Economic Debates

Most economic decisions can be debated. We have to decide whether we want higher or lower taxes, where to cut government spending, whether the deficit matters, if a business should have more regulation, if marginal analysis should affect environmental regulation. Learning about economics involves defending policy alternatives.

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    The Future of Oil

    Nov 8, 11 • 300 Views • No Comments

    When will we run out of oil? A room full of pistachios might have the answer. In the first several pages of The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance, a teacher says you have been given a room filled 5 feet high with pistachio nuts. The nuts are free, you are...  [read more]

  • Unless We Look More Closely at Women in the Global Labor Force, We See Only the Tip of the Iceberg.

    Leaving the Euro

    Nov 5, 11 • 327 Views • No Comments

    Would you like to win 250,000 British pounds? Predicting that a nation’s euro zone exit would be catastrophic unless properly managed, a UK businessman has sponsored a contest. To win the prize money, you just need to submit the best departure plan. The...  [read more]

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    Are You A Good Investor?

    Nov 3, 11 • 325 Views • No Comments

    Good investing takes us to our emotions. But not quite how you might expect. Our brains don’t like random events. Instead, we prefer patterns, especially pleasing patterns. For basketball, that means streaks. According to one statistical study of the...  [read more]

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    Deficit Deal Primer

    Nov 1, 11 • 307 Views • No Comments

    In 1934, after meeting with John Maynard Keynes, FDR said that he “liked him immensely” but groaned that he talked like a “mathematician.” Keynes’s advice to FDR? Described by Sylvia Nasar in Grand Pursuit, increase deficit...  [read more]

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    Does Luck Matter?

    Oct 31, 11 • 291 Views • No Comments

    In Las Vegas, the 2010 World Series of Poker was composed of 32,000 players and 57 separate tournaments. For the final event, $9 million was at stake. Freakonomics economist Steve Levitt and U. of Chicago law professor Thomas Miles studied the poker world...  [read more]