Economists Do It With Models

Warning: “graphic” content…

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Some Economic Humor For Your Day Off…

January 21st, 2013 · 2 Comments
Just For Fun

I have yet to give a complete rundown of Economic-Con in San Diego a couple of weeks ago (pro tip: don’t pick an exhibit booth that no one can find), but I can safely say that the humor session was one of the highlights. Here is Yoram Bauman, the Stand-Up Economist, talking about “Hyperinflation in Hell”:

Yoram asked me afterward what I thought of the new bit, and I pointed out that I really like getting to feel like I learned something…in this case, not so much about inflation and monetary policy (one would hope that I have the hang of those by now), but about cultural traditions and the use of joss paper and such. I guess that’s my nerdy version of the “it’s funny because it’s true” scenario.

Update” Another one for the “it’s funny because it’s true” category:

Uh oh, looks like this is becoming a theme…

Another Update: Because the world thinks it’s funny, an article about an agency for ugly models came up in my news feed shortly after the above Twitter conversation. Also, said Twitter convo devolved into puns involving Slutsky and “endogenous zones.” You people are sick. =P

Tags: Just For Fun

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Brisa // Jan 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks for posting about the ASSA conference by the way!! As a San Diegan I decided to go and had a blast learning new theories and getting a feel for what to expect when it’s my turn to be up there… I especially enjoyed Jesse Rothstein’s assessment of structural unemployment explanations for persistently high unemployment.

  • 2 Yi Jun // Jan 29, 2013 at 2:14 am

    Jodie, while the esteemed Dr Bauman is correct in his surmise, I fear his cultural research is not quite up to snuff – joss paper is not the only asset that is burnt for the use of the dead. At least, not so in Chinese culture: we also burn paper servants, paper cars, paper houses, paper ingots (fiat commodities, if you can dig it), and increasingly paper iPods.

    Therein we see Dr Bauman’s great flaw in his research: there is indeed massive hyperinflation in hell, but it exists as a problem much as we here on earth have a problem with massive over-supply of, er, dirt, I suppose? With such a constant influx of value (perhaps secondary markets on these joss goods may exist, but I can’t think of any way of reasoning out the depreciation rates of goods in the world of the dead – logically speaking there shouldn’t be one, because, well, where would it go?) one can only conclude that the joss currency must not be regarded as a true unit of value at all!

    Some experiments have been conducted with the Westernisation of joss paper, but it seems stone doesn’t burn well, and nobody knows what a whedon is. Regardless, it regrettably seems that a post-scarcity economy for everyone remains to die for.

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