Ask an Economist
Welcome to Ask an Economist, a public service of the Department of Economics at Iowa State University, designed to answer your economic questions.
Our talented faculty and alumni can answer questions on a variety of economic topics to help you make more informed choices about your day-to-day decisions--or to just add a more reasoned voice when talk of the economy comes up around the dinner table.
Questions & Answers
Your observation about the lack of material on the Simon Abundance Index is a valid one. Perhaps its newness accounts for a general lack of peer-reviewed material on the subject.
There are very few places to find county-level farm rental rate information. Iowa State has conducted a long-running survey on farm rental rates.
Small business owners who most effectively use economics knowledge to the advantage of their business do so through the lens of unit economics. What are the per-unit expenses of the business and how do those expenses compare to revenues per unit...
John Green, Nicole Swepson, and I recently completed a paper, College Quality as Revealed by Willingness-to-Pay for College Graduates, that addresses this question. First, we examined the correlation between traditional measures of
You can do a lot of different things with an economics degree so it's a bit of a tough question to answer. Of course, one thing you can do is be an economist.
A seller has market power if it is able to PROFITABLY price higher than the competitive price because it has a downward sloping demand curve and sets its output where marginal revenue equals marginal cost but sets its price above its marginal...Continue Reading Answer
There seems to be two questions here.
Let's recall that inflation is usually computed as a year-on-year (annual) percentage change in the consumer price index. Therefore, CPI inflation for June 2021 will compare the CPI in June 2021 to the CPI in June 2020.
As is usually the case in economics and economic data analysis, the answer is "it depends."
My short answer from ten years ago: When consumers are made better off in the short and long run.
My short answer today: That’s a toughie.
You have described an economic concept called tax incidence. There is a wealth of studies centered around this in the field of public finance. The basic question, similar to what you have articulated, is who bears how much tax burden?
With a major in Economics, one does NOT need to decide on a specific career field until they graduate when they likely will have multiple options to choose from. The Econ degree will prepare graduates for various career paths, even if the de
Q. Whenever a country signs up to an IMF package, there is a sudden increase in inflation which is difficult to control. My question is why does that occur?
Thanks for your question. I’m glad to hear about your interest in the financial sector. A degree in economics has many different career tracks: a policy analyst in government, a business analyst understanding how prices influence consume
In many ways, data is indeed just another item that can be bought and sold on a marketplace: there is a demand for it, and there are organizations willing to supply it for a price. So what can we learn from a basic supply and demand analysis?
The first question essentially asks, I think, whether the U.S. Treasury can spend money it doesn't have (i.e., can it "overdraft" its account at the Federal Reserve).
The concept of utility was introduced to represent decision makers' ordinal preferences.
There are two ways to think about this question, one straightforward and one more interesting.
I am not familiar with the report you mention, but conceptually it is possible to construct and measure GDP by specific demographic groups, say by educational levels, race/ethnicity, gender, or age.
There are several sources of publically available data on swine production costs and returns.
Income is the return of factors, such as labor, human capital and physical capital, that you own and exchange with other agents in the economy.
Inflation is the rate of change of the price level (i.e., the “cost of living” as measured in dollars). The standard framework economists use to understand price changes is supply versus demand. For example, if supply of an item (i.e.,
Currencies that are fully pegged to USD will continue to buy the same amount of US dollars. So a peg, by definition, keeps the exchange rate fixed against the base currency, which in this case is USD.
This is an interesting question with a complicated answer.
Similar to the response of your AP Micro teacher -- part (potentially a large part) of the gender wage gap can be accounted for by the differences in the fields and positions that working men and women hold in the workforce.