83 votes
Accepted

Why do economists disagree so much?

Some areas of economics have more consensus and predictive power than others. Most economists would agree on the effects of trade barriers, could fairly accurately forecast the effects of a price ...
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78 votes

A law against selling any house cheaper than it was bought for, what consequences would that have?

That would be really, really bad. Any house that loses value will be unsellable, and thus virtually worthless. Most people living in such a house would be prevented from moving. They cannot sell it, ...
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77 votes
Accepted

If women are paid less for the same work, why don't employers hire just women?

There could be several reasons here are just few: Principal-agent problems. Firms are typically not managed by their owners but by managers (agents) who act on the behalf of owners/shareholders (...
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  • 42.1k
67 votes

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

This is an interesting question a lot of good labour economists have been thinking about for a while. There are a few conflicting theories as to what will happen. You could base a whole career on this ...
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46 votes

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

Automation has been happening for a couple of hundred years now and right now we're all still working pretty hard. Although a 40-hour working week is standard, many people exceed this, and many ...
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  • 918
41 votes

People pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the entire nation

But when people pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the entire nation This sentence seems to imply that we should fault the rich not because they are rich, but because they do ...
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40 votes

Why do low-income earners tend to spend more?

Marginal propensity to consume is the proportion of an aggregate raise in pay that a consumer spends on the consumption of goods and services, as opposed to saving it. If someone gets extra income $\\...
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37 votes
Accepted

Why do celebrities get high wages?

If you ask yourself how much a potential employer would have to pay you to convince you to work for him, the answer is probably something like "at least as much as I could earn by doing the same job ...
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  • 16.6k
37 votes

Could eliminating all taxes and only creating new money theoretically work?

It would not work. Historically speaking, governments that try to fund their operations primarily via the printing press experience not just inflation but hyper-inflation. Why? Well, one explanation ...
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36 votes

If women are paid less for the same work, why don't employers hire just women?

Quite simple. If women are paid less, then that's because people believe their work to be worth less. The same believe, that womens work is worth less, then stops employers from hiring more women. (...
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35 votes

Why do different countries have different currency?

Two reasons: history and ability to control the money supply. History: paper-money started by being issued by trustworthy agents from kings/governments, as a way to be able to transfer the ownership ...
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  • 2,155
34 votes

Did real incomes drop significantly since the 1950s?

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 ...
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  • 42.1k
32 votes
Accepted

Why do different countries have different currency?

I will focus on some economics reasons not mentioned explicitly so far. There are economic benefits to having your own currency. Your question essentially raises the question of so-called "Optimum ...
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  • 5,414
31 votes
Accepted

Why do many occupations show a gender bias?

I should say pre-emptively that I'm not satisfied with ideas that merely may explain the effect, as yesterday's question produced a proliferation of rationalisations and claims that lacked rigour. I'...
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  • 2,099
30 votes
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Why is fuel more expensive on the high way in Europe?

Because there is no indication in your question that you are a student or practitioner of economics, I am writing an answer for a lay audience. Let me know if you would like more technical detail. A ...
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30 votes
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Do companies have non compete agreements between each other?

This is known as dividing markets or market allocation, and it is against the law in the US, the EU, and I imagine in most countries with antitrust laws.
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29 votes

A law against selling any house cheaper than it was bought for, what consequences would that have?

And everyone is safe, the crash prevented and everyone will keep making millions simply by borrowing more for risk free "investing" in simply owning ones own house, right? It is true, your investment ...
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  • 401
29 votes

Does a store suffering increased theft generally cause higher prices?

prices should have already been set to maximize the trade off between profit-per-sale and volume sold But profit-per-sale depends on costs, which depends on the theft numbers, so if theft increases, ...
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  • 26.2k
27 votes

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

Your question relates to an important research topic on the link between automation and employment. David Autor works on this issue and the topic "Inequality, Technological Change and Globalization". ...
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  • 6,652
27 votes

If women are paid less for the same work, why don't employers hire just women?

Because women are not paid less for the same work when all the variables are taken into equasion. Caveat: below answer is a nearly verbatim copy of my earlier answer on Politics.SE on the topic In ...
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  • 678
24 votes

How do economists explain why people contribute to Wikipedia?

Voluntarily contributing to a public good (such as Wikipedia) is a strong social norm. The tendency to follow such norms even if this is costly in the short run has developed over humans' evolutionary ...
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  • 4,557
23 votes

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

Horses were replaced by cars. Clerks were replaced by word-processors and spreadsheets. We have adapted to the technology and changed how we work. Therein lies the answer. Consider if you will a ...
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  • 386
23 votes

Did real incomes drop significantly since the 1950s?

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 ...
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  • 567
23 votes

How do economists explain why people contribute to Wikipedia?

I wouldn't underestimate the role of learning by answering. Drafting a significant text typically forces a person to put their thoughts in order, to engage in research, and then to structure the ...
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  • 626
22 votes
Accepted

Are democracies more economically productive than autocracies?

In economics, it is accepted that countries with good 'inclusive' institutions, such as strong property rights, are more productive and able to develop faster (or even develop at all) than countries ...
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21 votes

Who exactly foots the bill if Greece defaults

Who would pay depends on the terms of the default. Sometimes holders of similar debts are not treated equally, and this can play out in different ways. Greeks could default on external debts but ...
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21 votes

Why do economists disagree so much?

In addition to Ubiquitous' excellent answer, I will also point out the general lack of experimental controls in economics. Your example about crash-testing a car is an easily designed, perfectly ...
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20 votes

Why do we need to "get the economy moving again"?

Both Alice and Kate have bills to pay, regardless of whether they are earning money or not. Restaurants and salons have to pay rent and maintenance on their properties whether they are in business or ...
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