Monday, June 29, 2009


Dear God
Please, please send clothes for all those poor ladies in Dad’s computer.

[Well, there aren't that many economists jokes here and I liked this one.]

14 comments: said...


Actually there are a huge number of economist jokes. I think there is even a website for them, although I did not go check right now, at least there used to be. It had a lot of them, although many were minor variations on each other.

My all time favorite is this.

"Studying philosophy is like going into a dark alley at midnight and searching for a black cat.
Studying theology is like going into a dark alley at midnight and searching for a black cat that is not there.
But, studying economics is like going into a dark alley at midnight and searching for a black cat that is not there, while shouting the whole time, 'I've got! I've got it!"

Martin Langeland said...

There is also "Yoram Bauman, Ph.D.
The world's first and only
stand-up economist"
His site
offers vid eo clips as well as his tour sctedule.

Max said...


Here's an ancient website dedicated to economist jokes:

Here are a few:

Economist poem

If you do some acrobatics
with a little mathematics
it will take you far along.
If your idea's not defensible
don't make it comprehensible
or folks will find you out,
and your work will draw attention
if you only fail to mention
what the whole thing is about.

Your must talk of GNP
and of elasticity
of rates of substitution
and undeterminate solution
and oligonopopsony.

from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams, Chapter 16.

Arthur awoke to the sound of argument and went to the bridge. Ford was waving his arms about. "You're crazy Zaphod," he was saying, "Magrathea is a myth a fairy story, it's what parents tell their kids about at night if they want them to grow up to be economists, it's..."
ECONOMISTS do it at bliss point
ECONOMISTS do it in an Edgeworth Box
ECONOMISTS do it on demand
ECONOMISTS do it with an atomistic competitor
ECONOMISTS do it with crystal balls
ECONOMISTS do it with interest
Economists do it with models
Econometricians do it if they can identify it. Applied econometricians do it even if they can't.
Economists do it with Slutsky matrices.
Economists do it discretely AND continuously. said...

Oh heck, if we are going to really get going on this.

A physicist, a chemist, and an economist are stranded on a desert island. They have a can of beans. The physicist says, "let us build a catapult and break it open." The chemist says, "let us build a fire and heat it up until it breaks open (and the beans will even be cooked)." But the economists says, "no, no, no, you are making things too difficult. Let us assume that we have a can opener."

Actually, one-time economics (and sociology) undergrad major, Ronald Reagan (true fact, Eureka College) told the following version of this during the deep recession of 1982 at a press conference, after being grilled on the bad economy. "The president was walking along with his chief economic adviser. Suddenly they fell into a deep pit that they did not see ahead of them. The president said, 'what shall we do?' and the economic adviser replied, 'it is not a problem; let us assume that we have a ladder."

Shag from Brookline said...

On the other hand, how about Harry S. Truman's search for a one armed economist?

Brenda Rosser said...

Thanks for the link.

Martin, Yeah. I've come across Yoram Bauman before. He's great!

You seem to have a pretty good collection. Why not post some regular jokes to Econospeak?

'a one-armed economist'?

John Kenneth Galbraith's writing always makes me laugh.

"The 1907 panic, unlike earlier ones, did not come in from the country; it was a New York product. It was for that reason, far more serious. This was not so much that its impact on the country was greater than that of earlier panics. It was rather that the impact was on much more important people. From the sense of urgency thus induced came the pressure for the next great step in monetary change and reform, the Federal Reserve System."

pages 112, 113.

"The Federal Reserve System is not totally above criticism. It makes many mistakes but these are always interesting errors of judgement. They are examined not critically but respectfully to discover why men of insight went wrong. That for such error anyone should be sacked or even seriously rebuked is, for economists, nearly unthinkable."

Page 116
'Money, whence it came, where it went'.

Wow. Humour eh! Lots of feedback here.

Barkley Rosser said...

Well, speaking of Harry Truman's old wisecrack about wanting a one-armed economist around so that he would not always be hearing "but on the other hand," there is a one-armed economist, the ecological economists, Herman Daly. I know him and have heard him speak on several occasions. He also introduces himself as someone who would be "Harry Truman's favorite economist."

Jack said...

As the say, sometimes real life is stranger/funnier than fiction:
Larry Summers has the ear of the President.
Timothy Geithner is going to solve the banking crisis.
Ben Bernanke fully understands the underlyiing causes of the banking melt down.
Alan Greenspan fully understood the underlying causes of the banking melt down.
Milton Friedman remains a revered icon in the Economics Ionosphere.

I wish we could laugh about it all.

Jack said...

Oh, I almost left out the best joke of all:

Most effective use of an Economics PhD course of training in application to personal enrichment:
Phil Gramm, UofGa, 1967.

On a lighter side:
What did the disgruntled Economist say to a colleague? "Thank heavens there are lawyers."

Brenda Rosser said...

thanks for clarifying that.

As John Kenneth Galbraith said: "Concessions might be made to the reality but this could be only out of short-run political necessity.

page 287
'Money, whence it came, where it went'.

gordon said...

If we're recounting Galbraithisms, maybe somebody can tell me where JKG wrote this: "The problem with competition is that in the end somebody wins". It's probably my favorite, but I can't remember where I read it.

gordon said...

I must admit I've never understood Truman's "one-armed economist" remark. Most of the economists I have met have been, at any rate, one-handed. Trouble is, some of them are Left-handed and some of them are Right-handed.

Jack said...

The one's that too often are called upon by our political leaders and/or their financial foundations are high handed.

Brenda Rosser said...

I don't know where that quote comes from.