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Eros Kapital

This recent academic article [PDF] by Catherine Hakim presents "a new theory of erotic capital as a fourth personal asset, an important addition to economic, cultural, and social capital," and proposes "a new agenda for sociological (and feminist) research and theory." Here's a stripped-down magazine version. The theory is controversial and thought-provoking, sure, and there are counter-arguments. The Financial Times notes the obvious: If eroticism is indeed a kind of capital, then there is a market in it. Meanwhile, newspapers get yet another reason to print pictures of sexy people. [All links are SFW]
posted by chavenet on Apr 6, 2010 - 45 comments

The price is write

Cory Doctorow gives a talk at Bloomsbury on book pricing in the internet age (47min video)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 2, 2010 - 132 comments

Economics and Physics Envy

"Take a little bad psychology, add a dash of bad philosophy and ethics, and liberal quantities of bad logic, and any economist can prove that the demand curve for a commodity is negatively inclined." MIT economist Andrew Lo and string theorist turned asset manager Mark Mueller on the "physics envy" that plagues economics, and how to stop worrying and love uncertainty.
posted by escabeche on Apr 1, 2010 - 37 comments

Renminbi Appreciation and US Policy

Recently, Paul Krugman has been advocating for US trade protectionism to counter China's apparent undervaluation of renminbi. Peking University Economics professor Yiping Huang disagrees.
posted by jjray on Mar 30, 2010 - 47 comments

WEF Global Risk Report 2010: Risks Interconnection Map

The World Economic Forum's Global Risk Report 2010. Here is the full report (HTML). As reported by the BBC, Wall Street Journal, and Reuters.
posted by WalterMitty on Mar 24, 2010 - 9 comments

Whence Altruism?

A new study suggests that humanity's sense of fair play and kindness towards strangers is determined by culture, not genetics. Speculation: the finding may be directly related to the rise of religion in human history, as well as more complex economies. (Via). [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 22, 2010 - 49 comments

Do less, tax more

A NYTimes columnist just comes out and says it: America's taxes should be higher. The Perils of Pay Less, Get More. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla on Mar 16, 2010 - 218 comments

MTV Hits and Nick Too for $.01

What the cable company pays for the channels you don't watch. A chart of the subscriber fees for basic and digital cable. ESPN laps the field at over $4.00 per subscriber, MTV Hits ("MTV Classic") and Nick Too (west coast Nick) come in at $.01.
posted by pollex on Mar 8, 2010 - 100 comments

Tracking the Knowledge Economy

It has been looked at for many years (link to a 2003 PDF revised edition of a 1983 report). Inspiring reports trying to predict where this was heading, the knowledge economy is incredibly difficult to get a grip on, mainly because its products are intangible. [more inside]
posted by JoeXIII007 on Mar 6, 2010 - 8 comments

Be it resolved that financial 'innovation' does not boost economic growth

Basicland vs. Sorrowland
A parable about how one nation came to financial ruin by Charles Munger. For extra colour there's... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 2, 2010 - 34 comments

Wall Street's Bailout Hustle

"The reality is that the post-bailout era in which Goldman [Sachs] thrived has turned out to be a chaotic frenzy of high-stakes con-artistry, with taxpayers and clients bilked out of billions using a dizzying array of old-school hustles that, but for their ponderous complexity, would have fit well in slick grifter movies like The Sting and Matchstick Men. There's even a term in con-man lingo for what some of the banks are doing right now, with all their cosmetic gestures of scaling back bonuses and giving to charities. In the grifter world, calming down a mark so he doesn't call the cops is known as the "Cool Off.""
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 22, 2010 - 50 comments

funemployment

How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America
The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come. (via rw)
posted by kliuless on Feb 11, 2010 - 84 comments

Roughly 1 in 4 Americans is employed to keep fellow citizens in line and protect private wealth

“Being willing to sit in a boring classroom for 12 years, and then sign up for four more years and then sign up for three or more years after that—well, that’s a pretty good measure of your willingness to essentially do what you’re told,” - The Santa Fe Reporter talks to Economist Samuel Bowles about New Mexico's income gap, welfare, social mobility, and a radical way to help. (Via)
posted by The Whelk on Feb 5, 2010 - 47 comments

The Dynamite Prize in Economics

As a reaction towards the financial crisis the Real-World Economics Review will award the Dynamite Prize in Economics to the three economists who contributed most to blowing up the global economy. The Real-World Economic Review is the central organ of the movement for Post-Autistic Economics which is critical about the current mainstream in economics — in particular microeconomics and neoclassical theorists. [more inside]
posted by jfricke on Feb 4, 2010 - 52 comments

Hundred-to-won

Last December, the government of North Korea unexpectedly revalued its internal currency, the North Korean won, at a rate of 100-to-1 and capped the amounts that residents could exchange old currency at 300,000 won (approx. $90 U.S. on the black market). This effectively wiped out many peoples' savings and killed the nascent market economy that had begun to emerge after a series of economic reforms starting in July, 2002. Professor Rüdiger Frank of the University of Vienna argues that while it represents a temporary victory for the North Korean government, this move may ultimately lead to the end of North Korean socialism. [Recently here]
posted by albrecht on Feb 3, 2010 - 23 comments

American declinism

The End of Influence - the latest in a long series documenting the US' relative decline (esp wrt China 1 2 3 4 5) Brad DeLong and Stephen Cohen reflect on what has brought us to our past, but now fast-fading glory: "Roosevelt's strategy [entering WW2] was to make Britain broke before American taxpayers' money was committed in any way to the fight against Hitler." Before delving into our present predicament, however, it might also be useful to briefly consider some of the lessons from Bretton Woods and what the wealth of nations is really built upon.
posted by kliuless on Jan 31, 2010 - 39 comments

The other exit strategy

With quantitative easing on everyone's minds, pundits of all sorts talk about Central Bank exit strategies. But in The Treaty of Lisbon, which came into force across the EU on December 1st, 2009, it turns out European member states have put forward an exit strategy of a completely different kind [.pdf] . [more inside]
posted by Mutant on Jan 20, 2010 - 31 comments

"Leading bankers destroy £7 of value for every pound they generate."

The New Economics Foundation, also responsible for the Happy Planet Index and Jubilee 2000 campaign, has released a study (full text here) about the values and costs of different professions to society.
posted by emjaybee on Jan 10, 2010 - 16 comments

Solidarity Economics.

Solidarity Economics. (pdf) Strategies for Building New Economies From the Bottom-Up and the Inside-Out. [more inside]
posted by lunit on Jan 2, 2010 - 11 comments

a coherent platform for the grand new party?

Keeping America's Edge (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 22, 2009 - 21 comments

Keynes vs. Hayek hip hop

For economics nerds: fun Keynes vs. Hayek hip hop song on PBS Newshour.
posted by Jacqueline on Dec 18, 2009 - 12 comments

Used for centuries, end of lifed October 31st 2018 - The Cheque

They were first known as "Praescriptiones" and used by The Romans from around 100BC 1. Employed by Perisans of the Sassanid Dynasty during the third century, they were then known as "Saqqs". They have been found in Egyptian ruins dating from the 12th century, about the same time as The Knights Templar bolstered their use by issuing written instruments, redeemable for cash to pilgrims bound for holy land bound. Even so, it took another five centuries for the cheque to be adopted by England. [more inside]
posted by Mutant on Dec 17, 2009 - 43 comments

I have been overpaid to do what has been pure fun.

Economist Paul Samuelson - a major proponent of Keynesianism in the United States and the second Nobel Laureate in Economics - has died. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Dec 13, 2009 - 15 comments

Obama's Big Sellout

Taibbi-filter: Obama's Big Sellout [more inside]
posted by moorooka on Dec 10, 2009 - 156 comments

Why doesn't the government have its own shoe stores as well?

Have you ever wondered why you can't get what you want, but, if you try sometimes, etc.? Mark Hicken, a British Colombian lawyer, is a great source of information on the state(s) of Canadian liquor regulations. Sure, a little localised and dry, but that's the terroir, man. Also, he does point out some inanities that have a relatively universal appeal.
posted by converge on Dec 10, 2009 - 27 comments

Homeowners! You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Mortgages!

The Moral Dimensions of Ditching a Mortgage: University of Arizona law professor Brent T. White has written a provocative new paper (pdf) that urges homeowners with "underwater" mortgages" to walk away by strategically defaulting on their mortgage debts. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Nov 30, 2009 - 164 comments

"The Plague of Free."

Doug Rushkoff throws down the gauntlet in his “Radical Abundance” speech at the O’Reilly Web 2.0 conference. Some highlights of the speech: “The only real possible competition to Google and their economy of faux openness would be peer-to-peer exchange.” “As a result of all this freedom the abundance of genuine creative output is declining. We are actually getting the scarce market place demanded by our currency legacy system. The same way the early Renaissance got a scarcity by killing off half the people with the plague.” Some Alternatives: 1: The development of a digital culture that actually respects the labor of individuals. 2: The creation of new modes of currency based in abundance rather than scarcity.
posted by joetrip on Nov 22, 2009 - 113 comments

George Soros on the Way Forward

Soros lectures
You can slog through the video, but I preferred the transcripts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 21, 2009 - 13 comments

Silicon Sweatshops

Silicon Sweatshops is a five-part investigation of the supply chains that produce many of the world’s most popular technology products, from Apple iPhones, to Nokia cell phones, Dell keyboards and more. The series examines the scope of the problem, including its effects on workers from the Philippines, Taiwan and China. It also looks at a novel factory program that may be a blueprint for solving this perennial industry problem.
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 19, 2009 - 9 comments

HET

The History of Economic Thought Website contains a wealth of information on the many schools of thought in the history of economics and the issues they grappled with.
posted by moorooka on Nov 18, 2009 - 13 comments

Cheap Talk - Econ and game theory from Jeff Ely and Sandeep Baliga

On pinball's downfall; draft Scrabble; strategies for choosing a seat; visiting our old friend, swoopo.com; and meatball theory: various and sundry economical, game theoretical, and miscellaneous morsels from the folks at Cheap Talk.
posted by cortex on Nov 18, 2009 - 53 comments

Questioning Kiva

Kiva transparency commentary: "I suspect that most Kiva users do not realize this." The controversy is summarized by the NY Times. [more inside]
posted by kmennie on Nov 16, 2009 - 78 comments

Peak Rock was reached in 1965

US Crude Oil Production vs. Rock Music Quality, by year. Is Rockism the cultural equivalent of Hubbert Peak Theory?
posted by acb on Nov 11, 2009 - 41 comments

On use vs. exchange value: we must be careful about what we pretend to be

Asset inflation, price inflation, and the great moderation
Economists as penance have been trying to locate the origins of the great chain of causation that has led us to our present situation -- the worrying conclusion is that problems remain -- imbalances precipitated by a labour supply shock [1,2] and/or (the rise of) machines [1,2] have not gone away and continue to persist in decimating the ('developed world's) middle class, as evidenced by high and rising unemployment, which has led to a crisis in central banking itself. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Oct 31, 2009 - 31 comments

Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams

Is California finished?
posted by shakespeherian on Oct 28, 2009 - 110 comments

Superfreakonomics: It's getting hot in here.

The Freakonomics follow up, Superfreakonomics, contains a chapter on climate change that lives up to the best selling contrarian style of authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. However actual climate scientists were not pleased with the chapter. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the book "repeats tired global cooling myths," "unfairly trashes climate models" and "advocates rolling the dice on unproven technology" among other faults. They have also been accused of misquoting climate scientist Ken Caldeira. Levitt and Dubner respond to their critics, Global Warming in SuperFreakonomics: The Anatomy of a Smear. [more inside]
posted by afu on Oct 18, 2009 - 128 comments

Scrimping on the Future

Information is stimulus, confusion is contraction.
posted by kliuless on Oct 18, 2009 - 15 comments

The Gervais Principle

The Gervais Principle, Or The Office According to “The Office”. Warning: link may evoke baleful despair!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Oct 16, 2009 - 57 comments

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009

Surprise, surprise. It's a girl - for the first time. Elinor Ostrom ("for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons") and Oliver E. Williamson ("for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm") have won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009.
posted by jfricke on Oct 12, 2009 - 42 comments

Small is Beautiful

Most of Africa, India and the developing world depends on innovative and inventive people coming up with ways to make a living with no cash and next to no resources. Fritz Schumacher ( wiki ) was an internationally influential economic thinker with a professional background as a statistician and economist whose 1973 book "Small is beautiful" - Economics as if People Mattered; is among the 100 most influential books published since World War II ( Review ). There are links to several articles, Essays and Videos on the Schumacher Society webpage including the Essay "Buddhist Economics". He was a founder of the Charity Practical Action. ( Related 1; 2 )
posted by adamvasco on Oct 4, 2009 - 14 comments

“He who controls the money supply of a nation controls the nation”: James Garfield

The First Bank of the United States was Americas first attempt at forming a Central Bank. Inaugurated by Congress in 1791, it was followed by The Second Bank of the United States, which was dissolved in 1836.

And then The United States of America was without a Central Bank for 77 years. [more inside]
posted by Mutant on Oct 3, 2009 - 54 comments

Economist attacks Krugman as superficial and partisan.

Paul Krugman attacked professional macroeconomists (previously). John Cochrane, an economist at the University of Chicago, returns the favor, arguing that Krugman deeply misrepresents current economic ideas because he's abandoned economics as a "quest for understanding" in favor of trying to be the "Rush Limbaugh of the Left."
posted by shivohum on Sep 28, 2009 - 77 comments

As bad as inflation is deflation is much, much worse

Why is deflation far worse than inflation? After all, prices are falling, goods and services get cheaper, what's not to like? [more inside]
posted by Mutant on Sep 27, 2009 - 33 comments

Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe wasn't all it appeared to be

First Zimbabwe formally abandoned their currency, then received assistance from The IMF, and now now we're seeing inflation in that nation easing to an acceptable rate of 0.04% per month. So it's fair to ask, is hyperinflation in Zimbabwe is a thing of the past? [more inside]
posted by Mutant on Sep 22, 2009 - 19 comments

Wonder what this will do for book sales?

Bin Laden's Reading List for Americans [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel on Sep 15, 2009 - 50 comments

In Wal-Mart's Image

How Wal-Mart's values are shaping America's economy -- and why this is a very bad thing:
Around the time that the young Sam Walton opened his first stores, John Kennedy redeemed a presidential campaign promise by persuading Congress to extend the minimum wage to retail workers, who had until then not been covered by the law. Walton was furious. Now the goddamn federal government was telling him he had to pay his workers the $1.15 hourly minimum. Walton's response was to divide up his stores into individual companies whose revenues didn't exceed the $250,000 threshold. Eventually, though, a federal court ruled that this was simply a scheme to avoid paying the minimum wage, and he was ordered to pay his workers the accumulated sums he owed them, plus a double-time penalty thrown in for good measure. Wal-Mart cut the checks, but Walton also summoned the employees at a major cluster of his stores to a meeting. "I'll fire anyone who cashes the check," he told them.

posted by acb on Sep 14, 2009 - 259 comments

On this labour day...

Social mobility, income inequality and wealth disparities. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 7, 2009 - 54 comments

If Paul Krugman Was So Right

How Did Economists Get It So Wrong? - The Great Recession was the result not only of lax regulation in Washington and reckless risk-taking on Wall Street but also of faulty theorizing in academia. Can economists learn from their mistakes? (via mr & ev) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 3, 2009 - 50 comments

Good enough or just cheap crap?

Robert Capps, Wired senior editor, has an article up called The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine. It explores what happens when an established product meets a competitor that has most of the features at fraction of the price. Think hi-fi vs MP3s, A-10 bombers vs Predator drones or landline vs Skype. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 on Sep 1, 2009 - 74 comments

Sometimes When You Give, You Get Back

TARP investments yield 15% returns. Almost trom the start, critics characterized the TARP program that first began under the Bush administration and that continued through early this year under President Obama as a taxpayer funded giveaway, while government officials insisted it was a long-term investment program whose initial costs would eventually turn a profit as economic recovery began. Now the NY Times reports that the program has already yielded $4 billion in profits, and a separate report reveals that related Federal Reserve loan programs aimed at economic stabilization have returned $14 billion in profits.
posted by saulgoodman on Aug 31, 2009 - 119 comments

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