Economists Do It With Models

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An Economist’s Halloween Walk Of Shame…

November 1st, 2011 · 4 Comments
Just For Fun

November 1st is seriously my favorite day to watch the walk of shame- you know, that thing where people spend the night at the houses/apartments of others and then have to leave the next morning with rumpled hair, smeared makeup and the same clothes as the night before…just think about how much more entertaining that is when said hair, makeup and clothing is part of a Halloween costume…

Anyway, I digress. Unfortunately, the crucial part of my Halloween costume arrived while I was still in New Orleans and was thus unfortunately held hostage by the post office until yesterday. More unfortunately, I got stuck doing work rather than going to any Halloween parties. Nonetheless, I would like to share some of the suggestions for replacement costumes, all of them economics-themed:

From my Facebook page:

1) wear a cap with an M on it (CAPM)
2) hide your hand (Invisible Hand)
3) name tag with “Goods” and you could say something complimentary to people (complimentary goods)

I feel like option 3 here just encourages people’s confusion regarding complimentary versus complementary (“complementary goods” are goods that are used together, while “complimentary goods” are, well, probably what is described above), but I have to admit that I was super tempted to go with option 1.

I also enjoyed this one:

One of my professors was looking for ideas. He said he had a straight jacket that he might wear, so I suggested that he put a cursive L on the front of it, and go as “constrained optimization.”

You know you’re an econ nerd if you get that one. Even the Econ Job Market Rumors board got into the Halloween spirit, though the suggestions there were definitely on the esoteric side. Some of my favorites:

My twin and I are going as a paper by Bruno Frey and another paper by Bruno Frey.

DSGE macroeconomist – So you shock the party guests with your costume and then plot their responses?

Freddy Krugman

Apparently economists get more into Halloween than I thought- in person, I think I’ve only seen people try to go as supply and demand. As it turns out, economists even write papers about the costume decision process. From Yale’s Dean Karlan and others:

We examine whether ambiguity aversion correlates with costume choice amongst children at Halloween. We conducted an ambiguity aversion experiment with children on Halloween during trick-or-treating and correlated this with their choice of costumes. We find that children wearing the most commonly chosen costumes are more likely to avoid a gamble with ambiguous odds. This inquiry is in line with a series of recent papers observing whether choices in simple experimental economics games correlate with theoretically similar non-laboratory behavior.

I shudder to think what my lack of ability to plan a costume sufficiently ahead of time correlates with- I feel like I failed some sort of Halloween marshmallow test. At least I have a costume all ready to go for next year, assuming of course I don’t forget that I have it. I also have Gizmo’s costume for next year all picked out:

Just remember, it’s not animal cruelty if it’s done out of love. Besides, would it really be any worse than the 2009 costume?

P.S. I am told that economists are also fascinated by secondary markets for Halloween candy.

Tags: Just For Fun

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 econetti37 // Nov 4, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I give my AP students extra credit if they come dressed for Halloween with some sort of economic themed costume. Or, at the very least, give an economic angle to their costume. I told them I’d give them double extra credit if they didn’t come at all on Halloween but still had all their work done and claim that they were here as the Invisible Hand. I’ll send some images to you if you’d like to see them. Very creative group of seniors. Halloween is a VERY big deal at my school.

  • 2 jonathan // Nov 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I love Big Bang Theory, but somehow feel Sheldon would have been even better if he were an economist – his Doppler Effect costume surely has nothing on these???

  • 3 Punditus Maximus // Nov 5, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Ok, that Bruno Frey stuff is hilarious but obscure

  • 4 Bryan Parthum // Oct 25, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    “Structural Parameter” (Pair-a-meter)

    Costume: Hard hat, yellow safety vest, and a pair of meter sticks. (I tied the two meter sticks together and wore them around my neck)

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