Notes (Persönliches)

On a Less Serious Note

Here are some popular jokes:
… about economists …

  • Curt Monash once reported: “I was standing with Ken Arrow by a bank of elevators on the ground floor of William James Hall at Harvard. Three elevators passed us on our way to the basement. I foolishly said ‘I wonder why everybody in the basement wants to go upstairs.’ He responded, almost instantly: ‘You’re confusing supply with demand.’”
  • Q: How many Chicago School economists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: None. If the light bulb needed changing the market would have already done it.
  • Q: How many mainstream economists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: Irrelevant – the light bulb’s preferences are to be taken as a given.
  • Q: How many central bank economists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    A: Just one – he holds the light bulb and the whole earth revolves around him.


… about physicians …

  • Q: How many doctors does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: That depends on whether it has health insurance.
  • Q: Hoy many surgeons does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: None. They would wait for a suitable donor and do a filament transplant.
  • Q: How many veterinarians does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: Three. One to change the bulb and two more to complain that an M.D. makes ten times as much for the same procedure.


… about psychiatrists …

  • Q: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A1: One, but he must consult the DSM-IV.
    A2: Why does the light bulb necessarily have to change?
    A3: How long have you been having this fantasy?


… about psychologists …

  • Q: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A1: None. The light bulb will change itself when it’s ready.
    A2: Just one, but the light bulb really has to want to change.
    A3: Just one, but it takes nine visits.


… about students of psychology …

From Gary Larson, The Far Side (1990)
  • Q: Who was Right: Pavlov or Freud?
    A: Unbeknownst to most students of psychology, Pavlov’s first experiment was to ring a bell and cause his dog to attack Freud’s cat.


… about real-life ethics …

From The New Yorker
  • Towards a General Theory of Justice:
    “As far as I’m concerned, they can do what they want with the minimum wage, just as long as they keep their hands off the maximum wage.”


… about managers …

From The Wall Street Journal
  • Managerial Decision-Making: Science or Art?
    “Your background in creative decision-making is interesting, but we’re looking for someone with a strong background in creative order following.”


… and, perhaps inevitably, about health economists …

Unknown source. This is one of the oldest cartoons circulating among health economists.
  • “The drug itself has no side effects – but the number of health economists needed to prove its value may cause dizziness and nausea.”


… and about health care analysts

Unknown source – I found this cartoon in a presentation by Martin Buxton
  • “It may well bring about immortality – but it will take forever to test it.”