Some questions are hard to be classified as homework, but they are nevertheless very basic. Such as this one and this one. For these questions, it's hard to urge the OP to "show more effort", since they probably are students who were just introduced to economics.

Recent discussions on meta (especially in comments under @Ubiquitous's answer) seem to call for an updated policy on acceptable questions, whereby questions of an Econ-101 nature will no longer be welcome on this site.

Either way, I think a clearer policy would help me (and potentially others) when reviewing and deciding whether to answer questions that are

  • about economics, and are asked by someone who clearly has very limited knowledge of economics but otherwise appear genuine in wanting to learn the subject; or

  • clearly homework questions of basic economics but with sufficient effort shown.

Our current policy doesn't give a clear enough guidance. For instance, one cannot reasonably expect an intro or intermediate student to ask a question that fits the "great question" criterion.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The recent discussions you refer to seem unrelated to earlier discussions leading to this question (economics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1755/…) which indicated majority support (at least among those who voted then) for a more inclusive sub-title which would tend to imply acceptance of lower-level questions. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 12:35

1 Answer 1


Since this site is for professional and academic economists and analysts, perhaps we should just politely invite all those who are not in this category to search elsewhere on the internet for learning resources.

Specifically, if the site's consensus is to do without questions on basic economics, I would suggest adding a reason for closing similar to the following:

This question is not sufficiently sophisticated to reach the level of a professional or academic economist and analyst, and therefore falls outside the scope of this site. Please consider seeking answers elsewhere on the internet.

A follow-up question is where to draw the line of "basicness". But that's worth another meta post.


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