Online Text and Notes in Applied Economics

Alex Marsh, University of Bristol

Marsh is a Professor of Public Policy. These documents are collections of topical opinion pieces from his blog and can be viewed online or downloaded as PDF. Topics include "Is a little Economics dangerous?", "Economics after the Crash", "Economics and Policy", and "The Problem of Housing Supply." 

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Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Ask Dr. Econ is an educational resource that answers questions on (mostly macro) economic issues by a Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco economist: the answer-bank is searchable by category or keyword, and new questions can be submitted. Answers are detailed, generally at introductory level, and stay close to current consensus even though some are 10+ years old. Examples: Does inflation hurt long-term growth? What are business cycles and how do they affect the economy? Why does a trade deficit weaken the currency?

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Carbon Tax Center

The Carbon Tax Center provides an explanation and justification of the carbon tax proposal, which includes useful detail on the general working of Pigovian and 'green' taxes with greenhouse gas emissions as a topical application. The site includes a presentational slide show and short non-technical papers (with supporting links) comparing the tax with market-based (tradable-quota) alternatives, giving evidence for its demand-reducing effects and explaining how its adverse distributional effects could be addressed. Offers subscription to email newsletter.

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Property and Environment Research Center

Economics and the Environment presents online resources linked to the book of the same title. 'The Problem of the Homeless Salmon', which uses the example of declining fish stocks to probe ideas about common-pool resources, external costs and sustainable depletion, setting out the issues as a detective exercise and ending with multiple-choice questions. Includes the book's Introduction, which outlines market-based solutions to environmental (externality) problems, stressing the importance of property rights and incentives.

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New York Times

Collection of lesson plans that use New York Times articles for orientation round a specific economic issue, providing questions for discussion and ideas for class discussion or research. The exercises encourage students to draw on their own experience, look for economic principles, and consider perspectives from outside economics. Topics include offshoring of jobs, how skill shortages affect the economy, global stock market corrections, tax cuts and income distribution. Content is US-focused, aimed at school teachers, and not always focused on economic angles; but is up-to-date and offers a wide-ranging source of ideas for introducing real world content and practical assignments into teaching of economic principles.

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New Economics Foundation

According to the About Us page, "nef is an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being. [It aims] to improve quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environment and social issues. [It works] in partnership and put[s] people and the planet first." The site has one section devoted to economics with links to the following areas: access to finance, enterprise and innovation, new ways of measuring, theoretical new economics, timebanks, tools for local economic renewal, inner city 100, jubilee research, real world economic outlook and transforming markets.

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David D Friedman, Santa Clara University

This is a sample draft chapter from the textbook "Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life", the paperback version of which came out in 1997. The chapter presents a series of applications of basic economic thinking to questions of crime, deterrence and the law.

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