Bryan Caplan  

It's Funny Because It's True

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My colleague John Nye says "Japan's Phillips Curve Looks Like Japan" is the funniest paper ever published in economics.  I think I prefer Alan Blinder's "The Economics of Brushing Teeth." But I'm enough of an egomaniac to present for your consideration my own Gilbert and Sullivan parodies (here and here), written but never performed for Princeton Econ's Christmas party.  You decide.

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COMMENTS (9 to date)
Zac writes:

As funny as all these are, I have to nominate Jay Pil Choi's paper "Up or Down? A Male Economist's Manifesto on the Toilet Seat Etiquette" (2002). There's a follow up by Hammad Siddiqi that takes a game-theoretic approach. Do not miss. Print these out and put them in your bathroom for fine reading. I did so, and have gotten many laughs, and upped my nerd cred significantly.

Carl The EconGuy writes:

None of this is even half as witty as Axel Leijonhufvud's “Life Among the Econ”, originally published in Western Economic Journal in 1973 and reprinted in his book Information and Coordination: essays in Macroeconomic Theory (1981).

dearieme writes:

My geography teacher at school was very fond of Japan but I suspect that it was because she liked to refer to the "hairy Ainu".

Eli writes:

I'm a big fan of Siegfried's A First Lesson in Econometrics, JPE, 1970.

Bob Murphy writes:

I don't have the link handy, but Krugman's piece on time travel economics was pretty clever. (Tyler Cowen linked to it right after Krugman won the Nobel, I believe.)

Bob Murphy writes:

Oops I think I got Krugman's idea confused with a Glenn Whitman paper. Krugman's (funny) paper involved interstellar commerce and special relativity. Good nerd yucks for sure.

Jacob Oost writes:

Alan Blinder is funny when he tries to argue that the US economy in the 1980s wasn't going through a period of expansion (his main reasons are that he's a Democrat and he hates Reagan).

Krugman is funniest when he begins an op-ed column with a distortion, half-truth, or lie, and then expounds from that. Wait a second......

Actually, Thomas Sowell is the only economist to actually make me laugh til it hurt, and it's only been on a few occasions. His writing is very interesting, but it's VERY dry and unemotional for the most part, so when he lets loose with a very dry joke from out of nowhere, it hits you hard.

El Presidente writes:

I will stop disparaging the contributions of economists to the advancement of humanity . . . for at east 5 hours. =)

Seriously good times, folks. Thank you.

Mr. Karla writes:

The midi files with the music for "I Am the Very Model of a Post-Economics-General" and "When I Was An Undergrad I Served a Term" are not available through those links!

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