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11
votes
4answers
16k views

How does a country devalue its currency?

I recently read an article in the New York Times that talked about China devaluing its currency (which I believe is held to a peg against the US Dollar). My question is: specifically what tools does a ...
11
votes
2answers
200 views

Optimality of Zero Capital Taxation

The Chamley-Judd result of zero optimal capital taxation says that 0 capital taxation are required in order to maximize welfare at the steady state. The result is 30 years old. Still assuming that ...
11
votes
5answers
644 views

Why isn't the cost of shoes affected by their size?

I have noticed that many shoe selling shops I have visited have the same price tag regardless of the shoe size. Intuitively I'd think the bigger the shoe the more material and consequently capital ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Did previous researchers fail to detect the hot hand simply because of a statistical fallacy?

Many basketball fans/players believe that having made several shots in a row, the next shot is more likely to go in. This is sometimes called the hot hand. Starting (I think) with Gilovich, Mallone, ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
13k views

What is an example of a utility function where one good is inferior?

Say the consumer has a standard convex, monotonic preference over Apples and Bananas. (Update: I'd like the preference to be as 'standard' as possible. So ideally we have diminishing MRS everywhere ...
11
votes
3answers
14k views

Outputting Regressions as Table in Python (similar to outreg in stata)?

Anyone know of a way to get multiple regression outputs (not multivariate regression, literally multiple regressions) in a table indicating which different independent variables were used and what the ...
11
votes
3answers
662 views

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. ...
11
votes
2answers
978 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
335 views

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
212 views

Is there a folk theorem for repeated games on networks?

Games on networks have been studied extensively, however, I was not able to find a folk theorem for games on networks. Is there one or can it be derived from an already existing folk theorem? With ...
11
votes
2answers
223 views

Why plug deficits with bonds rather than printing money?

The UK is running a budget deficit £107 billion a year. Inflation is currently running at 1%. Given these facts, why do they plug the gap by selling debt rather than just creating the money to cover ...
11
votes
3answers
815 views

Understanding the construction of stochastic processes

I've seen stochastic processes modeled/constructed in the following way. Consider the probability space $(\Omega, \mathcal F, Pr)$ and let $\mathbb S$ be the (measurable) transformation $\...
11
votes
2answers
636 views

Effect of a permanent increase in government expenditure in an open economy?

In Krugman & Obstfeld's International Economics, 8e, Chapter 16, an involved argument is given showing that a permanent fiscal expansion will not affect output even in the short run. It seems to ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is the Cobb-Douglas production function so popular?

As relatively novice quantitative analyst/ Cost analyst, Ive been asked to estimate the level of a given organizations productivity more than once, and then forecast for the next couple of periods. ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
544 views

Is there a solution to the Joker's game in The Dark Knight?

In the final battle in the movie, the Dark Knight (2008), the Joker has rigged two ferries carrying people out of Manhattan Gotham to explode. One ferry carries mostly civilians with a substantial ...
11
votes
1answer
249 views

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
416 views

Is elasticity of substitution between goods empirically constant?

In New Keynesian models, we use a lot of CES assumption, usually Dixit-Stiglitz, to develop an economic model. Is CES, constant elasticity of substitution between goods, empirically (approximately) ...
11
votes
1answer
256 views

What are the economic impacts of different professions?

Every dollar a research worker earns makes the economy \$5 better off and every dollar a finance worker makes costs the economy \$0.60 So Reddit Economics yesterday posited and later retracted the ...
11
votes
2answers
419 views

Real option effect of uncertainty - irreversiblity vs fixed cost

There is a growing literature (e.g. Bloom, 2009) studying negative macroeconomic impacts of heightened uncertainty. One channel through which uncertainty can discourage economic activity, and ...
11
votes
1answer
366 views

Neo Keynesian Modelling and the Lucas Critique

Some people from the more extreme microfoundations/internal consistency camp keep bashing the Neo Keynesian model for the Calvo pricing being not micro founded and hence the whole model not being ...
10
votes
5answers
17k views

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 ...
10
votes
5answers
12k views

Help understanding Lagrangian multipliers?

I am trying to understand Lagrangian multipliers and using an example problem I found online. Problem Set Up: Consider a consumer with utility function $u(x,y) = x^{\alpha} y^{1-\alpha}$, where $\...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How is it possible that all currency exchange rates are fixed w.r.t. to each other?

I wondered if it would be beneficial to exchange a currency through one or more "in-between" currencies. For example: instead of trading Russian Ruble (RUB) to Euro's (EUR), one would trade from RUB ...
10
votes
5answers
816 views

What is the evidence that econometrics has empirical value?

Economies are extremely complex systems with many variables, not to mention the fact that they emerge from the interactions of complex beings. I agree that economies have certain underlying principles,...
10
votes
2answers
153 views

Schumpeterian Business Cycles

The basic idea of Schumpeterian Business Cycles is that new technologies require creative destruction but will yield positive growth. These two opposing forces have impacts onto the real economy at ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

Which are the different Schools of Economic Thought?

It would be great to have a brief but comprehensive list of current (e.g. Austrian) and defunct (e.g Mercantilism) schools of thought in Economics. I think an ideal answer would include: the defining ...
10
votes
3answers
815 views

Game theory for showing interest and availability when dating

The more cynical (or perhaps realistic) of us would argue that there's a fair amount of game theory going on in the dating game. For example a classic ploy is 'Don't ring for three days, because you ...
10
votes
3answers
693 views

In the US, do high wages in regions like New York and California offset the high cost of living?

It's well understood that the cost of living in New York City vastly exceeds the cost of living in, say, rural Louisiana. It is also well understood that wages in New York City vastly exceed those in ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

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, ...
10
votes
2answers
16k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
8k 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{\...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Money in the animal kingdom

Animals living in packs must have ways to decide how to distribute their goods among the pack members. Just like prices can appear in an exchange economy, prices could appear in pack economy. Though ...
10
votes
2answers
28k 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 = \...
10
votes
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
655 views

Impact of auction systems that allow 'sniping'

I'm a bit perplexed that eBay has auctions that have a fixed time ending, and so winners are often determined by who can 'snipe' the auction, by putting in the winning bid at the last possible ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Open access datasets for teaching IV regression

I am looking for a dataset to show (to a group of engineers) how the instrumental variables technique is used in econometric practice. I could always make up my own data, but I think it might be ...
10
votes
2answers
709 views

OLS bias in demand estimation: the bias always underestimate the demand's elasticity?

Some papers argue that OLS can produce less bias than IV estimation depending on the quality of your instruments. Suppose we consider a demand estimation equation. Suppose the demand elasticity is ...
10
votes
3answers
472 views

Nobel prize for empirical work

Did any recipients of the economics Nobel prize receive their prize for work that was primarily or substantially empirical (rather than theoretical) in nature?
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Intuition behind risk premium

In Lecture 20 of MIT's Microeconomics course, a situation is proposed where a 50/50 bet will either result in losing \$100 or gaining \$125 with a starting wealth of \$100. It is stated that a person ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Wouldn't abolition of cash give rise to a substitute currency?

Some countries (e.g. Sweden and Denmark) plan to abolish physical cash in the future and restrict the use of cash to electronical deposits. One of the reasons for this is to prevent hoarding / boost ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible to have a modern economy without a central bank?

Many mainstream economists say that such thing is impossible. Is there some specific reason why the financial system needs a central bank? In this video http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BcuAOdXD0Go, ...
10
votes
3answers
900 views

What is the calculable effect of counterfeiting on an economy?

I'm curious whether one can numerically calculate the effect that counterfeiting has on an economy. As I understand it, counterfeiting essentially amounts to theft of the wealth of everybody holding ...
10
votes
2answers
854 views

Simulating Real Business Cycle

Basically I need to replicate Hartley's 'A User's Guide to Solving Real Business Cycle Models' (http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/kdsalyer/LECTURES/Ecn235a/Linearization/ugfinal.pdf). Specifically, ...
10
votes
2answers
326 views

Are there any states that don't have debt?

I've not been able to find any states that don't have debt to other states. This, to me at least, seems really strange. Are there any nation states that are not in debt to other states, if so which ...
10
votes
1answer
537 views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the purpose of measuring GNP?

I know that the GDP (the value of all final goods and services produced within a country during a given period of time) is useful for determining the productivity of a nation, the size of the nation's ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the derivative used to represent marginal cost instead of the difference?

Marginal cost is defined as "the change in the total cost that arises when the quantity produced is incremented by one unit." And given a total cost function $C(q)$ that's differentiable, the marginal ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Log-linearization of Euler equation with an expectation term

There are a few online resources available to help with log-linearization (e.g., here or here). However, log-linearization where an expectation is involved is a little tricky because the log can't ...

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