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What topics can I ask about here?

Welcome to Economics.SE, the free, community-driven, Questions and Answers site for economists.

  • This site is for Questions and answers and is not a forum. This means that there is a quite strict format enforced here. Please post an answerable question using the Ask Question button (after searching for existing similar questions first of course) or post a solution for an existing question as an answer post. Please do not start discussions or ask off-topic questions. You can also post comments to questions and answers to provide feedback. At first you can only comment on your own questions and their answers, but after you have gained a reputation of 50 you can comment everywhere. There is also chat for more casual posts.

Here is some information to help you get started and to make your work with this site a pleasant experience for you and all other users.

Not all questions with some economic-financial content are on-topic here. Here is a differentiation.

Off-topic

  • Personal finance: Personal matters of finance and investment are offtopic here. Have a go at Personal Finance & Money.
  • Accounting: Accounting is a separate discipline, and there is no StackExchange site dedicated to that matter yet.
  • Too broad questions: We are dealing with a scientific discipline here, and science works by initially narrowing its focus in order to be able to go deep. We suggest you do the same: narrow the focus of your question. In social sciences, very rarely do we have truly "universal laws", and Economics is no different.
  • Opinion-requests: it is natural to want some expert to evaluate, or to make a value-judgement on, something that preoccupies you: But questions like "Is communism better than capitalism? Is money a sin?" are off-topic here.Try to ask something that a member can answer using facts, studies, economic theory and reasoning -not moral/political/religious/philosophical values.

On-topic, but

The following topics belong to economics and are welcome here. However, there may be a different StackExchange community with a more narrow focus, where you might get an answer of higher quality:

  • Financial Economics: There is also Quantitative Finance.
  • Corporate Finance/Business Economics: Corporate Finance/Business Economics is usually either really simple Economics, or horribly complex applied micro-macro-economic-o-metrics (and then some). Fire away and ask though, and we will see what happens.

On-topic

  • Econometrics: Totally on topic, but especially for theoretical questions, you may subsequently try the "All of Statistics" .SE site Cross-Validated.
  • Software questions: Questions related to software used in economics and econometrics, are on-topic here.
  • Literature/books requests
  • Queries for Data: Queries for Data sets and data in general are on-topic here. You can also try the Open Data SE site.

Some more general guidance, more or less valid across the network of .SE sites:

  • Questions and answers can receive positive and negative votes to indicate their quality. Answers are sorted after the number of votes so that the better ones appear first. The votes that answers and questions receive also increase or decrease the reputation of the author of the post. With increasing reputation users will receive more and more privileges to do more things on the site.

  • The most useful answer that solved your problem should be accepted by clicking the tick/checkmark symbol to the left of the answer. This shows other people that this is "the correct answer" in your opinion and assigns points to the answerer and also you. The question will then be handled as "done" which is important for the housekeeping of the site. However, new answers can still be added and the question asker can accept a different answer at any time.

  • Post should be formatted correctly using the simple Markdown format. This ensures that the posts are easy to read. Here the most important formatting styles used on this site:

    • Please do not use "here" and "this" links to other questions and answers but insert the link directly. The site will format it automatically.
    • Quotes from books, papers, websites, etc. should be formatted using quotation blocks (i.e. place a > before the lines)
    • Images should only be uploaded using the "Image" icon (shortcut: CTRL+G) which uses a special, time-less http://imgur.com/ account. Including images using a different way, like uploading it manually to imgur.com or using a different provider, might lead to broken images after a while and is not recommended. Please ensure that the image is in a suitable size (not too big or too small) and resolution and only shows relevant things without large margins.
    • LaTeX mathematics can be entered inline by enclosing the LaTeX code in $ like this: $a=b^x$.
    • Displayed LaTeX mathematics can be entered by enclosing the LaTeX code in $$ like this: $$a=b^x$$.
  • Please avoid opening and closing lines like "Hi" and "Thanks". Salutations, greetings and expressions of gratitude are already implied and only distract from the real question. Also the first two lines of the post will be displayed below the question title in the overview page and such lines will reduce the amount of useful information being displayed there. The author name is already displayed on the right site below the post, so there is no need for an extra signature line.

  • This is a serious, international site for high quality content. Please write in English and avoid leetspeak or similar things even if they are common in other places of the Internet. Non-native English speakers are very welcome and your English doesn't have to be perfect, but posts should show some basic effort. This will make your post readable to most people and greatly improves the chance of getting good answers. The fact that all posts are editable also means that other users may correct your English for you if necessary.

  • Please post rough ideas, suggestions and similar material as comments and reserve answers for actual solutions. You can edit your posts anytime to e.g. add more details to your question or to adjust your answer. Do not use long comment threads for longer or even medium sized discussions. Use chat instead. You can even open your own chat room if you want. Please note that everything here is open and all your chat messages will be archived and accessible to others (as long the room is not restricted by a moderator).

  • You can notify other users by adding comments to their posts or by adding their names after an @, i.e. @username in your comment. Note this only works for the first user mentioned this way and only if that user wrote a previous comment for the same post. The post author is always notified. Notifications also work in chat if the user posted a message there not too long ago.

  • Site moderators can be notified about issues by flagging posts using the flag link below each post.

  • While you can post questions and answers as unregistered user, please consider registering your account. Otherwise you might create a new, different unregistered account with the same name and icon. Then you will not be able to edit your old posts or add comments to them. You can ask a moderator to merge such accounts together.

  • Questions about the site itself should be asked on Meta.Economics.SE, not on the main site. Here the restrictions are lower and you are free to start discussions as long they are about how to run the site etc.