This is not an joke about economics - but I love it.

How to Treat the Freshmen, 1495

They get smaller every year.
Codex Manesse (c. 1304)

"Statute Forbidding Any One to Annoy or Unduly Injure the Freshmen. Each and every one attached to this university is forbidden to offend with insult, torment, harass, drench with water or urine, throw on or defile with dust or any filth, mock by whistling, cry at them with a terrifying voice, or dare to molest in any way whatsoever physically or severely, any, who are called freshmen, in the market, streets, courts, colleges and living houses, or any place whatsoever, and particularly in the present college, when they have entered in order to matriculate or are leaving after matriculation."

Leipzig University Statute (1495)

A friendly reminder for the new academic year: please resist the temptation to terrify the freshmen, at least for the first few weeks.




For those not-so-honest students:

"The Final Exam"

At Duke University, there were four sophomores taking Organic Chemistry. They were doing so well on all the quizzes, midterms and labs, etc., that each had an "A" so far for the semester.  These four friends were so confident that the weekend before finals, they decided to go up to the University of Virginia and party with some friends there. They had a great time, but after all the hearty partying, they slept all day Sunday and didn't make it back to Duke until early Monday morning. Rather than taking the final then, they decided to find their professor and tell him that they had gone to the University of Virginia for the weekend with the plan to come back in time to study, but, unfortunately, they had a flat tire on the way back, didn't have a spare, and couldn't get help for a long time.  As a result, they missed the final. 
The professor thought it over and then agreed they could make up the final the following day. The guys were elated and relieved. They studied that night and went in the next day at the time the professor had told them. He placed them in separate rooms and handed each of them a test booklet, and told them to begin.  They looked at the first problem, worth five points. It was something simple about free radical formation. "Cool," they thought at the same time, each one in his separate room, "this is going to be easy." 

Each finished the problem and then turned the page. On the second page was written: (For 95 points): Which tire? 

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Some economist jokes (heard any good ones I can add?):

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!" 

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Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand. 


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Economics has gotten so rigorous we've all got rigor mortis.
Presumably said by Kenneth Boulding.

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A physicist, and engineer and a economist are all trapped on an island with a box of canned food that they cannot get open.  The physicist says, "I I build a fire and then we heat up the cans eventually the cans will blow up from expanding gasses and then we will be able to eat the food."  The engineer then suggests, " If I can make a three to one pulley system perhaps we can rig up a machine to open up the cans."  The economist then chimes in saying, " You guys are making this far too hard let's just assume we have a can opener."  Thanks to Ian B. for this joke.
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A wealthy labor economist had an urge to have grandchildren. He had two daughters and two sons and none of them had gratified his desire for a grandchild. At the annual family gathering on Thanksgiving Day, he chided them gently to bless his old age with their progeny. "But I haven't given up hope," he said, "Yesterday I went to the bank and set up a one hundred thousand dollar trust fund to be given to the first grandchild that I have. Now we will all bow our heads while I say a prayer of thanks." When he looked up, he and his wife were the only ones at the table. 

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When Albert Einstein died, he met three New Zealanders in the queue outside the Pearly Gates. To pass the time, he asked what were their IQs. The first replied 190. "Wonderful," exclaimed Einstein. "We can discuss the contribution made by Ernest Rutherford to atomic physics and my theory of general relativity."  The second answered 150. "Good," said Einstein. "I look forward to discussing the role of New Zealand's nuclear-free legislation in the quest for world peace."  The third New Zealander mumbled 50. Einstein paused, and then asked, "So what is your forecast for the unemployment rate next year?" (Adapted from Economist June 13th 1992, p. 71). 

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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? Answer of the doctor: No, but the half year will seem pretty long.  (My apologies to those who live in South Dakota)

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Q:  Why do economic forecasters exist?

A:  In order to make weather forecasters look good.

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Thanks to my student, Rio, for the following three:

Q: How many economists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Seven plus or minus ten.

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Two economists meet on the street.

One inquires, "How's your wife?"

The other responds, "Relative to what?"

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A man was sent to Hell for his sins. As he was being processed, he passed a room where an economist he knew was having an intimate conversation with a beautiful woman.

"What a crummy deal!" the man complained. "I have to burn for all eternity and that economist spends it with that gorgeous woman."

An escorting demon jabs the man with his pitchfork and shouts, "Who are you to question that woman's punishment?

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21 Economic Models explained with Cows

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbor.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then
throws the milk away...

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons

You have two cows.
You give money to a congressman to force consumers to buy them for very high prices.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using
letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a
debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all
four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six
cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly
owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back
to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with
nine cows.
No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because
you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary
cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and
market it worldwide.

You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a
month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5,000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your
You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of Democracy....

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.