Economists Do It With Models

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Just For Fun: Reasons Not To Date An Economist (Thanks Guys)…

October 25th, 2012 · 12 Comments
Just For Fun

I guess when one writes about frictional, cyclical, and structural singledom, one can’t be entirely surprised that one gets emails requesting links to content such as “21 Reasons Why You Should Never Date an Economist.” I tend to ignore the vast majority of such requests, but I have to admit that items 1, 3, and 21 kind of won me over, and item 20 is both kind of brilliant from a wordplay perspective and decent monetary policy advice. (In related news, I am pretty sure that I am guilty of the tragedy of the commons remedy in item 19. What, like it’s weird to have separate rolls of toilet paper?) So without further ado, from the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (see below for a very strategic acronym):

1. Economists may be dangerous. Watch out for the invisible hands!

2. It won’t matter what you supply, they will always demand more.

3. They consider selfish behavior the most natural thing in the world.

4. They prefer doing it with models and dummies.

5. Economists habitually deflate everything.

6. They like their love lives like they like their markets: free and open.

7. On average they are pretty mean.

8. And definitely too trendy.

9. They will never be happy with you as you are, they will always want you to grow.

10. They require a lot of stimulus in order to expand.

11. They will spend their lives trying to predict your behavior.

12. They consider you perfectly substitutable.

13. They’ll only like you if you have plenty of elasticity.

14. They will always think that there is an acceptable level of unemployment.

15. As soon as you are happy in the relationship they’ll burst your bubble.

16. They’ll only be into you if you have plenty of boom and bust.

17. They’ll never say “I Love you” only that “You optimise my utility”.

18. They will rate your kids’ advancement into a Human Development Index.

19. They will establish very clear household property rights to avoid the tragedy of the commons.

20. If you ever get depressed, they’ll lower their interest rate to zero.

21. They might collect a stratified household survey of family and friends, run regression and cluster analyses and check for heteroskedasticity before deciding to commit to you. (On the plus side you might get to see what your love looks like as a formula).

(Institute of Advanced Development Studies (INESAD) is a leading economic and environmental think tank in Bolivia. This post first appeared on INESAD’s English language blog Development Roast.)

I also like number 7 because I see what they were going for there, even though they didn’t completely reach their target. I mean, I dare anyone who’s ever had to demean data to tell me that the concept didn’t make them giggle at least once. (I do, in fact, have a coauthor who will jokingly tell our datasets that they are pieces of crap on a regular basis and then explain that he’s just demeaning his data. You’d think it would have gotten old by now, but no.)

Tags: Just For Fun

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Economist // Oct 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm is another great reason why not to date economists…

  • 2 Ioulia Fenton // Oct 26, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Thanks for re-posting and the great commentary 🙂

  • 3 Mike Fladlien // Oct 26, 2012 at 5:55 am

    This made my day.

  • 4 andrew // Oct 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    When it comes to “business time” females go through a “business cycle”. As an economist it is our job to reduces her “fluctuations”

  • 5 Jazi zilber // Oct 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Reminds me that i once told a girl something very similat to “you are improving my utility”

    Knowing me, she appreciated it very much.
    (not knowing me enough she did not figure it was not really true)

  • 6 Jon Nelson // Oct 28, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Utils of laughs. #22. He/She will try to transform you into something that’s stationary.

  • 7 econgirl // Oct 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    @ Economist: Ok, that made me laugh for a pretty long time…and you’re not wrong. Also, because the commenters are anonymous for the most part, the reasonable economists end up being victims of statistical discrimination.

    I also feel like there’s a #23 in here somewhere about economists being unconcerned with out of equilibrium situations, i.e. dating in this context.

  • 8 The Sloman Economics News Site » Blog Archive » Might thinking like an economist occasionally lead to over analysis? // Nov 2, 2012 at 10:59 am

    […] Just for fun: reasons not to data an economist (thanks guys)…Economists do it with models, Jodi Beggs (25/10/12) […]

  • 9 Max // Nov 14, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I’m still laughing, also because I once really said “You optimise my utility”….

  • 10 Jeff // Nov 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    You forgot the big one. The “Efficient dating market hypothesis” economists are all already taken.

  • 11 econgirl // Nov 15, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    That’s why you have to strategically find the dating equivalent of frictional unemployment. 🙂

  • 12 Jeff // Nov 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you, econgirl, for giving me a reason to appreciate frictional unemployment.

    In other news, by that logic, we could call bank holdings that are not there to meet specific requirements, but rather are from “kiting” effects of moving money around “frictional reserves”…

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