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Oxbridge Economics interview preparation

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    (Original post by I_Am_Abbas)
    "are economic recessions inevitable"

    lol
    Let me just get my elegant mathematical equations using Mankiw's notation to help me out with that question
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    (Original post by andrew.P)
    Economics at Sidney Sussex...

    I argued in my personal statement that reform of central banks was needed to reduce the chance of recession in future, and will probably be ripped apart in interview for that!
    You have to prepare yourself for the possibility that they won't even have read your personal statement closely enough to remember.
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    economics
    nice thread
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    (Original post by andrew.P)
    I argued in my personal statement that reform of central banks was needed to reduce the chance of recession in future

    Lol, i argued in my PS that the BOE should get all the power - and not the treasury.....
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    (Original post by I_Am_Abbas)
    "are economic recessions inevitable"

    lol
    RES YE 2009. I wrote an essay 2000 words long answering that question which was commended by the judges. Short answer: yes.
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    (Original post by NesQuiK.)
    Let me just get my elegant mathematical equations using Mankiw's notation to help me out with that question
    Seems a sound approach to me :cool:

    (Original post by Fiasco)
    RES YE 2009. I wrote an essay 2000 words long answering that question which was commended by the judges. Short answer: yes.
    :rofl:
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    (Original post by I_Am_Abbas)
    :rofl:
    Didn't you enter it? I remember hearing you were short listed.
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    (Original post by Fiasco)
    Question two: Can political freedom exist without economic freedom? Which is more important?

    I'm off to sleep now.
    I would say that one cannot exist without the other, and thus they are both as important as each other. However i'm feeling lazy and will comment further :p:

    Question three: What is the biggest problem with economics today?
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    (Original post by NesQuiK.)
    I would say that one cannot exist without the other, and thus they are both as important as each other. However i'm feeling lazy and will comment further :p:

    Question three: What is the biggest problem with economics today?
    The failure of macroeconomics to get a single thing right. :p:
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    (Original post by Fiasco)
    The failure of macroeconomics to get a single thing right. :p:
    In the same vein, has pathological biology failed for not controlling the outbreak of Swine Flu?

    Edit Question: What's the most effective way to deal with climate change?
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    Why does aggregate supply slope up?
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    (Original post by Kneechuh)
    In the same vein, has pathological biology failed for not controlling the outbreak of Swine Flu?

    Edit Question: What's the most effective way to deal with climate change?
    No, pathological biology has nothing to answer for. It is concerned with studying diseases and explaining them, not preventing their spread. Could pathologists have predicted swine flu? Probably not. Is that their job? No. I don't know much about biology, but to see mutations or the like coming would be near impossible. Have they found a solution? Yes, there is a vaccine available now.
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    (Original post by Fiasco)
    No, pathological biology has nothing to answer for. It is concerned with studying diseases and explaining them, not preventing their spread. Could pathologists have predicted swine flu? Probably not. Is that their job? No. I don't know much about biology, but to see mutations or the like coming would be near impossible. Have they found a solution? Yes, there is a vaccine available now.
    And likewise with economics. You don't blame someone from Ferrari when someone crashes their car - you blame the driver.

    I'm guessing you're of the opinion that it's the economist's job to predict the future, seeing as you reject the biologist analogy. Could you explain why?
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    (Original post by Kneechuh)
    And likewise with economics. You don't blame someone from Ferrari when someone crashes their car - you blame the driver.

    I'm guessing you're of the opinion that it's the economist's job to predict the future, seeing as you reject the biologist analogy. Could you explain why?
    the economists job is not to predict the future.
    but it is to come up with policies that will improve the quality of life for humanity as a whole. (trying to overcome scarcity).
    other economists jobs' are to predict whether the policies implemented will work and as to how long it will take for the policy to work.
    the problem with the current crisis is that the models of the economy that were used didn't take into account important factors and there wasn't enough regulation of the banking system
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    (Original post by Kneechuh)
    And likewise with economics. You don't blame someone from Ferrari when someone crashes their car - you blame the driver.

    I'm guessing you're of the opinion that it's the economist's job to predict the future, seeing as you reject the biologist analogy. Could you explain why?
    Is it easy to predict the future? No.
    Is it an economists job? Yes (short answer).

    Long answer:
    If not, what you have is myopia on a grand scale. Economists need to have incredible foresight when making decisions. The evidence and precursors to the current recession were available for all to see, and only some economists managed to see where this was all going - some as early as Minsky. What's more, this isn't the first financial crisis, or even the first one of its kind - far from it.

    This is what makes economics exciting.

    PS: Poor analogy.
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    the biology analogy doesnt quite work either, biology as a subject essentially isnt man made, the rules are created by evolution ort whatever - we did not create man/animals so we are trying to understand/learn for its own sake aswell as for practical reasons, economics in many ways is a man made discipline, we control trade/how we live our lives so an economists job cannot just be accademic thinking about why things happen as essentially we are in control (assuming we ignore weather conditions etc) so it can be argued that a big part of economics is predicting what will happen, if not, then what is the point of economics?

    disclaimer: im just speculating if i am chatting complete rubbish tell me
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    (Original post by trollman)
    the biology analogy doesnt quite work either, biology as a subject essentially isnt man made, the rules are created by evolution ort whatever - we did not create man/animals so we are trying to understand/learn for its own sake aswell as for practical reasons, economics in many ways is a man made discipline, we control trade/how we live our lives so an economists job cannot just be accademic thinking about why things happen as essentially we are in control (assuming we ignore weather conditions etc) so it can be argued that a big part of economics is predicting what will happen, if not, then what is the point of economics?

    disclaimer: im just speculating if i am chatting complete rubbish tell me
    Now obviously there's some subjectivity in the analysis of economics (hence different schools of thoughts on how to react to situations), but that doesn't mean the nature of the subject is subjective. If you have different people arguing over what colour something is, the views different people may have don't change the nature of the truth at hand, as one could do a spectral analysis of the wavelengths of the light, and find an objective answer. I would argue that the same is true for both biology and economics. Obviously, 'knowing' the answer is more evident in biology than economics, but as stated, that doesn't change the nature of truth.

    I don't regard economics by definition to be man made, and likewise with biology. Economics is simply the allocation of resources, and Biology is the study of organisms. Yes, there are man made constructions on top of these, but, as stated in the previous paragraph, that doesn't change the nature of the subject. Creating vaccines for diseases can be likened to a fiscal policy that combats a recession.

    A question I've just thought of is: 'How do you derive the purchasing power of a fiat currency?'
    It's quite a heavy question, and I'll write up my thoughts on it in a bit..
    Edit: maybe it should be changed to: 'Is it possible to derive the purchasing power of a fiat currency?':dontknow:
    Edit2: Let's go with: 'Is it possible to derive the purchasing power of a fiat currency? If so, how?'
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    (Original post by Kneechuh)
    Now obviously there's some subjectivity in the analysis of economics (hence different schools of thoughts on how to react to situations), but that doesn't mean the nature of the subject is subjective. If you have different people arguing over what colour something is, the views different people may have don't change the nature of the truth at hand, as one could do a spectral analysis of the wavelengths of the light, and find an objective answer. I would argue that the same is true for both biology and economics. Obviously, 'knowing' the answer is more evident in biology than economics, but as stated, that doesn't change the nature of truth.

    I don't regard economics by definition to be man made, and likewise with biology. Economics is simply the allocation of resources, and Biology is the study of organisms. Yes, there are man made constructions on top of these, but, as stated in the previous paragraph, that doesn't change the nature of the subject. Creating vaccines for diseases can be likened to a fiscal policy that combats a recession.
    How much should the government spend in the economy?
    Is income inequality a problem?
    Should the government introduce a minimum wage?
    How should the government reduce the current account deficit?
    What is the right level of inflation?

    What is the 'real' answer/truth in those questions? There simply isn't one, this is normative economics.

    Economics isn't defined on any truths. The closest you'll come to any of that in economics is micro-economics; analysis of firms and their objectives, markets etc. - though most of the models work perfectly only with extreme examples. There is no one solution to any given problem.

    Please stop with the analogies, thinking about why they're so bad will make my head explode.
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    (Original post by Fiasco)
    How much should the government spend in the economy?
    Is income inequality a problem?
    Should the government introduce a minimum wage?
    How should the government reduce the current account deficit?
    What is the right level of inflation?

    What is the 'real' answer/truth in those questions? There simply isn't one, this is normative economics.

    Economics isn't defined on any truths. The closest you'll come to any of that in economics is micro-economics; analysis of firms and their objectives, markets etc. - though most of the models work perfectly only with extreme examples. There is no one solution to any given problem.

    Please stop with the analogies, thinking about why they're so bad will make my head explode.
    When I first saw your involvement in this thread, I wondered if you were merely using it to pander your ego. Judging by your responses to my questions, and patronising nature, I don't think that's in any doubt.

    You attacked my analogies on a complete unrelated basis, and failed to tackle the problem at hand. It's like you criticised Holy Communion on nutritional grounds (see what I did there? ). Yes, the questions you posed are normative questions, but so is 'Should we use pesticides on crops?'. When one delves into the grounds of normative ethics, it becomes a philosophical problem, and not one concerning the core of the subject. Economically, I'd judge a recession to be a failure, but on normative grounds, you could argue that it's a success. Yes, meta-ethics bears relevance to economics, but not in the analytic nature of the allocation of resources.
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    (Original post by Kneechuh)
    When I first saw your involvement in this thread, I wondered if you were merely using it to pander your ego. Judging by your responses to my questions, and patronising nature, I don't think that's in any doubt.

    You attacked my analogies on a complete unrelated basis, and failed to tackle the problem at hand. It's like you criticised Holy Communion on nutritional grounds (see what I did there? ). Yes, the questions you posed are normative questions, but so is 'Should we use pesticides on crops?'. When one delves into the grounds of normative ethics, it becomes a philosophical problem, and not one concerning the core of the subject. Economically, I'd judge a recession to be a failure, but on normative grounds, you could argue that it's a success. Yes, meta-ethics bears relevance to economics, but not in the analytic nature of the allocation of resources.
    This has nothing to do with my ego: that's just the best cheap shot that exists on the internet. Your analogies are bad, they don't translate well at all and make everything more confusing.

    What do pesticides have to do with the questions I'm asking? You said that all problems have real/true solutions to them, and I posed some normative questions to challenge that. Why then have you decided to ask an unrelated question about pesticides and talk about ethics?

    Anyway, what do you think is the job of an economist? (to return to the original disagreement)

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Updated: December 10, 2010
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