In the twenty-first-century digital world, virtual goods are sold for real money. Digital game players happily pay for avatars, power-ups, and other game items. But behind every virtual sale, there is a virtual economy, simple or complex. In this book, Vili Lehdonvirta and Edward Castronova introduce the basic concepts of economics into the game developer’s and game designer’s toolkits.
In this rigorous and well-crafted work, Kenneth Wolpin examines the role of theory in inferential empirical work in economics and the social sciences in general—that is, any research that uses raw data to go beyond the mere statement of fact or the tabulation of statistics. He considers in particular the limits that eschewing the use of theory places on inference.
The narrative of development economics is now infused with discussions of institutions. Economists debate whether institutions—or other factors altogether (geography, culture, or religion)—are central to development. In this volume, leading scholars in development economics view institutions from a microeconomic perspective, offering both theoretical overviews and empirical analyses spanning three continents.
In the early 1990s, trade and labor economists, noting the fall in wages for low-skilled workers relative to high-skilled workers, began to debate the impact of trade on wages. This debate—which led to a sometimes heated exchange on the role of trade versus the role of technological change in explaining wage movements—continues today, with the focus now shifting to workers in the middle of the wage distribution.
Influential neoclassical economist Lionel McKenzie has made major contributions to postwar economic thought in the fields of equilibrium, trade, and capital accumulation. This selection of his papers traces the development of his thinking in these three crucial areas.
Pictures of oil as the glittering prize, the source of global power and empires, or the hub of an energy crisis have gushed through the media since 1973. What actually happened was very different. M. A. Adelman had written in 1970 that "the genie is out of the bottle," that a group of oil producing countries would control the oil trade to raise prices. Now, twenty-five years later, he has written the fascinating history of the greatest monopoly ever known. The underlying economic analysis is contained in the companion volume The Economics of Petroleum Supply.
In recent decades, governments have built up substantial public debt, which is often accompanied by a growing public sector and fiscal policies that neglect long-term considerations. The contributors to this CESifo volume consider whether the development of public debt in the United States and six EU countries is sustainable—that is, whether fiscal policies in these countries can be continued without creating the potential for government bankruptcy.
Over the last thirty years, a new paradigm in banking theory has overturned economists' traditional vision of the banking sector. The asymmetric information model, extremely powerful in many areas of economic theory, has proven useful in banking theory both for explaining the role of banks in the economy and for pointing out structural weaknesses in the banking sector that may justify government intervention.
In this study, Don Ross explores the relationship of economics to other branches of behavioral science, asking, in the course of his analysis, under what interpretation economics is a sound empirical science. The book explores the relationships between economic theory and the theoretical foundations of related disciplines that are relevant to the day-to-day work of economics—the cognitive and behavioral sciences.
The volatility that has hit many middle-income countries (MICs) after liberalizing their financial markets has prompted critics to call for new policies to stabilize these boom-bust cycles. But, as Aaron Tornell and Frank Westermann point out in this book, over the last two decades most of the developing countries that have experienced lending booms and busts have also exhibited the fastest growth among MICs. Countries with more stable credit growth, by contrast, have exhibited, on average, lower growth rates.