gen X did?

A 2017 Business Insider article claims that, in the UK: for the first time in more than 100 years the current generation of workers — millennials — are doing worse than the generation before them, ...
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7 votes
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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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6 votes
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Does the mass of human made objects exceed the entire biomass on the planet?

An article in Nature, "Global human-made mass exceeds all living biomass" in 2020 has recently gained some attention on social media (see this Twitter thread) possibly because of a striking ...
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6 votes
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Is China's GDP data politically manipulated?

In 2010, a World Bank economist denied that China's GDP figures were politically manipulated: Is the data manipulated by the authorities to meet political objectives? My answer to it, at least ...
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6 votes
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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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6 votes
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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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6 votes
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Does paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday 13th) cause a decrease in commerce?

On the CBS FM radio this morning (101.1FM in NYC area), the host of the show mentioned offhand that "paraskevidekatriaphobia" (fear of Friday the 13th) causes a loss of $1 billion in commerce annually,...
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6 votes
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Have western governments spent $100billion on global warming research and advocacy?

The author, Robert M Carter argues against Anthropogenic Global Warning and his book is called Climate: the counter consensus. In it he makes two related claims: that the cumulative funding on climate ...
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6 votes
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Have $134 billion in U.S bonds been faked or secretly sold or "lost" by a superpower?

I just found this long post (via Bitcoin Reddit, that might contain a TL;DR). The post is extremely long and rife with conspiracy theories. I'll try to summarize the main claim: 134 billion dollar ...
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5 votes
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Is an egalitarian inclination largely genetically determined?

A 2017 study titled A Genetic Basis of Economic Egalitarianism seems to have concluded that: We use Minnesota Twin Study data from 2008, collected from samples of monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs ...
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5 votes
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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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5 votes
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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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5 votes
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Evidence for and against (verbal-IQ-based) Smart Fraction Theory

Currently Smart Fraction Theory is subject of some discussion among the economists. The theory holds that the wealth of the country is heavily impacted by the fraction of the population that has IQ ...
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5 votes
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Is anti-whaling activism almost as big an industry as the whaling industry?

In the article Confronting Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd, Tetsuhiko Endo writes: In a March 2012 article in Nature, Christopher Costello and Steven Gaines from the University of California, point ...
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5 votes
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Are US businesses paying historically low proportions of income as wages?

In this story about non-compete clauses for low wage jobs, the New York Times reported, "American businesses are paying out a historically low proportion of their income in the form of wages and ...
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5 votes
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247 views

Has the Canadian government recently dismissed a net of 2,000 scientists?

A CBC article claims: In the past five years the federal government has dismissed more than 2,000 scientists, and hundreds of programs and world-renowned research facilities have lost their ...
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4 votes
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Is it true that the Bennington College endowment is low because they declined donations to maintain academic independence?

Some (possibly dubious) college Q&A web sites (e.g. this one) make the claim that Bennington has a paltry endowment of $3.5 million, the result of a historical philosophy - now recognized by its ...
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4 votes
0 answers
315 views

Do companies who go public lower their R&D spending as a result?

Eric Ries talks in an interview with Ezra Klein about how there are studies that show that when a company goes public, it usually lowers their R&D spending afterwards. Is this is accurate ...
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4 votes
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135 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 ...
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4 votes
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Was it common in the USSR for an enterprise to buy steel knives so to melt down them for steel?

This article claims it was common in the USSR if an enterprise needed steel, to buy say knives or other steel goods and melt them for steel. In general, control by the ruble was designed to ...
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4 votes
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266 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 ...
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4 votes
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Is it estimated that nearly half of USA jobs be low wage service jobs by 2040?

According to yesmagazine.org's post A Wealthy Capitalist on Why Money Doesn't Trickle Down, By 2040, it is estimated that 48 percent of all American jobs will be low-wage service jobs. The claim ...
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3 votes
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382 views

Is this "the largest single donation to Oxford University since the Renaissance"?

The University of Oxford recently announced a £150 million donation from Stephen Schwartzmann, which their press release (PDF) prominently calls "the largest single donation to Oxford University since ...
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3 votes
0 answers
218 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 big ...
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3 votes
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270 views

Can 3D ocean farms provide food and biofuel far more sustainably than other sources?

This article in The Nation contains an excerpt from “Ecological Redemption: Ocean Farming in the Era of Climate Change,” a lecture by Bren Smith given at the Thirty-Fifth Annual E. F. Schumacher ...
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3 votes
0 answers
285 views

Are the New York MTA's financial documents accurate?

I've read many claims that the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York is low on funds and is in massive debt, but I've also heard several allegations of fraud, including claims of "keeping two ...
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2 votes
0 answers
381 views

Did Burj Khalifa cause the surrounding malls and shops to increase revenue?

Wikipedia claims: The concept of profitability derived from building high density developments and malls around the landmark has proven successful. Its surrounding malls, hotels and condominiums in ...
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2 votes
0 answers
296 views

Is the UK experiencing wage growth for people on low incomes?

In a TV interview with Andrew Marr on 3 Oct 2021, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed that UK wages were growing for people on low incomes. The interviewer (Marr) said that wasn't true - Johnson ...
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2 votes
0 answers
261 views

Is transportation highly pollution intensive, relative to production?

The text of this paper, Batra and Belladi (2012), claims: transportation is highly pollution intensive, specially relative to production They provide some more context: With international ...
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