A handful of essential ideas from economics

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/06/a-handful-of-essential-ideas-f.html


This should be a compulsory part of the internet.


“Marginal versus average” (something can be good on average, but so bad at the margins that it’s a net negative);

This doesn’t make sense, does it? It’s pretty vague terms. So I can’t be sure.

Finance might create value on average, but be wasteful on the margin.

Gah! The OP said something rather different, but in no less wonky terms.

I think that Cory explained it poorly.

The linked article seems to be saying that “Marginal versus average” means that, for instance, if you can spend $100 on something and get a $5,000 benefit, but you’re actually spending $2,500 and getting a $5,000 benefit, the “average benefit” from each of those dollars spent is $2, but the “marginal benefit” from each dollar spent after the first $100 is zero.

Something can have a positive average benefit, but can the marginal benefits are so bad that it should be cut back or, at the very least, not expanded.

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