The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Hot answers tagged

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 ...


9

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 ...


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 ...


6

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 ...


6

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

"...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 ...


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 ...


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? ...


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

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

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

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 ...


3

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{...


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 ...


3

The argument of W.V. Harris is that it goes back at least to Roman times. For example, the bankers of Ephesus were given 10 years to pay back loans in 85 bc, an action that makes little sense outside of a fractional reserve system. (I am using “fractional reserve lending” loosely; they were no formal reserve requirements. However, the banks were not holding ...


3

Fractional reserves banking is at least as old as the 1400's: A balance sheet from the London branch of the Medici Bank, dated November 12, 1477, shows that a significant number of the bank’s debts corresponded to demand deposits. Raymond de Roover himself estimates that at one point, the bank’s primary reserves were down to 50 percent of total ...


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. ...


3

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 ...


3

Legendary Indian diplomat of Mauryan era, Kautilya (or Chanakya or Vishnugupt), is Indian equivalent of Adam Smith. It is estimated that he wrote his classic book Arthshastra (literal meaning: Economics) in 3rd century BCE. Both Kautilya and Arthshastra are mentioned in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain texts. Wikipedia has quite accessible entries on both. The ...


3

There are two main reason for the difference in tax rates that I see from the literature. First, some papers argue that the optimal tax rate on capital is zero. This is the famous "Chamley-Judd" result. The idea behind this result is that taxing capital is a tax on savings, which is a tax on all future consumption. This is more distortionary than a tax on ...


3

Not to be too obvious about it, but couldn't you just say Jeremy Bentham? The calculus of choosing bundles that maximizes pleasure specified a very simple utility function in words.


2

What is it about economics as a discipline that has allowed the it to extend to these "seemingly non-economics aspects of life?" The fact that essentially all aspects of human/social life have a materialistic base/aspect. I am not saying that it is always the most important or critical aspect, but it is almost always one of the important aspects (still). ...


2

Assume a company decides to "wind up". What would happen? Its competitors would want to get hold of its tangible and intangible assets (like customer base, patents etc). How is this different from "fighting to a buyout"? In this second scenario, the company has always available the option/threat of continuing competition (possibly harmful to the competitors),...


2

To understand why some countries are rich and others are not, we need to understand what happened to each of them in the past. How and why they developed depends to a large extent on events that took place decades or even centuries ago. This is what economists broadly refer to as path dependence. Brian Arthur was probably one of the first economists to point ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible