Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Models & Agents

I knew I was an economist when I began laughing hysterically as soon as a colleague said “Economists do it with models”.

We were sitting at a fairly uptight sushi bar in midtown Manhattan and my riotous laughter attracted quite a few stares, perhaps with a dash of envy, by fellow diners who felt they were missing out on something terribly funny.

He went on: “Economists do it discretely and continuously… And econometricians do it with dummies!” I laughed myself to tears and couldn’t stop... But I bet you’re not laughing!

Instead, you’re probably thinking “you guys are a bunch of cliquey schmucks… self-absorbed PhD smart-asses, full of esoteric ideas and useless papers.. oh yeah, and with a knack for wasting taxpayer money on high-powered conferences and all those exclusive “après” parties.

Huh, not quite…

So then you’re thinking, “OK then, you’re just a pile of utterly boring and incommunicative nerds who draw demand curves on napkins and laugh with economists’ jokes because you.. really hardly ever do it!”


Though, to my defense, I have heard of Oprah, I occasionally follow American Idol and, if pressed at gunpoint, I could even just be able to think of a difference between Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. Importantly, I am fully versatile in the critical issue of shoe-shopping, including what looks best in recessions! And no, I won’t comment on the “doing it” part… not for now.

In the end, it’s all about demystifying the jargon, which is what this blog is about. And, believe me, that jargon can take you far. Because, whether you like it or not, you’re an Agent.. yes, an economic agent, with incentives, actions and a Big Impact. And as such, forming a view on your future mortgage payments could be at least as fascinating as predicting the winner of the 2010 World Cup (ooops.. I can’t believe I just wrote that!)

Not to mention the guaranteed fun at those “après” parties.. because, let me tell ya, if your party conversations haven’t yet touched on the vital topics of “original sin”, “loose policies” or “naked options”, well.. you really haven’t been to “the right” parties!


Glossary: models, dummies, recession, agents, original sin, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho.


Christian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dead Seriously said...

As an addendum, Economist not only do it with models, but they do it with Slutsky Models.

Anonymous said...

Love the profile pic, just the right amount of leg, interesting heels, and of course the 12c balanced subtly.

Paul W said...

Don't forget about bliss points.

Regarding the goal of this blog, I think you are succeeding. My pet theory going through an undergrad econ program at one of the Ivys was that the professors were making the subject boring to keep the supply of economists down...