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47 votes
7 answers
8k views

Is zero inflation desirable?

Is zero inflation really desirable? To be more precise: Does inflation in real life have benefits that in some situations outweigh its social cost? E.g.: it works as a disincentive against holding ...
Giskard's user avatar
  • 29.4k
32 votes
2 answers
43k views

How can I obtain Leontief and Cobb-Douglas production function from CES function?

In most Microeconomics textbooks it is mentioned that the Constant Elasticity of Substitution (CES) production function, $$Q=\gamma[a K^{-\rho} +(1-a) L^{-\rho} ]^{-\frac{1}{\rho}}$$ (where the ...
Huseyin's user avatar
  • 743
44 votes
11 answers
8k views

What is the economic purpose of increasing the minimum wage?

It is generally accepted among economists that minimum wage warps the equilibrium point between the supply and demand of labor by instituting a price floor and increases unemployment for unskilled ...
Mathematician's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
3k views

Implications of abolishing Fractional Reserve Banking on mortgages and interest rates

Suppose for a moment that someone with legislative power decides to abolish Fractional Reserve Banking and passes a law that forces banks to only lend the money they own, that is M0. What would be the ...
matcheek's user avatar
  • 371
75 votes
13 answers
26k views

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 ...
Lumi's user avatar
  • 2,799
19 votes
5 answers
5k views

How do economies grow?

These days, we hear again and again about the so-called "need" for economic growth. But how do countries actually grow economically? That is, why/how does their GDP increase over time? ...
FooBar's user avatar
  • 10.7k
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?

I suppose GDP is supposed to create a measure of a country's wealth/welfare, something easily indexable. But how exactly is it composed? And is its composition disputed? How good is it at measuring a ...
FooBar's user avatar
  • 10.7k
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Elasticity of demand equals -1 but income decreases!

In my textbook, it's stated that: When $\epsilon < -1$, demand is elastic and raising price will result in smaller income, while lowering price will result in bigger income. When $\epsilon =...
Valentine Bond's user avatar
116 votes
16 answers
21k views

How will non-rich citizens make a living if jobs keep getting replaced by robots and are outsourced?

Decades ago a factory job could support a wife and kids until retirement and they offered insurance, benefits, etc. Now, no more unions, those jobs as well as tech and customer service jobs are ...
Bruno1993's user avatar
  • 1,361
51 votes
10 answers
4k views

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 '...
An old man in the sea.'s user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why is the short run average cost curve not a tangent to the long run average cost curve at the lowest point on the short run average cost curve?

The diagram from the Varian textbook shows that the SRAC curve is tangent to the LRAC curve at a point which is not the bottom of the SRAC curve. It would be really helpful if someone could explain ...
user2229066's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
757 views

Who controls money supply if the fed does not?

This whitepaper states (bold mine): According to the consensus view, the two leading culprits of inflation risk today are the fiscal deficit and the money supply. To illustrate, take this CNBC ...
DPM's user avatar
  • 133
18 votes
6 answers
14k views

Productivity vs real earnings in the US -- what happened ca 1974?

Somewhat related to the most recent US elections, I've been researching the whole "white working class" situation, and one strange anomaly has popped up. When one looks at a graph of productivity (...
Hot Licks's user avatar
  • 356
11 votes
3 answers
6k views

Can the stock market show indefinite exponential growth?

In a comments on a question on money.SE, the following dialog took place: Eventually there will not be enough matter to represent all the money, so we know for certain that the answer is "No" for a ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
374 views

Will a Guaranteed minimum income not eventually just be crowded out by inflation?

That is, if we implement a guaranteed minimum income, would inflation not eventually rise to a point where it is essentially useless? I would expect prices to be adjusted knowing people have a certain ...
Rich's user avatar
  • 203
10 votes
7 answers
6k views

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 mathematics whenever the author wants, but in a more ...
Taxxi's user avatar
  • 203
9 votes
2 answers
482 views

The Printing of Money for Paying Debt

I know that printing money causes inflation, but what if we print it to pay back our debts? For example, we have N dollars of debt to China. We can just print the N dollars and give it to China. ...
MehranJ's user avatar
  • 93
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Price Elasticity of Demand for Positive Price Increases

What does it mean when the price elasticity of demand %Qd/%P is greater than one? Typically I hear that it means the demand is elastic since if, say, the price decreases by 1% the demand for the ...
user1501's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

When action and strategy differ in game theory

It looks like in a static, simultaneous move game, action is used interchangeably with strategy. But when do they differ, say in a more complicated game structure? I am trying to understand the ...
Frank Swanton's user avatar
31 votes
4 answers
5k views

From an economics perspective, what are the ramifications of a currency with fixed money supply?

I'm thinking specifically of bitcoins. What are the pros and cons of having a fixed number of coins, as opposed to more "normal" currencies? Would the currency have no inflation?
Jason Nichols's user avatar
20 votes
6 answers
778 views

Experiments contradicting the expected utility model

This is a question I asked on the cognitive science beta which never got any answer there. I do not know what the policy should be for question migration/reposting (maybe worth discussing in the meta?)...
Martin Van der Linden's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
26k views

Lexicographic preference relation cannot be represented by a utility function

I am stuck on the following exercise, related to preference relations and von-Neumann-Morgenstern utility function. A farmer wants to dig a well in a square field $[0,1000]\times[0,1000]$. The ...
Erel Segal-Halevi's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
11k views

Applications of Trig functions in Economics?

Are there any applications of trig functions (ie $\sin(x)$, $\cos(x)$,$\tan(x)$) in economics?
EconJohn's user avatar
  • 8,407
11 votes
1 answer
586 views

Are there fundamental reasons why (exponential) economic growth is highly desirable?

One of the most widely published measures of the economy is the economic growth as a % of the GDP; i.e. the degree to which an economy grows exponentially. In my understanding, when the rate of ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 1,754
9 votes
1 answer
20k views

Finding demand function given a utility min(x,y) function

I am confused about a particular point regarding finding a demand function. All the problems in this practice set I am doing have involved applying the method of Lagrangian multipliers. But I am ...
Stan Shunpike's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

What would happen if the world switched to a single currency?

What would happen if all countries suddenly stopped using local currencies and adopted a global currency (like the Euro, but for everyone)?
oyvind's user avatar
  • 209
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is the economy a zero-sum game?

Theoretically speaking, if all the Earth's inhabitants were to save money and invest, is it possible for everybody to get, let's say, a 4% yearly return for everyone? Is the economy a zero sum game (...
dreamoki's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Interest rate parity: Counter intuitive

What is the basis for interest rate parity to hold? I know, the reason stated is excess returns Excess returns as such should not be the reason for a currency depreciation. for e.g. when we posit that ...
figs_and_nuts's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
993 views

Is money mostly created (out of nothing) by banks making loans?

In the Bank of England's Quarterly Bulletin, 2014 Q1, McLeay, Radia, & Thomas write a pair of articles titled: "Money in the modern economy: an introduction" and "Money creation in ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
18k views

Does GDP count both the investment and the house rental?

Suppose you bought a new house in the year of 2010. Then the price of the house in counted toward the 2010 GDP. Say then you live in the new house in the following years. So in these years, the GDP ...
Kun's user avatar
  • 821
4 votes
1 answer
757 views

Optimization problem with Kuhn-Tucker conditions

Consider a game with two players where each player $i=1,2$ has preferences $u_i=s_i^a c_i^{1−a}$, where $c_i$ is consumption and $s_i$ is social interaction. $s_i$ is given by $s_i=t_i+t_{ij}\times t_{...
Stefanos Makridis's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
727 views

Is it possible that the minimum point of a short run cost curve does not touch the long run cost curve?

In the answer to this question, the answerer said "the minimum point of a short run cost curve will be above the long run cost curve". Is it true? If so, how would it be so? I thought that if e.g. ...
Aqqqq's user avatar
  • 392
-1 votes
2 answers
351 views

What amount of Quantitative Easing will cause hyperinflation?

You all know that Quantitative Easing shifts the LM and AD curves right, so I haven't taken the time to redraw this picture. What's the maximum amount of Quantitative Easing that the Federal Reserve ...
user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
2k views

Who exactly foots the bill if Greece defaults

Apologies if the topic is not appropriate (economics newbie here) but I am curious as to who exactly would foot the bill if Greece defaults on the ~300 billion dollars it owes. It looks like most of ...
stali's user avatar
  • 321
18 votes
3 answers
1k views

Destroying the dollar

Let's destroy the USD dollar: I am the government of a small, economically and geopolitically unimportant country that has its own currency and a local central bank. I order the local central bank (at ...
Alecos Papadopoulos's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
13k views

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{\...
Stan Shunpike's user avatar
13 votes
7 answers
4k views

Textbook for macroeconomics (advanced undergrad)

I find that many contemporary macroeconomics textbooks are too applied, filled with examples, case studies and intuitive illustrations, often at the expense of quantitative rigour and therefore the ...
Constantin's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
78k views

What is the definition of exogenous and endogenous preferences?

Wikipedia states: Exogenous Preference -- one that comes from outside the model and is unexplained by the model. Endogenous Preference -- preferences then cannot be taken as given, but are affected ...
Stan Shunpike's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
43k views

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 = \...
user1170330's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
796 views

Definition of capitalism

Does the discipline of economics have an accepted rigorous definition of capitalism? I.e. not something like "some economists would quote Hayek and say that so and so constitutes capitalism" but an ...
Giskard's user avatar
  • 29.4k
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can the Machina Paradox be solved by expanding the choice set?

In another question, the Machina paradox is mentioned as a possible counterexample to the expected utility model: Adding to the list of paradoxes, consider Machina's paradox. It is described in Mas-...
jmbejara's user avatar
  • 9,355
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Inflation and economic growth

Noticeable works about the impact of inflation on economic growth are dated back to the 90s. For example, Barro (1995): the impact effects from an increase in average inflation by 10 percentage ...
Anton Tarasenko's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
494 views

The Case for Basic Income in developed and underdeveloped countries

From what I can tell, the idea of the basic income guarantee is very popular in some circles as an excellent alternative to a lot of modern welfare systems. Has anybody developed a theoretic or ...
Jamzy's user avatar
  • 3,761
9 votes
2 answers
651 views

Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage

The aim of this question is to better explore the mathematical economics model behind Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage and the claims that can be made based on this model. This seems ...
Giskard's user avatar
  • 29.4k
8 votes
2 answers
44k views

How to derive firm's cost function from production function?

I recently learned how to solve the following type of problem using the method of Lagrangian multipliers: Given a consumer with utility function $u(x,y)$, wealth $w$, prices $p =(p_x,p_y)$, budget ...
Stan Shunpike's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
373 views

How does a central bank create the money used for quantitative easing or lowering the value of their currency?

Up until last week, the Swiss central bank used Francs to buy Euros, in an effort to lower the value of the Franc; today the European central bank announced that it would use Euros to buy bonds in ...
Axel Boldt's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
13k views

Consumer surplus in case of perfectly inelastic demand

How do we define consumer surplus in the case of perfectly inelastic demand? This question was inspired by the comments following this answer. For a graph of inelastic demand please also see the ...
Giskard's user avatar
  • 29.4k
7 votes
5 answers
1k views

How is the interest on fractional reserve money creation paid?

In fractional reserve banking commercial banks create money when they make loans. When these loans are paid back the account is zeroed, the created money disappears, but the bank is still entitled ...
dw1's user avatar
  • 181
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is modest inflation a good thing? [duplicate]

I have been reading a BBC news article about inflation in the UK, which is saying that inflation has recently become negative (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33147660). The article suggests that ...
Karnivaurus's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
5k views

What is Opportunity Cost?

Suppose you have 2 activities, A and B. Doing activity A gives a return of 100 dollars, doing activity B gives a return of -50 dollars. What would be the opportunity cost of choosing activity B? 100 ...
Oshlum's user avatar
  • 31

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