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David Howdon
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  • United Kingdom

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Profile Information

Employer
Department for Work and Pensions (Government Economic Service)
Current Job Title
Economic Advisor
Highest level of education
Masters
University
Cambridge (BA) then Oxford (MPhil)
Currently working on
Pensions
Work history
Previously worked for Ofgem

Some Economics Jokes

Two economists are walking down the street. 'Look,' says the first, 'there is a £50 note lying on the ground'.
'No there isn't,' replies the second, 'if there were someone would have picked it up'.
I like this joke because it illustrates the efficient markets hypothesis.
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An econometrician was arrested and imprisoned in a wooden fortress in the desert. After some time there he was delighted to discover that one of the wooden planks hand fallen from the wall and, although this did not allow him to escape, he was able to get a narrow view into the world outside.

Every day an elephant walked past the wall of his prison, and our econometrician observed it through the narrow slot. First he saw the trunk, then the large flapping ears. After that came the shoulders, forelegs, the broad grey side, hind legs and finally the tail.

Day after day the econometrician observed this phenomenon and, applying all the skills of his profession considered what he saw. Eventually after much thought he reach a conclusion and announced for all to hear “I understand now, the trunk causes the tail”.

I like this joke because it illustrates the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
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The economist's search for truth may be likened to a man search in a darkened room for a black cat which isn't there. The econometrician regularly claims to have found it.

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