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What is Economics?

128shot

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Is it the study of money? Philosphy applied to society and government concerning money?


Really, its odd stuff.
 

Comrade Brian

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Economics is the study of economies, which includes but not necessarily money. It is generally thought of how they run, problems, solutions, etc. etc.

You could also look in Wikipedia.
 

oldreliable67

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The textbook definition has always been, "the allocation of scarce resources to unlimited wants". Thats a pretty all-encompassing concept, and over the years, no matter how many other definitions or nuances I've seen offered, this one still seems to be the best.
 

icky

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Economic Humor:

Jokes For (or About) Economists

General Economics:

A man walking along a road in the countryside comes across a shepherd and a huge flock of sheep. He tells the shepherd, "I will bet you $100 against one of your sheep that I can tell you the exact number in this flock." The shepherd thinks it over; it's a big flock so he takes the bet. "973," says the man. The shepherd is astonished, because that is exactly right. Says "OK, I'm a man of my word, take an animal." The man picks one up and begins to walk away. "Wait," cries the shepherd, "Let me have a chance to get even. Double or nothing that I can guess your exact occupation." The man says sure. "You are an agricultural economist," says the shepherd. "Amazing!" responds the man, "You are exactly right! But tell me, how did you deduce that?" "Well," says the shepherd, "put down my dog and I will tell you."

"Mathematics brought rigor to Economics. Unfortunately, it also brought mortis.
-attributed to Kenneth Boulding

Economists are people who are too smart for their own good and not smart enough for anyone else's.

A woman hears from her doctor that she has only half a year to live. The doctor advises her to marry an economist and to live in South Dakota. The woman asks, "Will this cure my illness?" The doctor replies, "No, but the half year will seem pretty long."

What does it take to be a good economist? An unshakeable grasp of the obvious!

An economist is someone who didn't have enough personality to become an accountant.

They say that Christopher Columbus was the first economist. When he left to discover America, he didn't know where he was going. When he got there he didn't know where he was. And it was all done on a government grant.

Policy Economics:

A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job. The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks "What do two plus two equal?" The mathematician replies "Four." The interviewer asks "Four, exactly?" The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says "Yes, four, exactly." Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question "What do two plus two equal?" The accountant says "On average, four - give or take ten percent, but on average, four." Then the interviewer calls in the economist and poses the same question "What do two plus two equal?" The economist gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says "What do you want it to equal?"

An economic policy analyst is someone unethical enough to be a lawyer, impractical enough to be a theologian, and pedantic enough to be an economist.

Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.
-J. Tukey

Someone once said about partisan economic analysts that they use economic data the way a drunkard uses a lamppost: for support rather than illumination.
-Paul Krugman

Achieving free trade is like going 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
"Being a free trader in an election year is like being a turkey a month before Thanksgiving."
- Arnold Kling

For Graduate Students:

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!"

Dostoyevsky-minimum: When everyone is so bad off that no-one can be worse off without anyone getting better off. (Beware of the second-order condition!)
 
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