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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101
votes
2answers
19k 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”...
103
votes
3answers
15k 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
405 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 ...
26
votes
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
votes
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
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2answers
778 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 ...
21
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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 ...
3
votes
0answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
721 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, ...
6
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0answers
313 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
816 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 ...
8
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2answers
684 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. ...
22
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1answer
2k 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 ...
53
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9answers
8k views

Is public transport less fuel-efficient than cars?

Someone who is opposed towards energy saving and climate change (I did not realise they existed until I met him) has told me that public transport (buses, trains and so on) are less efficient than ...
20
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7answers
2k views

Can a society become unhappier with an increase in wealth?

People like to claim that less developed countries are happier, because they live the simple life and stronger family ties. We've all heard the saying: Money can't buy you happiness. Which is easy ...
9
votes
1answer
734 views

Has freedom of movement of people lead to a reduction in wages and worsening of working conditions in the UK?

Has freedom of movement of people lead to a reduction of wages, and a worsening of working conditions, in the UK? From 'If you've got money, you vote in ... if you haven't got money, you vote out' ...
3
votes
1answer
511 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.
6
votes
2answers
531 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, ...
2
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0answers
784 views

Is bitcoin a pyramid scheme? [closed]

According to the Fortune Magazine article This Billionaire Just Called Bitcoin a 'Pyramid Scheme', Howard Marks said: In my view, digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad (or perhaps ...
2
votes
0answers
258 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 ...
66
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3answers
8k views

Is the gender pay gap evidence of discrimination?

(I've asked this before but people had troubling separating the question from just the gender pay gap. This is a way I was suggested to ask it, so I am giving it a try) No one can deny the gender pay ...
6
votes
0answers
490 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 ...
16
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1answer
1k 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 ...
41
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5answers
10k views

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 ...
32
votes
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 ...
9
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1answer
3k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

Can we end poverty for $US175 billion per year?

A recent question brought up the claim that poverty can be eliminated for 175 billion a year. I found this claim To end extreme poverty worldwide in 20 years, Sachs calculated that the total ...
28
votes
2answers
4k views

Are there more Greeks driving Porsche Cayennes than paying high-rate tax?

The following claim has been attributed to economist Professor Herakles Polemarchakis. A couple of years ago, there were more Cayennes circulating in Greece than individuals who declared and ...
4
votes
2answers
618 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
377 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 ...
5
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0answers
638 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Do automobile manufacturers make parts wear out and break easily, just so they can make more money?

It is sometimes heard that automobile manufacturers design low-quality parts that wear out or break easily, so that they can make money on the repair or replacement of these parts. I believe this to ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Does wealth reduce compassion?

Daisy Grewal writes in the Scientific American in the article How Wealth Reduces Compassion: But research suggests the opposite is true: as people climb the social ladder, their compassionate ...
11
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0answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
646 views

Did 79% of Greeks not have health insurance in 2013?

The following claim on recession in Greece is pretty shocking on its face, but also a little muddy: Citing OECD data of 2013, the BoG [Bank of Greece] underlines that 79% of the population in ...
44
votes
1answer
8k views

Is austerity in the UK responsible for “120,000” extra deaths?

The UK government has been implementing tight constraints on public spending to attempt to recover from the 2008 financial crash and bailout. But this austerity is controversial. A recent report in ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the fossil fuel industry benefit from trillions of dollars of subsidy from governments every year?

This IMF working paper claims that the fossil fuel industry benefits from trillions of dollars of government subsidies every year. It is a working paper intended to "promote discussion" and not the ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

Are Fair Trade products guaranteed to be 'fairer'?

I was wondering about Fair Trade foods/products (products carrying the international certificate) as I have never seen an actual policy or standards on how much farmers/producers get paid. Is there ...
32
votes
1answer
3k views

Organic food is worse for the environment because it requires more land than non-organic food

I've heard that organic crops and husbandry are worse for the environment than non-organic equivalents because in the absence of pesticides and fertilizers much more land is required for an organic ...
14
votes
1answer
995 views

Does placing a fly on a urinal improve cleanliness in men's toilets?

Recently Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his "Nudge" Theory. Pretty much every news agency (in the UK at least) has chosen to explain his theory by using the "Fly on a Urinal" ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Do most economists consider lump of labor to be a fallacy?

As an economist in training, it is my understanding that the idea that there is a fixed amount of work is considered a fallacy by most economists. For example, when Paul Krugman discusses it, he ...
12
votes
4answers
936 views

Does the Jones Act double import prices in Puerto Rico?

The Jones Act is a protectionist law passed in the 1920's requiring ships carrying goods between American ports to be made in America and crewed by Americans. The Jones Act has become an issue ...
-2
votes
2answers
621 views

Do some Jewish American charity organizations fund the Israeli military?

This was claimed by multiple sources, as an example Is it not striking that the US grants charity status to organizations whose sole mission is to support the army of another country? Are there ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the US spend more on prisons than public education?

I have heard often that the US as a whole or States in it "spend more on prisons than on schools". This is apparently true for higher education, but I am interested in schools as in public education (...
3
votes
0answers
207 views

Did Marx imply that indigenous Mexicans were racially inferior? [closed]

http://www.jstor.org/stable/41035216 Marx classed the Indians of Mexico as "the last of men". Is this an accurate representation of what Marx said?
2
votes
0answers
172 views

Is publicly-funded housing more likely to be in areas of large US cities with lower elevation? [closed]

In large US cities, is there any correlation between elevation and property value? Specifically, does publicly-funded housing tend to be built in areas with lower elevation than higher-priced housing? ...
1
vote
2answers
451 views

Does Congress appropriate 300 billion annually to agencies which cannot legally receive appropriations?

According to the article Inappropriate Appropriations in The Weekly Standard: Congress spent $310 billion last year on some 250 agencies and programs that were no longer — as required under the law ...
3
votes
2answers
614 views

Why does the IRS want you to declare income from illegal activites? [closed]

According to a paper by the IRS you should declare illegal income from dealing drugs or stolen property. What's the motivation behind this? And are there examples of people who reported such ...
11
votes
0answers
2k views

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 ...
19
votes
1answer
44k views

Is Snopes.Com funded by George Soros?

Snopes is sort of notorious for being a relatively "bias-free" fact-checking site. However, I notice that in certain conservative circles it is written off as funded by liberals, most notably the ...

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