Difficulty with pinning down any specific topic I’d like to study; I feel like I have too many ideas for things to study.

  • Reorganize sections of this page; content seems to be: questions that I like to entertain vs. whole topics I’d want to dig into vs. interesting discussion material that I’ve come across vs. resources/things to learn vs. projects and project ideas

What’s important to research? (Field-wide/everyone) What’s important to me to research?

I’d likely benefit a lot from learning more statistics, especially through a book like Jaynes’ Probability Theory.

Econ theory

How does model building relate to theory? Is economic theorizing just building models? What else is there?

  • DANIEL B. KLEIN AND PEDRO P. ROMERO*ε 2007 implies that there is a difference.

Inter-model relationships in economic modeling, mentioned by philosopher host on the History of Economics podcast episode 54.

Econ thoughts

There aren’t quite marketplaces for information like this, PeerJoy, though there is demand and supply. How best to facilitate it?

Abusive customers, abusive to your staff, can’t quite be treated like they’re always right because it erodes trust in you as the employer between you and your employees. How to balance the need to maintain a positive public image (potentially incurring negative reviews from problematic bitches) with helping support employees?

  • As ex said, their organization’s services/product is so in demand that they can afford to not appease everyone, so they may be able to risk turning some people away if/when they’re abusive.

Places where renting is more expensive than owning — presumably just about anywhere, as the current owners likely have locked in payments that are lower than what new owners would need to pay (this is actually a reason why renting from long-time owners may be less expensive than renting from recent owners, due to sticky policies/rates like property taxes that get fixed to rate when purchased and that get bumped up when purchased by someone else), so they can maybe demand more than owning costs if poor market information about differences - This would be worth discussing with Ryan, that the median age of title to a property in a region can likely explain and possibly predict median rental rates, with higher ages being associated with lower rents. The explaining factor is sticky fixed rates from policies at time of title creation, which advantage some to the disadvantage of others. - Note that policies change over time and not necessarily in a linear or even fully positive or negative fashion (there could be reversals in tax rates, for instance), so it may be important to firstly adjust the rental price of each unit according to the specific time period it’s from, as some periods may themselves have higher or lower rates associated with them. (For a while I was saying “ages” when I likely should’ve been saying the actual date of title creation, not the relative amount of time that’s elapsed since title creation (age).) - The age of the building might not be too positively correlated with age of the property title. Well, no: though new buildings could be built on old property, I feel like it’s rare, so it could actually be very positively correlated. - This is important because the age of the structure might be a decent proxy for the age of the title, which might be more difficult to get data about. - A bigger issue would likely be rent prices for each building and matching that to the title / building age.

Economics of domains with unmeasurable quantities/qualities, must be inferred, proxies may be selected for

  • Many of the most important aspects of life have economic components to them but aren’t directly measurable.
  • How should we form economic models for them? How to test them? Should we bother with them?
    • If they’re too difficult to measure in the moment or to distinguish components so that one may faithfully execute a relevant policy decision at the correct time, why bother?
      • Explanatory, causal models can still be very illustrative even if they’re somewhat impractical to rely on directly. As with the microeconomic theory of how a firm’s MCs interact with ATC, the theory may suggest a method that’s precise but difficult to measure precisely and in a timely manner (MC), but a sort of shortcut can be later found (ATC) that lets you get back to that information in a hopefully easier way.

Economics of leisure, religion, parenting, skateboarding, interpersonal / trust, psychic costs and benefits (stress being one factor)

  • Models that deal with such topics
  • Trust & risk of trust: trust flow rate, stocks? And difference in flow rate of provision versus flow rate of utility or demanded flow rate of utility can show potential for disharmony. Any rate of utilization by others above rate of personal extension of trust, credit, availability, etc, translates to problem area. Nonlinear responses to utilization rate uptick, especially as an agent needs to handle managing rates of extension to multiple parties, all of whom may change their rate of demands at any time — likely similar models in energy economics (dynamic demand management) and banking (trust models).
    • Supply rates (“extension”) need not equal demand rates (“utilization”). Some people demand a lot of something but personally give little of it in return.
    • If your rate of demand exceeds their rate of supply, are they able to supply it? If you somehow force them to do so, to push beyond the level they’re comfortable with, they may reduce the rate of supply they’re willing to extend to you going forward (for a while, at least; it may go back up at some rate).
      • I don’t think my model of this so far captures this.

Issues stemming from witnessing role models for romantic, interpersonal relationships that are (relative to a healthy degree) excessively long-suffering. Similar to being exposed to people that are excessively tidy and organized can lead one to developing OCD tendencies. You may come to expect that the other partner should and could bear any burden you throw at them, especially if you have come to associate this with a loyal/“good” relationship. This may lead you to be relatively OK with doing things that might otherwise push people away, such as being quite ceaselessly critical of your partner, especially about small things; rarely being in a good mood; or being violent or manipulative. Some degree of safety and security in a relationship is good, as it allows for vulnerability (emotional and otherwise) that can help deepen the relationship, but it’s unwise and harmful to feel or believe that your partner will endlessly forgive you if you happen to hurt them in some way. People have limits, and acting like they don’t have limits can backfire suddenly and unexpectedly.

How theoretical supply/demand curves relate to actual/estimated ones (empirical ones?) Bayesian econometrics - looking forward, not just backward Producing many potential curves and then refining it down based on priors, if priors are somehow applicable across markets and time

  • Similar to bayesian forms of regression line building

McElreath (?) In Statistical Rethinking says that regression is similar to method that breaks a function down by regular rotational patterns, and he says this only works for observing things like planets’ movements from earth (the essential feature may be that it’s a fixed point), and he seemed to imply there might be other statistical methods that work without the limitation of a fixed reference point - ones that would enable navigation in space, for instance

  • What is method of moments

Limited capability for pricing experimentation in market with two large providers, neither of which are willing to budge on price Unless someone else is willing to enter the market (which has its own starting costs) and offer at a higher or lower price, this won’t change much I think this assumes that all providers available are fulfilling demand or not willing to supply more at a certain price (higher or lower) even though there’s demand for it at that price (like the suppliers have quantity restrictions short or long term - not sure why this would be a deliberate decision, but it matches the reality of a constrained housing market - constrained by time it takes to make additional units available)

It seems to me like market information is amazingly poor (in general, about any market), and that maybe even the best-understood market is, in absolute/non-relative terms, barely understood at all or lacking much certainty or agreement. And in a market system there’s kind of an incentive for it to be this way unless there’s a third-party market analysis institution that has access to the information that all market participants have and can synthesize it with information from adjacent markets’ participants.

  • This ties to the economics view of what marketing coulf be like or vaguely is like but doesnt personally see itself as having such a broad impact. Marketing as a market-facilitating role, helping to understand consumers and producers and market structure elements that affect them both. Establish theories of the market (including models), which are more or less certain and communicate that uncertainty.
    • The firms within said markets would sort of be under the thumb of such institutions, as they have power over them, but the institutions do help to benefit the organizations’ efficient functioning
    • the institution would function as a servant leader of the agents in the market it serves.

Foundations of market information theory - consumer and producer preferences, that they don’t change

  • Somewhat first put on this track from this EconTalk episode with Munger
  • how would you rationally extrapolate full market demand or supply from only a sample of the market, especially a small or new market?
    • maybe by leaning on information available about adjacent or complimentary markets

The theory of the business

See transcript for discussion about experiential econ https://www.econtalk.org/rubinstein-on-game-theory-and-behavioral-economics/

External validity of economic theories, testing this, not just assuming them as we want to with internal validity

Varian 2014 chapter 1 - I tend to think of markets that don’t have fixed supply in the short-run. This is an interesting wrinkle.

I like that the discussion of allocation schemes and pareto efficiency discuss that though pareto efficiency is achieved under various schemes, it’s unclear which scheme is “best” because consumers or suppliers can be enriched to greater or lesser degrees from each one. (Top of page 17 of Varian 2014)

  • Outline the effects of each one, decide which sounds best and why

Ratio of price of renewable electricity to price of nonrenewable electricity - tend over time, especially in last month

  • People may not know about relative electricity prices for a while and decide to make a change. I don’t think that people are against renewables - I think people have a sense that they’re a good thing - but they have long thought of them as being much more expensive.
  • If you provide information about that the relative price to nonrenewables has dropped quite a bit, people might consider them more as an option, leading to more substitution of renewables for nonrenewables.
    • how many people would join the market for renewables simply if they knew the prices for it and their relation to the prices for nonrenewables?
      • To what degree is a person in a market if they don’t know it’s being offered or what it’s being readily sold at? Knowledge of others’ willingness to sell is important for driving interest in purchasing - Market definition
  • Automatic switching level - actual price or ratio-wise, implemented by electricity providers - asking customers if there’s a level at which they’d prefer to switch to renewables. Currently I think the system is setup to exclusively use one or the other - maybe provide options for switching or mixing.
  • This is all inspired by the gas price increases due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and general concerns and interest in sustainability and climate change

Exploring the mutual influence of theory and applied problems and how they relate to each other. AVC, ATC were theoretical ways around needing to know the MC curves for an organization and to get an idea of how the “market” relates.

EntrepEcon in a new market, look at how consumers respond to offering once they’re made aware of it - awareness enters them into the demand curve, and their quantity demanded relates to the price (among other things). One problem with this is that in a small industry there may only be one (or a few) supplier in that market, so only a few prices may be offered - leading to little in the way of understanding consumers’ full demand curves, as only one or a few prices on the curve were tested.

  • A/B testing prices can be done and sometimes is done, but it’s perceived negatively by consumers if they realize they were given a somewhat different price than others (kinda arbitrarily, which might be the more frustrating part). It also doesn’t exactly make sense because theoretically every consumer’s willingness to pay will be different - they may be able to be statistically estimated, but there’s no reason to necessarily say that people of A background all share a willingness to pay $y for x units.
    • Market research theory? Economic market research theory?
  • You could additionally piggy back on information from an adjacent market and the offerings therein. I don’t think there’s much in the way of readily available information about supply or demand curves for any industry, though.




In econ diagrams/models of the market, there’s always an implicit statement about the timeframe and geographic region that it applies to. At basic levels of education we just don’t think about this. We also don’t think much about how to cope in scenarios with imperfect competition, imperfect information, and not infinite consumers or suppliers (latter might be an incorrect way of stating the thing I’m talking about, which I think is a part of perfect competition).

  • Industrial Org econ was my main exposure to thinking of situations in which markets are imperfect, especially with only a few buyers or sellers. (I think we mostly considered the limited sellers case, but idk.)

Linking economic theory to entrepreneurial thinking, strategizing

  • Entrepreneurial Perceptions, likely on an implicit/tacit level

Regression discontinuity, chow breakpoint tests

Economic Theory is theoretical/hypothetical, not fact. Things may be predicted in accordance with such theories but differ greatly from results to predictions.

  • One possible issue is that people could come to behave as if the theories were correct as knowledge of such theories grew in frequency, thereby leading the theories’ predictions to be seen as being true but in some part only because of the theories themselves (Self-Fulfilling Prophecies and Theories).

Economic entrepreneurialism - perceiving that a thing is currently undervalued in the market, that its value will increase provided that something about the market (its structure, the people involved, or rules that facilitate or restrict it) changes and can be changed (often through their own actions - either in whole or in part). If a thing is perceived to be overvalued, that suggests that other things are relatively undervalued.

Mostly Harmless Econometrics - Ryan mentioned it, a book

  • Game design is system design and analysis. As is entrepreneurship. The player or customer is a fundamental part of that system which you cannot control completely but you can guide - the variance (worse yet, chaos) that they provide is to be anticipated, appreciated, and analyzed, especially since they’re kind of a black box.

  • from my perspective of economic marketing, Marketing would function as designers, architects, engineers, servants, and leaders to the market (supply and demand), such as by analyzing marketplaces (places where the sides of the market - supply or demand, individually - converge) or places where only one side of the market operates so as to better understand what motivates it to ultimately converge with the other side of the market.

  • The relation of bluffing to misdirection. The relation of misdirection to … something (I mentioned it on the fediverse a long while ago but the post got deleted by my weird server at the time)

    • the oldest post about this from me that I could find is this; not sure what I’m really talking about, though: “I suspect that in an environment ofopenness andtransparency, undisclosed factors prove even more confounding than they regularly would. This can prove not just ruinous, but also bewitching; for proof of this, see the notion of misdirection in “magic”.ideasmarketingstrategymagicillusionshttps://mastodon.social/users/bthall/statuses/99003553605994634
      • I think I was suggesting that in contexts where there’s a sense that you’re being fully open about what you’re doing, such as those that are “transparent”, you can miss out on a sense of magic and wonder by having the precise details of everything right in your face, impossible to overlook. But if you keep some things secret while building up an expectation of no secrets, you can violate/exploit that expectation in a good way — providing a sense of wonder, play, and joy in an otherwise banal or overwrought context. (This violates our common sense that any violation of expectations is bad, terrible.)
    • I know that I enjoyed thinking about game theory and player strategies, and the effects upon player strategies of factors, including misdirection by other players and misperceptions in general
    • the whole Sea Monkeys thing of setting expectations (monkeys will appear after adding the second packet) and then breaking them for surprising effect (the first packet caused them to appear, so when they go to add the second packet they’re surprised to find the monkeys already there when they expected them to not be there yet)
    • Misdirection directly relates to discussions of signaling, such as in economics
  • What is seen and what is not seen

  • Opportunity costs

Econ of Parenting

With abortion in particular, I feel like many arguments in favor of it are economic, which is to say that abortions would greatly diminish in frequency if various resources and services were more readily provided and/or were made less expensive (in real terms; Innovations in Birthing for discussions of developments that make the provision of resources and services such as these less costly while not budging on quality of life and care for parent or child).

People such as myself who believe that abortion is wrong should work to make these things more available to indirectly decrease abortion rates.

  • For persons who would not want a child in general, things such as pregnancy-oriented medical care during and after pregnancy, adoption agencies, and fostering.
  • For persons who would want a child in general, things such as pregnancy-oriented medical care during and after pregnancy, medical care and resources for the child, childcare, and a “quality” education.
    • In real terms, is the cost of having a child going up, down, or staying the same?
      • In relative terms, is the cost of having a child going up or down compared to the cost of other desired things?

For the life-quality of children and people, are there improvements that can and are being made?

Children as a consumer durable

Skating Econ

Some skaters try to make the experience of skateboarding into like a Veblen good


Shmueli 2011 suggests to me that there might be some low-hanging fruit to be had in econometrics simply through re-interpreting causal models as predictive models and seeing how predictively accurate they are, then pointing out which ones for a given phenomena demonstrates the best predictive accuracy and, assuming that the explanatory power is of a similar degree, which theories might be less worth attempting to develop further. That strikes me as a profoundly helpful insight for determining which theories to work on!

How does statistics differ from occultism or divination, in terms of prediction? Why does it seem permissible to me but the other does not?

  • Stat Rethinking things to look up
    • marginal distributions
    • joint probability distributions

PCA, p. 101-2: the second principal component (eigenvector) explains variance that remained from the first eigenvector, what the other one didn’t explain, but its eigenvalue (total variance that it explains) is expressed in terms of the total amount of variance for the dependent variable as a whole, not just the variance it explains of the variance that remained/wasn’t explained by the first component

  • Probability of adverse side effects from vaccination is X among the general population, but what’s the probability among siblings?statistics


Business analyst with R book https://www.causact.com/index.html#welcome


Eliciting priors via discussions - At one hour in, this discusses eliciting prior information via moments of a distribution from subject matter experts: Check out this Podcast: #22 Eliciting Priors and Doing Bayesian Inference at Scale, with Avi Bryant https://player.fm/1BCxKvT