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33

Most of the US real earnings data which go only as far as mid 60s. According to the statista data presented in this article by world economic forum the evolution of real hourly earnings in the US for production and non-supervisory workers looked like this: If we extrapolate to 50s then the real earnings are now higher overall. However, this being said the ...


23

Average standard of living is massively higher today compared to the 1950s, primarly due to technological progress. Even a cheap low end car today is much better than the big cars of the 1950s, it is orders of magnitude safer, much more comfortable and has a whole bunch of new features that didn't exist back then. Houses as such haven't changed that much, ...


14

The book “The Two Income Trap” (2003) by Elizabeth Warren (recent Democratic presidential candidate) and Amelia Warren Tyagi discussed this. They looked at spending breakdowns in the 1970s and when they were writing. One thing to keep in mind is that the mix of spending has changed, as well as the characteristics of products. E.g., modern cars appear to be ...


13

To measure the costs of different people speaking different languages, researchers use a "linguistic distance" metric, see for example this paper. However, measuring the cost of linguistic diversity appears to be challenging. Some effects are shown along the following lines. Impact of linguistic distance on international trade In this paper, they construct ...


11

One reason is the inflationary gain problem. Let me give an example with simple numbers. I make \$100 in income and pay 20% tax of \$20. I have \$80 left, which I invest in a stock. The stock goes up in value at the same rate as inflation, about 3.5% a year. After 20 years, it's worth about \$160, but \$160 has the same value now as \$80 did when I ...


11

There exists the... "Adam Smith of the Arabs": Ibn Khaldun. He lived during the 14th century. The work of his that focuses on Economics is Muqaddimah translated in English in 1958 as "The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History". He advocated less involvement of the state in production and trade activities, which should focus instead on stabilization ...


10

Direct predecessors to Adam Smith within the classical tradition (maybe a more useful distinction than modern) include Hume, Locke and Dudley North. Before the classical economists, there were the physiocrats (18th century), such as Francois Quesnay and Turgot. The physiocrats emphasised agricultural productivity as a driver of the wealth of nations. They ...


10

"...capitalists buy and sell money as though it were a productive economic good." No they don't. They buy and sell currency, because the price of currency fluctuates (due to imagination and/or economic fundamentals) and so there are profit opportunities there. Also, they are after liquidity, (i.e. holding money instead of physical capital), because ...


7

What would happen in the event of a "Leave" vote in the referendum? Well, the pound would quickly fall in value against its major trading partners - and some falls have already happened as the "Leave" vote appears to increase in probability. That makes imports more expensive, which is directly inflationary. Which pushes the Bank of England (the UK's Central ...


7

I find the following quotes to be interesting: "[Political economy is] a branch of the science of a statesman or legislator [with the objective to provide] a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people [and] to supply the state or commonwealth with a revenue for the publick services."—Adam Smith, 1776. "Economics is a study of man in the ordinary ...


7

I feel this barely qualifies as an answer, but doesn't Shiller have house prices data on his webpage? Currently here. Specifically: Historical housing market data used in my book, Irrational Exuberance [Princeton University Press 2000, Broadway Books 2001, 2nd edition, 2005], showing home prices since 1890 are available for download and updated monthly: ...


6

Covering the historical part, you may want to look at: 1) The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order which appears to be written in a "non-fiction thriller" style, revolving around the argument that "(Bretton Woods) was in reality part of a much more ambitious geopolitical agenda hatched ...


6

According to some yes. In this (historically oriented) view, whatever succeeded feudalism is called capitalism. Capitalism, broadly accepted as a phase of history, is dominating the last half-a-millennium. It has also become conventional that capitalism itself had various phases and stages. Its antecedents go back to ancient history. Barter and exchange of ...


5

There is significant debate about whether such x exists. For example Louis XIV had things in his estate that are not in mine (I do not have two palaces). But there are also things in my estate that were not in his. I have access to 21st century healthcare, dental care, the internet, I can flush after going to the toilet...whose lifestyle is 'worth' more? ...


5

Firms can always shift their profits from one tax territory to another via various methods. Consider a simplistic example, let’s say we have firm ABC that has most of its business in Sweden. The owners of ABC can set up another parent company, let’s say ABC global in some tax haven like Luxembourg. Afterwards they can transfer some intellectual property (or ...


4

Both another answer and the OP have linked to the wikipedia article on the matter. I think the following passage from the article sums adequately the situation (bold mine): "The term “Islamic banking” refers to a system of banking or banking activity that is consistent with Islamic law (Shariah) principles and guided by Islamic economics. The ...


4

As others noted, these kinds of things are extremely difficult to calculate because we don't have good data going back much further than the start of the 20th century and because it is hard to make a like for like comparison between modern and pre-industrial life. But Brad DeLong has attempted to estimate global GDP over very long historical time horizons. ...


4

For comparison with mainly agrarian pre-industrial societies, it is possible to derive estimates of X from figures in the Maddison Project Database, which contains estimates of real per capita GDP at various historic dates for various countries. For the UK / England, for example: $$\frac{\text{UK Per capita GDP 2010}}{\text{UK Per capita GDP 1720}}=\frac{...


4

Just to come back on your two questions: (i) whenever the market is getting "tense", interest rates go up. Because people usually sell their bonds, and so interests rates go up as these two are negatively correlated (if you don't understand this point please tell me I can explain it to you quickly in the comment). It is called a "sell-off". (ii) We have some ...


4

They worked at home. Like "Household Engineers" do today, doing everything working from down to dusk like their husbands, and like their husband they shared in the earnings of the household. Until the industrial revolution came each household operated like a mini business. It was the Industrial revolution that divided "work"(e.g. business) from home. ...


4

No, the idea of wealth as something to be created did not originate in the United States. It was part of the mercantilist approach to national economic policy that was widely adopted in Europe in the 16th to 18th centuries. Mercantilism involved a range of policies, many of which were designed to increase the wealth of one country at the expense of others ...


4

The plan did involve loans but was mostly in the form of grants (gifts). As the Wikipedia entry states: The Marshall Plan [...] consisted of aid both in the form of grants and in the form of loans. Out of the total, 1.2 billion USD were loan-aid. Since the total economic support the program involved was of \$13 billion in contemporaneous time (roughly \$...


4

It has been argued that the concept of present value was implicit in Liber Abaci (1202) by Leonardo of Pisa (also known as Fibonacci). This paper by Goetzmann makes this claim in its abstract and introduction, and presents (pp 26-7) an example from Liber Abaci of what appears to be present value analysis.


4

One example is this UK Government analysis: "Britain’s economy would be tipped into a year-long recession, with at least 500,000 jobs lost and GDP around 3.6% lower, following a vote to leave the EU, new Treasury analysis launched today by the Prime Minister and Chancellor shows…Speaking at B&Q in Eastleigh, Hampshire, the Prime Minister and ...


4

I think this is already answered in the paper itself and in addition I think this is due to the way how they define 'simultaneous equations' topics. First as authors of that paper opine: This presumably reflects declining use of an orthodox multi-equation framework, especially in macroeconomics. The reduced coverage of Simultaneous equations has made space ...


4

Optimal transport methods are very much still in use in economics. The show up in two-sided matching with side-payments, contract theory, hedonic pricing, partial identification in econometrics, and a couple of other areas. You can find an excellent overview of economic applications in the 2016 book Optimal Transport Methods in Economics by Alfred Galichon.


3

Knut Wicksell, author of Interest & Prices, argues that money ≠ capital:(quoted on p. 8 of Bernard W. Dempsey's Interest & Usury) It is usually said that in modern communities, capital (of the mobile kind) is lent in the form of money. But this is a metaphorical and inexact manner of speaking which can easily lead to error. Liquid capital, which is ...


3

This is only for Europe unfortunately, but Bob Allen has a famous paper in which he presents reconstructed data for real wages in different European cities from 1350 all the way to 1799: Allen, Robert C. "The great divergence in European wages and prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War." Explorations in economic history 38.4 (2001): 411-447. ...


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