The Economics and Methods Cluster

Venn4bCore topics and their associated concepts

This table lists the 42 core topics and their associated concepts in the five most quantitative of the core subjects: Economic Analysis (12 topics); Macroeconomic Policy (6 topics); Quantitative Methods (12 topics); Analytic Methods (6 topics); and Evaluation and Performance Measurement (6 topics).

NOTE: The concept pages in these subjects are under development. Links to many topics and concepts are to pages on the old Atlas.



The Study of Economics

Behavioural Economics


Economic Efficiency

Economic Liberalism

Economic Model


Economics and Ideology


Incentives and Introduction to Economics

International Economics


Marginal and Marginalism

Market Failure


Political Economy

Public Finance

Public Choice Theory


There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch – TANSTAAFL

Unintended Consequences


Utility Function

Welfare Economics

Supply, Demand, and Equilibrium

Change in Demand vs. Change in Quantity Demanded

Change in Supply vs. Change in Quantity Supplied

Consumer Surplus

Demand Curve

Demand Curve Shifts

Gains from Trade

Market Equilibrium

Normal Good vs. Inferior Good

Producer Surplus

Supply Curve

Supply Curve Shifts

Consumer Theory and Elasticity of Demand and Supply

Elasticity of Demand

Elasticity of Demand and Total Revenue

Elasticity of Supply

Midpoint Formula for Elasticity

Commodity Taxes and Subsidies

Benefit of a Subsidy – Economic vs. Legal Incidence

Burden of a Tax – Economic vs. Legal Incidence

Commodity Taxes


Tax Revenue and Deadweight Loss

Wage Subsidies vs. Minimum Wage

The Price System and Price Regulation

Price as Signal and Incentive

Markets Link Geographically

Markets Link Different Goods

Markets Link Over Time – Speculation


Prediction Markets

Price Ceilings

Rent Control

Price Floors

Minimum Wage

Airline Regulation and Wasteful Quality

Why Do Governments Enact Price Controls?

Price Controls and Communism

Trade, Adjustment, and Protectionism

Comparative Advantage

Trade and Differing Preferences

Trade and Specialization

Trade and Comparative Advantage

Supply and Demand Effects of Tariffs

Comparative Advantage

Trade and Differing Preferences

Trade and Specialization

Trade and Comparative Advantage

Supply and Demand Effects of Tariffs

Free Trade



Absolute Advantage

Division of Labour

Division of Knowledge

Pareto Efficiency






Command and Control Solutions vs. Taxes and Subsidies

Coase Theorem

Tradable Allowances

Private Cost

External Cost

Social Cost

Private Benefit

External Benefit

Private Benefit

Social Surplus

Bystanders Surplus

Efficient Equilibrium

Deadweight Loss

Pigouvian Tax

Pigouvian Subsidy

Transaction Costs

Producer Theory and Competition

Maximizing Profit under Competition

Entry, Exit, and Sunk Costs

Increasing Cost Industries

Constant Cost Industries

Industry Clusters and Decreasing Cost Industries

Minimization of Total Industry Costs of Production

Balance of Industries and Creative Destruction

Producer Theory

Producer Theory Calculus

Average Cost

Marginal Cost

Total Cost

Fixed Costs

Variable Costs

Total Revenue


Sunk Costs

Break-even Price

Normal Profit

Above-normal Profit

Perfect Competition

Production Possibility Frontier

Marginal Revenue

Creative Destruction

Monopoly and Price Discrimination

Maximizing Profit under Monopoly

Monopoly Pricing and Elasticity of Demand

Costs and Benefits of Monopoly

Price Discrimination



Monopoly Markup

Barriers to Entry



Market Power

Economies of Scale


Static Efficiency

Dynamic Efficiency


Perfect Price Discrimination

Labour Markets, Transfers, and Personal Taxes

Marginal Product of Labour

Human Capital and Signaling

Compensating Differentials

Unions and Wages

Derived Demand

Human Capital

Sheepskin (or Credential) Effects

Marginal Revenue Product of Labour

Public Goods and Commons Problems

Public Good

Club Good

Common Resource

Free Riding

Forced Rider

Excludable Good

Non-excludable Good

Rival Good

Non-rival Good

Tragedy of the Commons

Asymmetric Information, Signaling, and Game Theory

Asymmetric Information

Asymmetric Information and Insurance

Moral Hazard


Principal-Agent Problem

Adverse Selection

Propitious Selection

Game Theory

Prisoners’ Dilemma


Macroeconomic Policy


The Study of Macroeconomics

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Gross National Product


National Spending vs Factor Income Components of GDP

Nominal vs. Real GDP

Real GDP Per Capita and the Standard of Living

Wealth of Nations and Economic Growth

Contributors to Growth

Growth Miracles and Growth Disasters

Growth Rates and National Wealth

Hockey Stick of Human Prosperity

Innovation and Growth

Ratio (Logarithmic) Scale

Rule of 70

Institutions and Growth

National Wealth

Growth, Capital Accumulation, and the Financial System

Economics of Ideas

Human Capital and Conditional Convergence

Idea Equation

Patents vs. Idea Spillovers

Physical Capital and Diminishing Returns

Solow Model and Ideas

Solow Model and the Steady State

Solow Model of Economic Growth

Business Cycles and Unemployment

Aggregate Demand

Aggregate Supply Curve

Automatic Stabilizers

Business Cycle

Capital Spending

Involuntary Unemployment

Keynesian Economics

Labour Force

Labour Force Participation Rate

Multiplier Effect

Natural Rate of Unemployment

Stabilization Policy

Stabilization Policy Lags


Unemployment Rate

Inflation and Monetary Policy

Fixed Exchange Rate

Floating Exchange Rate

Interest Rate Parity

Monetary Neutrality

Monetary Policy

Money Multiplier

Nominal Exchange Rate

Net Capital Outflow (NCO)

Open Market Operations

Overnight Rate

Real Exchange Rate

Real Interest Rate

Quantity Theory of Money

Velocity of Money

Government Spending and Fiscal Policy

Fiscal Policy


Tax Expenditure

Quantitative Methods


The Study of Quantitative Methods

What are Statistics?

Importance of Statistics

Descriptive Statistics

Inferential Statistics



Levels of Measurement


Summation Notation

Linear Transformations


Describing Distributions

Qualitative Variables

Quantitative Variables

Stem and Leaf Displays


Frequency Polygons

Box Plots

Box Plot Demonstration

Bar Charts

Line Graphs

Dot Plots

Central Tendency

What is Central Tendency

Measures of Central Tendency

Median and Mean

Additional Measures

Comparing measures


Measures of Variability

Estimating Variance Simulation


Effects of Transformations

Variance Sum Law I

Bivariate Data

Introduction to Bivariate Data

Values of the Pearson Correlation

Guessing Correlations Simulation

Properties of Pearson’s r

Computing Pearson’s r

Restriction of Range

Variance Sum Law II


Introduction to Probability

Basic Concepts

Conditional Probability

Gambler’s Fallacy

Permutations and Combinations

Birthday Simulation

Binomial Distribution

Binomial Demonstration

Poisson Distribution

Multinomial Distribution

Hypergeometric Distribution

Base Rates

Bayes’ Theorem

Monty Hall Problem

Research Design

Scientific Method


Basics of Data Collection

Sampling Bias

Experimental Designs


Normal Distributions and Advanced Graphs

Introduction to Normal Distributions


Areas of Normal Distributions

Varieties of Normal Distributions

Standard Normal

Normal Approximation to the Binomial

Q-Q Plots

Contour Plots

3D Plots

Sampling Distributions

Introduction to Sampling

Sample Size

Central Limit Theorem

Sampling Distribution of the Mean

Sampling Distribution of Difference Between Means

Sampling Distribution of Pearson’s r

Sampling Distribution of a Proportion

Estimation and Hypothesis Testing

Introduction to Estimation

Degrees of Freedom

Characteristics of Estimators

Bias and Variability Simulation

Confidence Intervals

Introduction to Confidence Intervals

Confidence Interval for the Mean

t distribution

Confidence Interval Simulation

Confidence Interval for the Difference Between Means

Confidence Interval for Pearson’s Correlation

Confidence Interval for a Proportion

Introduction to Hypothesis Testing

Significance Testing

Type I and Type II Errors

One- and Two-Tailed Tests

Interpreting Significant Results

Interpreting Non-Significant Results

Steps in Hypothesis Testing

Significance Testing and Confidence Intervals


Tests of Means and Power

Single Mean

t Distribution Demo

Difference between Two Means (Independent Groups)

Robustness Simulation

All Pairwise Comparisons Among Means

Specific Comparisons

Difference between Two Means (Correlated Pairs)

Correlated t Simulation

Specific Comparisons (Correlated Observations)

Pairwise Comparisons (Correlated Observations)

Power and Null Hypothesis

Factors Affecting Power


Introduction to Simple Linear Regression

Linear Fit Demo

Partitioning Sums of Squares

Standard Error of the Estimate

Inferential Statistics for b and r

Influential Observations

Regression Toward the Mean

Introduction to Multiple Regression

Analysis of Variance

Introduction to ANOVA

ANOVA Designs

One-Factor ANOVA (Between-Subjects)

One-Way Comparisons

Multi-Factor ANOVA (Between-Subjects)

Unequal Sample Sizes

Tests Supplementing ANOVA

Within-Subjects ANOVA

Power of Within-Subjects Designs

Transformation, Chi Square, Distribution Free Tests, and Effect Size


Tukey’s Ladder of Powers

Box-Cox Transformations

Chi Square Distribution

One-Way Tables (Testing Goodness of Fit)

Testing Distributions Demo

Contingency Tables

2 x 2 Table Simulation

Benefits of Distribution-Free Tests

Randomization Tests – Association (Pearson’s r)

Randomized Tests – Contingency Tables (Fisher’s Exact Test)

Rank Randomization Tests – Two Conditions (Mann-Whitney U, Wilcoxon Rank Sum)

Rank Randomization Tests – Two or More Conditions (Kruskal-Wallis)

Rank Randomization Tests – Association (Spearman’s ρ)


Difference between Means

Variance Explained

Analytic Methods
and Evaluation


Working with Spreadsheets

Excel Basics – The Interface

Excel Data Formatting, Grouping, Showing & Hiding

Excel Data Inputting

Excel Data Referencing – Absolute & Relative

Excel Data Functions – Mathematical, Statistical

Excel Data Generation – Time, Date, Random

Excel Data Comparison – Logical & Conditional Formatting

Excel Data Seeking – Reference, Search

Excel Text Functions

Excel Data Determination – Goal Seek, What-If

Excel Working with Complex Formula – Tracing

Excel Data Checking & Validation

Excel Presenting Data – Formatting

Excel Presenting Data – Tables

Excel Presenting Data Visually

Decision Analysis

Decision Chain

Decision Point

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cost-benefit Analysis

Cost-effectiveness Analysis

Project Management

Capital Project

Project/Program Objective

Knowledge Project

Risk Management

Catastrophic Harms

Residual Risk


Risk Appetite

Risk Tolerance

Risk Identification

Risk Management

Risk Mitigation

Risk Profile

Risk Strategy

Impact of Bias on Decision-Making and Insights from Behavioural Economics

Anchoring Effect

Confirmation Bias


Negativity Bias

Evaluation Purposes, Types and Questions

Sensitivity Analysis

Intangible Benefits of Programs


Results Chain

Beneficiaries; Best Practices

Departmental Evaluation Plan

Departmental Performance Report

Economy (in evaluation)

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Products

Formative Evaluation

Gaming (in evaluation)

Gender-based Analysis (GBA)

Impact Evaluation

Open Systems Approach

Program Evaluation

Project/Program Objective

Terms of Reference (in evaluation)

Fundamental Identification Problem: Causality, Counterfactual Responses, Heterogeneity, Selection


Baseline Information

Causal Chain

Causal Images

Causal Relationship



Evaluation Assessment

Needs Assessment

Policy Outputs vs. Outcomes

Program Logic


Assessing the Confounding Effects of Unobserved Factors


Single Difference (in impact evaluation)

Sensitivity Analysis

Diagnostic Procedures

Logic Model

Data Collection Strategies

Case Studies

Elite Interviews

Literature Review

Performance Measurement and Performance Management


Expected Result

Intermediate Outcome

Lessons Learned






Performance Audit

Performance Criteria

Performance Expectations

Performance Indicator

Performance Measure

Performance Measurement

Performance Measurement Strategy

Performance Monitoring

Performance Reporting

Performance Story

Productivity in the Public Sector

Results-Based Management

Results-Based Reporting

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 5 June 2016.

Image: Ellen O’Brien, George Mason University, at, accessed 19 March 2016.