utility

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How subjective is it?

When asked, economists generally acknowledge that individual preferences differ from person to person, but it seems very easy to forget. Mitchell Harvey questions whether we take subjectivism seriously.

No More Gifts

Should we give gifts? Justin Liu makes a compelling case for why we should not…

The rise of the sharing economy

At the heart of economics lies the fundamental problem of scarcity. As Lionel Robbins reflected, economics is a science that studies ‘human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.’ The recurring challenges faced by economists, consumers, businesses – in fact, everyone – is how to allocate finite resources amongst infinite needs and wants.

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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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Average is Better

With recent technological innovation opening doorways to new methods of social interaction, the world’s ocean is radically becoming larger and larger. And I do not use ‘ocean’ in the literal sense, but rather metaphorically, to classify the pool of potential mates for any particular individual. Access to a larger pool of candidates comes with it a greater difficulty and added pressure on finding “the one”.

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A ‘rational’ guide to voting at an election

This article forms part of an ongoing series looking at economic issues as Australia heads into the Federal Election. More coverage can be found on the Election 2013 page of ESSA’s website.
The application of economic principles to election voting is a relatively simple process. A completely rational individual would simply vote for the political party that would best enhance their personal utility. If everyone did this, in theory at least, the party whose vision and policies best represented the country would win at an election.

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