How should we deal with questions from topics that overlaps with other stack exchange sites? Although in many cases it's clear that a question doesn't belong on one site and definitely belongs on another site, there are cases where it seems like the question falls under the scope of both sites.

To provide some examples of these ambiguities, consider the following questions and meta posts:

These topics are generally on-topic on this site (sometimes with caveats), as described on the sites help page: https://economics.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic .

I believe that this site already has a working policy in place on how to deal with questions from topics that appear to overlap with other stack exchange site. However, my purpose in asking this question is to create a centralized place that is on the Economics.SE Meta site that we can reference whenever it comes up. Personally, I think that we have adopted and should continue to adopt the policy prescribed site-wide.

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    $\begingroup$ A good question with good references in the answer below. Thanks jm! $\endgroup$
    – Kitsune Cavalry Mod
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 16:53

1 Answer 1


As I mentioned, my personal preference is to continue to abide by the policy that has been prescribed site-wide. With respect to questions regarding econometrics vs. statistics, financial economics vs. quantitative finance, mathematical economics vs. mathematics, I believe there is significant overlap between the subjects that there should be many questions that could potentially live on two different sites. Allowing the overlap is by design and is not unique to economics.SE. As evidenced by the following site-wide meta posts, it is something that occurs throughout stack exchange, broadly.

I think the most relevant site-wide meta posts include these:

To summarize the policy implications (i.e., lots of copy-paste :) ),

  • If it is clearly a question that does belong on another site, migrate it and then treat it as duplicate.
  • If the question seems plausibly on-topic on both sites, let it live in both cultures, as the answers will be different. Let the users of each community benefit from the information. (You can't assume that all users will be on all sites. Each site has to stand on its own merits and you have to treat each site as a separate community)
  • If a question is inappropriate on one site, users now have alternate places to go with it. It's a nice convenience if moderators choose to transfer it for them. If it turns out to be a duplicate, let the other community handle it with the means already in place
  • If the first moderator happens to spot it as a cross-site duplicate, it can simply be closed and the original poster can decide how to rework the question if they want to try it on another site.

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