Economics - How little do you know? A test.

It's quite evident that the forefront question in the elections of the past couple of years, and most likely in the next few years, is heavily centered on economics. Since economics isn't quite as easy as many believe, and there are a number of arguments made which run from being somewhat inaccurate to flat out wrong, some researchers made a survey to test the average voter's knowledge. The study came to some quite interesting conclusions, especially in relation to how people answered systematically erroneous due to their political bias. Since T|A appears to be quite a liberal site, I expect a strong liberal bias (assuming people don't cheat, of course).

Below you will find the range of answers and a number of statements. Pick an answer (preferably among 1 thru 4) for each statement, and you can check your grasp of the field.

1. Strongly agree
2. Somewhat agree
3. Somewhat disagree
4. Strongly disagree
5. Not sure
6. Other
7. (Refuse to answer)


Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable.

Mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services.

Overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago.

Rent control leads to housing shortages.

A company with the largest market share is a monopoly.

Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited.

Free trade leads to unemployment.

Minimum-wage laws raise unemployment.

A dollar means more to a poor person than it does to a rich person.

Making abortion illegal would increase the number of black-market abortions.

Legalizing drugs would give more wealth and power to street gangs and organized crime.

Drug prohibition fails to reduce people’s access to drugs.

Gun-control laws fail to reduce people’s access to guns.

By participating in the marketplace in the United States, immigrants reduce the economic well-being of American citizens.

When a country goes to war, its citizens experience an improvement in economic well-being.

When two people complete a voluntary transaction, they both necessarily come away better off.

When two people complete a voluntary transaction, it is necessarily the case that everyone else is unaffected by their transaction.

Views: 138

Comment by Albert Bakker on November 14, 2011 at 2:48pm


Comment by Arcus on November 14, 2011 at 3:25pm

@Albert: 12 'Not incorrect' answers, 5 'Incorrect' answers. C-

From the errors made, I would peg you as a moderate liberal.

You can find an article on it here and the study itself here.

Comment by Arcus on November 14, 2011 at 4:17pm

@Kevin: 11 'Not incorrect' answers, 6 'Incorrect' answers. D

Very conservative/Libertarian.

A war will always demand government resources which could be spent on goods with higher socioeconomic value. The military "produces" war, which does not increase overall economic well being. The only way to make war "profitable" would be if the soldiers looted more than the cost of war or the soldiers somehow created damage, i.e. by otherwise being criminals.

Comment by Arcus on November 14, 2011 at 4:28pm

@Kevin, Edited score 13 'Not incorrect' answers, 4 'Incorrect' answers.

The voluntary transaction argument is actually a bit trickier than it seems. Even though a transaction is voluntary (no duress/threat) does not immediately imply you are "happy" about it. If you have 10 apples and I have 2 oranges and they are of equal value, but due to market inefficiency you have noone else to trade with, I can demand 5 apples for 1 orange and you are left with no other choice than to take the deal. Call it "banking". ;) 

Comment by Michael Klein on November 18, 2011 at 5:51am




I don't even


Yes and no

Depends on place and time

Don't even start with THAT bullshit






Depends on circumstances

Depends on circumstances

If it's bullshit and you know it clap your hands

If it's bullshit and you know it clap your hands


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