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Category Archives: Economics & Business

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Dating tips from a Behavioral Economist

Still single? Maybe you should use some economic theory to solve your problem. There are many theories on human decision making which can be applied to your dating life.  In the field of behavioral economics there is the well-known phenomenon called the asymmetric dominance effect or the decoy theory.   This theory suggests that when people are confronted with a choice between two options they have a hard time making a decision. However, adding a third option that is inferior but also similar to one of the options makes the first decision much easier. Namely, the option that is similar to the inferior option will be preferred by most people.  This effect is called the decoy effect because the third option will never be chosen and is therefore just a decoy.

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Clinton vs. Trump: Economic policy

Clinton vs. Trump

The United States of America are engaged in a remarkable battle for the presidency. With two eccentric candidates in the respected persons of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton the duel seems to be decided based on who commits the least errors. Both campaigns are mainly focused on non-economic points and the agendas are very vague on the economical field. But what would the economic consequences for the USA in either possible outcome of the elections be?

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Rethinking Economics: economic education in crisis

Do  you feel like that the current curriculum of your Economics program is too narrowed, has more mathematics than needed, relying on odd and unrealistic assumptions and does not provide you with more insights about the world outside your classroom then you are not alone. In a manifesto signed by 100 university economics associations from 30 countries, the students criticize the current mainstream economics theories which do not represent nor is able to predict the economic reality.  In the Netherlands, Rethinking Economics NL is a network which calls for pluralism in economic teaching at universities. Especially at the moment where we face big challenges that are new to us such as climate change, increasing population rate, huge migration flows and globalization, mainstream economics taught at universities is not preparing the next generation economists to solve these issues. 

TTIP

TTIP, a non-economic trade agreement

In 2013, EU governments gave the European Commission a mandate to negotiate about TTIP, a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union. When starting, the two parties thought the negotiations would progress quickly. Now, three years later, the negotiation process seems to become long-lasting. Besides the European Commission, the European Parliament, business and trade unions, consumer-, health- and other public interest groups and the general public at least think they have something to say about TTIP. The negotiations turned out to be much more than just negotiations about economic terms. What are the different aspects of TTIP for our European Union?

taxes

Do we really hate paying taxes?

Most of the students among us don’t mind it when the Dutch IRS provides us with the opportunity to pay our income taxes.  On the contrary, young people usually get some income taxes back which they have paid in advance and students receive (taxfree) study grants. In fact, I would not be surprised if the tax on beer consumption is our biggest fiscal contribution.  But as soon as you work fulltime and you didn’t succeed in starting a fictitious company in the British Virgin Islands, your annual tax declaration will be a painful experience. Are such often-heard complaints really true?