microeconomics

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Effective Altruism: Economic Design For Drowning Children

Effective altruism, as a philosophical movement, is gaining in popularity across the world. Join Josh as he provides an introduction to the philosophy behind this phenomenon and discusses the opportunity for economic concepts in mechanism design to optimise decision-making in this area.

Terrorism, fear and the impacts on economic rationality

The recent terrorist attacks in Kenya and Pakistan have reinvigorated the worldwide fear of extremist violence. The far-reaching effects of these tragic events have substantial impacts on the way people choose to live their lives. Terrorism induces fear. This natural human reaction causes subjective beliefs and reality to diverge. Exploring the consequences of terrorism is a challenge for economists, especially with regard to the effects on rationality, consumption and economic behaviour.

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Going, going, gone!

Through our life as an economics major in undergraduate school, for three years we are repeatedly bombarded with consumer and producer theory, game theory, and general equilibrium theory. It is not until we are very familiar with these different topics, do we then come across what is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting topics in microeconomics. Auction theory and mechanism design.

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China’s Biggest ‘Ghost Town’: A Microeconomic Perspective

Freshly built from government stimulus funding, the new district of Kangbashi in the city of Ordos in China is brimming full of sky high apartments and shiny new infrastructure.  Yet since its construction the town remains largely uninhabited and untouched.

It is known as ‘the ghost town,’ with only about 30,000 residents despite a housing capacity of one million.  Few residents have chosen to move from the thriving old city district in Dongfeng just 30km away.

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Coca-cola vs. Pepsi: The Economics behind Coke’s Dominance

In microeconomics, the first thought that springs to mind when we talk about perfect substitutes is Coca-cola and Pepsi. Since these two essentially taste the same and have similar pricing, we would expect that demand for both products are similar. However, until recently, the market share for Coca-cola and Pepsi has heavily favoured Coca-cola in Australia. It is estimated that Coca-Cola outsells Pepsi Cola by around three times in Australia and New Zealand supermarkets, and around five to six times in the whole cola market.

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