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Questions tagged [microeconomics]

Microeconomics is a branch of economics that studies the market behavior of individual actors (usually firms and consumers) and the aggregation of their actions in different institutional frameworks (usually the market).

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Fundamental equations in economics

For the other sciences it´s easy to point to the most important equations that ground the discipline. If I want to explain Economics to a physicist say, what are considered to be the most important ...
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7answers
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Seminal papers that later were proven to contain errors

I was reading on institutions, and I came across Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (AJR) paper on The Colonial Origins of comparative development: An Empirical Investigation, and this paper seemed so '...
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Why do celebrities get high wages?

In the youtube video Why We Look down on Low Wage Earners the author argued: "economics states that wages are determined [...] by the number of people willing and being able to do a given job that ...
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5answers
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Why is fuel more expensive on the high way in Europe?

In Europe it's usual, that fuel prices are 10-20% higher on the highway, than in the city. This is not only my personal observation, but also mentioned on travel sites (eg here and here). I don't have ...
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What are Giffen Goods?

What exactly are Giffen goods and are they of purely theoretical interest or has there been empirical evidence of their existence?
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4answers
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Partial vs. general equilibrium

Microeconomic models are usually classified as partial and general equilibrium models. As a layman, I understand that partial equilibrium focuses attention on a few economic variables to find the ...
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3answers
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How can power/electricity prices be negative?

Bloomberg shows this chart: I understand the above chart to mean that consumers were actually paid to use electricity. (Please correct me if I'm mistaken.) I was wondering how this is possible? How ...
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3answers
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What are FOCs and SOCs?

I keep seeing the terms first-order conditions and second-order conditions used in my undergrad economics class on production functions, monopolies, etc but I have no idea what these terms mean. It ...
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4answers
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Is net neutrality not important in a competitive market of internet providers?

In my understanding, allowing ISP to throttle sites that use a lot of traffic is just price discrimination. The ISP will charge sites like Netflix, which will then pass the cost to Netflix consumers. ...
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5answers
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Topological concepts in economic theory

QUESTION: What are the major or systematic applications of post-1960s mathematics to microeconomics? For example, in the late 19th century, Fisher first used the mathematical ideas of Gibbs to ...
16
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1answer
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What do supply-demand curves really look like?

In my basic high school economics course, we've always used supply-demand curves that are lines to simplify calculations. In real markets for real goods, what do the supply and demand curves look like?...
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3answers
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Are monotonic and continuous preferences necessarily rational?

Let $\succsim$ be a strictly monotonic and continuous preference relation, and let $X=\mathbb{R}^{n}$ be the consumption set. Is rationality of $\succsim$ implied by these conditions? I think ...
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If I gain, then someone else loses. Correct?

On a very small scale, it's certainly true that if I gain, somebody else might lose. If I take away my brother's chocolate, then he will lose it, and will most probably not get anything comparable. ...
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Should I stay or should I quit?

Is there an economic theory of quitting an activity? A theory that weighs the investment costs put into something and the opportunity costs of pursuing it. I am aware of Fershtman and Gneezy ...
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3answers
727 views

Are there theories that invalidate the “tragedy of the commons”?

Wikipedia states: The tragedy of the commons is an economics theory by Garrett Hardin, according to which individuals, acting independently and rationally according to each one's self-interest, ...
13
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1answer
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Quality of French wine in the US vs French wine in France

I remember reading a study/paper saying that the AVERAGE bottle of french wine drunk in the US is better than the average bottle of french wine drunk in France, due to the fact that nobody bothers to ...
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4answers
560 views

What is it about certain business types that seem to restrict how much large they can grow?

For example, I've never heard of a large lawn-mowing corporation. Phone and computer repairers seem to consist mostly of 1 or two man operations. Wedding planners and photographers seem exclusively to ...
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2answers
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The relationship between the expenditure function and many others!

I dont understand the relationships between Hicksian demand, walrasian demand (marshallian), the expenditure function and the indirect utility function (including the value function V(b)). I have ...
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3answers
682 views

Consumer optimum in an economy with a continuum of commodities

Consider an economy with a continuum of commodities, with one commodity for each point in $[0,1]$. Suppose a consumer wants to maximise $$U = \int_0^1 c_i^\theta\,di\qquad 0<\theta<1$$ subject ...
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2answers
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Why use empirical macroeconomic models when they are not policy invariant (Lucas Critique)?

With high probability this question is duplicate, and I tried to find one already in the community, but I was unsuccessful. According to the Lucas Critique, in its more general terms, the problem ...
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0answers
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How accurate is duality?

In economic theory we know that with the use of some calculus, Hotellings Lemma and Sheppards lemma we can derive a given firms supply function and in term its Profit function. With data of a given ...
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5answers
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The supply and demand of Virtual Products

We know that the fundamental economic problem is scarce resources relative to unlimited wants. **Does this apply to apps and Ebooks?**They are essentially virtual products who have in theory have ...
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3answers
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Is scalping tickets harmful?

IMHO, scalping tickets is no different from legitimate arbitrage unless manipulative. Iirc, arbitrage increases surplus and hindering scalping is setting a price ceiling which leads to deadweight ...
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3answers
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Intuitive explanation of $S(p,w)\cdot p=0$

Can anyone provide an intuitive explanation of why the Slutsky matrix right multiplied by the price vector yields a zero matrix? I know this is true but I do not really understand why it is true. ...
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3answers
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What are the recent advancements in building a unified theory of bounded rationality?

It seems that bounded rationality models focus on explaining a particular psychological bias, in a very specific way. In particular, its seems that the state of the art consensus is that one size does ...
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1answer
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Has the assumption that individuals' tastes do not change over time been rigorously challenged?

In their seminal paper De Gustibus non est Disputandum, Stigler and Becker (1977) surveyed four classes of phenomena widely believed to be inconsistent with the stability of tastes: addiction, ...
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4answers
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Are There Giffen Inputs?

I am studying for my candidacy exams and I came across this question on a previous exam. The question is in the TFD (True, False, Debatable) section of the exam. The claim is: There are no Giffen ...
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1answer
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How does Google price the items on Google Play?

I am a fledgling computer science researcher working in intersection of economics and computation. Please excuse me if this question seems out of place to the administrator. I am currently studying ...
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5answers
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When do supply and demand curves shift?

Let's assume that the price of apples has risen and that the quantity of apples sold during the last couple of weeks has decreased. From that, we can infer that the supply curve must've shifted to the ...
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3answers
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Why do low-budget films charge the same amount at the box office as super-high budget films?

In most occurrences, lower production costs translate into lower sales costs. Obviously there are other factors that influence price, including perceived value (affected by advertising), monopolies, ...
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2answers
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What is a substitute/complement in terms of mixed partial derivatives?

I am trying to understand how substitutability relates to mixed partial derivatives. I thought the change in marginal utility with respect to a change in the amount of $x$ would correspond to $$\frac{\...
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2answers
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Marshallian Demand for Cobb-Douglas

When trying maximize the utility having a cobb-douglas utility function $u=x_1^ax_2^b$, with $a+b = 1$, I found the following formulas (Wikipedia: Marshallian Demand): $x_1 = \frac{am}{p_1}\\ x_2 = \...
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5answers
1k views

What are the arguments against the rational expectations hypothesis?

I believe the rational expectations hypothesis says that agents in a model bear expectations that are the same as mathematical expectations. Under what circumstances does this hypothesis become ...
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2answers
779 views

Thin indifference curves

If a consumer follows the rationality axiom of continuity (i.e. no jumps in his preferences), the indifference curves of a utility function are said to be thin. Why does continuity ($x \succeq y \...
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1answer
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Is it possible to derive indifference curves given marshallian demand function?

In a two good world, will a marshallian demand function the likes of D(p,m) where p is the price of one good and m the income yield a utility function or ...
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1answer
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Price dispersion in online retail

There are a number of online booksellers that are popular in India right now. The prices they charge for the same book often differ by as much as 10% (See this price comparison site to check http://...
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3answers
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CES Production Function with $\rho>1$

In using CES production functions of the form $f(x_1,x_2)=(x_1^\rho+x_2^\rho)^{1/\rho} $, we always assume that $\rho\leq1$. Why do we make that assumption? I understand that if $\rho>1$, the ...
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1answer
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Examples of Applied Micro Paper with R (!) Code and Data in Public Repository

Can anyone suggest examples of relatively simple applied micro papers (e.g. an RCT or straightforward regression model) of possible interest to a general audience, that have their data and code, ...
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0answers
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Modern theory of integrability of demand?

I am aware of Hurwickz Uzawa work in integability, neatly summarized by Border http://people.hss.caltech.edu/~kcb/Notes/Demand4-Integrability.pdf I am wondering if there is any modern treatment of the ...
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5answers
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Are terrorists rational?

Terrorism in general, and suicidal terrorism in particular, is popularly seen as “irrational,” but many economists and political scientists argue otherwise. This quote is from Terrorism: The ...
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5answers
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Why don't Burgers cost 5 cents?

In this blog post, economist Bob Murphy raises a puzzle involving the principle that in a competitive market, the price equals the marginal cost: There’s a general principle from intro to ...
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3answers
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Why absolute value in elasticities and marginal rate of substitution?

This is a point I find very confusing and very hard to justify to students. Depending on the books, one finds many different conventions regarding the sign of elasticities and marginal rate of ...
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3answers
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Why wouldn't competition prevent “usurious” payday loan rates?

The current Wiki page on "Payday Loans" claims loans are priced above marginal cost. The justification is that If a lender chooses to innovate and reduce cost to borrowers in order to secure a ...
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4answers
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Should Costs of Travel to Buy Goods be Regarded as Transaction Costs?

Within the approach of New Institutional Economics associated with Oliver Williamson and others, emphasis is placed on transaction costs as a key factor in explaining why different forms of economic ...
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2answers
458 views

Depreciation and second-hand markets for bicycles

Probably the answer to this question is "business as usual", but I've observed of late that the market for bicycles is pretty weird. You can buy a brand new factory-produced bicycle in the US (I'm ...
9
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1answer
103 views

second order stochastic dominance without the same mean

Let $F$ and $G$ be two distributions with the same mean. $F$ is said to second order stochastically dominate (SOSD) $G$ if $$\int u(x)\mathrm dF(x)\ge \int u(x)\mathrm dG(x)\tag{1}$$ for all ...
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1answer
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Homogenous of degree one in utility function.

Question My solution is as follows. Please check my solution. If I make a mistake, please tell. I am really not sure about my solution. Thank you U(x) is homogenous of degree one i.e. u(...
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0answers
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Calculus and Indifference Curves in an Urban Economics Example

I am reading the paper 'The Structure of Urban Equilibria' by Jan Brueckner. It uses a monocentric city model, where all consumers earn income $y$ at the centre of the city. They buy $q$ housing for ...
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0answers
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Local and Central Wage Bargaining: What Is the Difference?

Consider the following setting: Profit maximizing firms with production functions $\Pi(w,L)$, where $w$ is the wage and $L$ is employment. Unions who want to maximize the expected utility of their ...
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6answers
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Mathematical Micro/Macro Economics Textbook Recommendation

I was formerly an economics major and now also majoring in mathematics. I want a textbook that is rigorously based on mathematics; not just using mathematcis whenever the author wants, but in a more ...