So we’re economists. It doesn’t mean we have no sense of good natured self-deprecation – as these quotes demonstrate:
If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
Old economists never die, they just change their assumptions.
Sir Geoffrey Howe
An economist is a man who states the obvious in terms of the incomprehensible.
Alfred A. Knopf
Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.
Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006)
But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever.
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
I am an economist and have tried to give you an economic solution for an economic problem. Please do not argue that I am a rotten economist on the grounds that the economic solution is politically unacceptable.
James Meade, 1979
You and I come by road or rail - but economists travel on infrastructure.
Margaret Thatcher, 1985
In all recorded history there has not been one economist who has had to worry about where the next meal would come from.
You can make even a parrot into a learned political economist - all he must learn are the two words 'supply' and 'demand'.
An economist is a man who knows 100 ways of making love but doesn't know any women.
Art Buchwald, attributed
On a desert island after seven days without food the occupants find a tin of food. With no implements to open it the engineer devised an elaborate contraption to open it, but failed, the weightlifter smashed it against the rock but merely dented it, whilst the economists solution was to 'assume' a tin opener.
Isn't it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?
Kelvin Throop III
An economist is an expert who will know why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.
Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)
An economist is a surgeon with an excellent scalpel and a rough-edged lancet, who operates beautifully on the dead and tortures the living.
Nicholas Chamfort (1741 - 1794)
Economics is the only field in which two people can share a Nobel Prize for saying opposing things.
Economists are armed and dangerous: “Watch out for our invisible hands.”
When an economist is in the unemployment line, at least they will know why they are there.
An “acceptable” level of unemployment means that the government economist to whom it is acceptable still has a job.
An economist is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Q: How many economists does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Eight. One to screw it in and seven to hold everything else constant.
An economist is a person who confronted with an eight foot high wall, immediately assumes he is ten feet tall.
John Zanetti, 1971
Economic forecasters assume everything, except responsibility.
What do you get when you cross the Godfather with an economist? An offer you can’t understand.
One night a policeman saw a macroeconomist looking for something by a lamppost. He asked him if he had lost something there. The economist said, "I lost my keys over in the alley." The policeman asked him why he was looking by the lamppost. The economist responded, "it's a lot easier to look over here."
Did you hear of the economist who dived into his swimming pool and broke his neck? He forgot to seasonally adjust.
An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.
Lawrence J. Peter
Mick Jagger, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Arsène Wenger all studied economics and look how they turned out.
When you are in the unemployment line, at least you will know why you are there.
If you rearrange the letters in “ECONOMICS”, you get “COMIC NOSE”.
Although ethics teaches that virtue is its own reward, in economics we get taught that reward is its own virtue.
When you get drunk, economists can tell everyone that they are just researching the law of diminishing marginal utility.
Talk is cheap. Supply exceeds Demand.
Bentley’s second Law of Economics: The only thing more dangerous than an economist is an amateur economist! Berta’s Fundamental Law of Economic Rents.“The only thing more dangerous than an amateur economist is a professional economist.”
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 it!”
“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….”
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
An Indian-born economist once explained his personal theory of reincarnation to his graduate economics class. “If you are a good economist, a virtuous economist,” he said, “you are reborn as a physicist. But if you are an evil, wicked economist, you are reborn as a sociologist.” Paul Krugman in “Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in the Age of Diminished Expectations”.
If all the economists were laid end to end they would be an orgy, of mathematics.
Vladimir and Donald are taking a break from a long summit, Vladimir says to Donald, Donald, you know, I have a big problem I don’t know what to do about. I have a hundred bodyguards and one of them is a traitor. I don’t know which one. Not a big deal Vladimir, I’m stuck with a hundred economists I have to listen to all the time before any policy decision, and only one tells the truth, but it’s never the same one!
When an economist says the evidence is “mixed,” he or she means that theory says one thing and data says the opposite.
Econometrics is the art of drawing a crooked line from an unproved assumption to a foregone conclusion.
True story: One day in microeconomics, the professor was writing up the typical “underlying assumptions” in preparation to explain a new model. I turned to my friend and asked, “What would Economics be without assumptions?” He thought for a moment, then replied, “Accounting.”
I’d rather be vaguely right than precisely wrong.
J. M. Keynes
Economic statistics are like a bikini, what they reveal is important, what they conceal is vital.
Professor Sir Frank Holmes, attributed
An economics journal article should be like a woman’s skirt: short enough to be provocative; long enough to have something substantial underneath.
Economics-everything we know in a language we don’t understand.
What does it take to be a good economist? An unshakeable grasp of the obvious!
Achieving free trade is like getting to heaven. Everyone one wants to get there, but not too soon.
“Murphy’s law of economic policy”: Economists have the least influence on policy where they know the most and are most agreed; they have the most influence on policy where they know the least and disagree most vehemently.
Alan S. Blinder
If you put two economists in a room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is Lord Keynes, in which case you get three opinions.
Ronald Reagan used to say that if trivial pursuit were designed by economists, it would have 100 questions and 3,000 answers.