An economic forecaster was known to have an
horseshoe prominently displayed above the door frame of his office. Asked what
it was for, he replied that it was a good luck charm that helped his forecasts.
But do you believe in that superstition? he was asked, and he said, "Of
course not!" But then why do you keep it? "Well," he said,
"it works whether you believe in it or not."
The story is actually told about a
non-economist, Danish Nobel prize winner Niels Bohr.
Since the publication of the joke I've been told that Bohr actually said that
*he had been told* that it works whether...
Economics has gotten so rigorous we've all got rigor mortis.
Presumably said by Kenneth Boulding
A possible correction by Mike: Kenneth
Boulding said, "Mathematics brought rigor to Economics. Unfortunately, it
also brought mortis."
Economist related joke: Definition: Policy Analyst is someone unethical enough
to be a lawyer, impractical enough to be a theologian, and pedantic enough to be
There is one joke opportunity in Robert Kuttner, The Poverty of Economics, The
Atlantic Monthly, Feb 1985, p. 79, which says: "George Stigler Nobel
laureate and a leader of Chicago School was asked why there were no Nobel Prizes
awarded in the other social sciences, sociology, psychology, history, etc.
"Don't worry", Stigler said, "they have already have a Nobel
Prize in ...Literature"
An economist was standing at the shore of a large lake, surf-casting. It was the
middle of winter, and the lake was completely frozen over, but this didn't seem
to bother the economist, who stood there patiently casting his lure out across
the ice, slowly reeling it in again, then repeating the process.
A mathematical economist came sailing by
on an ice boat, and pulled to the shore beside the surf-fishing economist to
scoff. "You'll never catch any fish that way," said the mathematical
economist. "Jump on my ice-boat and we'll go trawling."
Three econometricians went out hunting, and came across a large deer. The first
econometrician fired, but missed, by a meter to the left. The second
econometrician fired, but also missed, by a meter to the right. The third
econometrician didn't fire, but shouted in triumph, "We got it! We got
A mathematician, a theoretical economist and an econometrician are asked to find
a black cat (who doesn't really exist) in a closed room with the lights off:
- The mathematician gets crazy trying to find a
black cat that doesn't exist inside the darkened room and ends up in a
- The theoretical economist is unable to catch
the black cat that doesn't exist inside the darkened room, but exits the room
proudly proclaiming that he can construct a model to describe all his movements
with extreme accuracy.
- The econometrician walks securely into the
darkened room, spend one hour looking for the black cat that doesn't exits and
shouts from inside the room that he has it catched by the neck."