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Author Archives: Rositsa Keranova

Rositsa Keranova is currently a BSc Economics student in her second year.

Venezuela: An Overview of the Economy

In the beginning of the 20th century the first significant oil reserves in Venezuela were found. This new natural resource sparked the interest of the government because it can be the basis of a very profitable industry for the country.  Juan Vicente Gómez, the president at the time, granted several concessions to foreign companies to explore, extract and refine oil. During the First World War, the industry was faced with a lack of technology and machinery because of the difficult and costly transportation of them. As a result, the production of oil was slowed down for the time being.

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Credit Suisse and the Tax Controversy

Credit Suisse is a leading force in the financial services. The company specializes in private banking, investment banking and asset management. It was founded in 1856 in Switzerland and currently operates in 50 different countries. Nowadays it is one of the largest and most profitable banks that has an immense influence not only in Switzerland, but all over the world. Despite that, Credit Suisse has involved itself with controversial issues such as tax evasion.

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How rational is our behavior?

Rationality is the state of being reasonable. It is decision making process, based on our intuition to weight the benefits against the costs and to maximize our utility. With past experiences in our pocket and all available information at hand to make a rational decision, we still divert from this behavioral pattern. Is decision making only based on external factors or is there a deeper explanation to it? Could it be possible that our genetics are part of the reason for our rationality or lack thereof?

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An Economic Parallel between Animals and Humans

It’s been established that when it comes to behavior, animals are not that different from humans. Both have feelings of compassion, empathy, as well as possess the ability to work in teams to consulate each other and even to free-ride. The similarities do not end there, humans and animals have been found to make the same economic decisions. We can trace the same patterns in both species’ behavior and actions when it comes to demand, consumption, and allocation of resources.

Animals, like humans, optimize their energy intake and are motivated by their material self-interest, like the need for food. They are rational and make decision in accordance with their own preferences, just like us always seeking to maximize our utility. For any kind of species gaining food and comfort is connected to incurring costs. Humans as an example need to give up part of their income, even sometimes their savings, in return for the goods and items that they desire. When looking at animals, their costs generally consist of the time and the effort they spend to gather the food needed or to build or find shelter.

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The Ozone Layer Phenomenon

Carbon emissions are air pollutants that affect our health, the climate, our environment and its different ecosystems. The majority of the blame for releasing harmful substances falls on power plants, cars, planes, which use the combustion of fuels to produce electricity and power for transportation. They cause most of the carbon dioxide emissions. Having said that, some of the items that we use on a daily basis can be just as hazardous and who has ever taken notice of that?