A Look at Some of the Best Jokes About Economists

Joel Anderson |

It can’t be fun being an economist. Your job involves examining a system with, literally, billions of different moving parts and then trying to come up with predictions or reasonable explanations that, quite frankly, don’t actually exist. You’re closer to anyone else in the world to being able to give a meaningful answer to WHY the things that happen happen. The fact that most of the time you don’t really have anything better than an educated guess should be a sign that macroeconomics is just too complex a discipline to be completely understood.

And yet, the same people who have even less idea what makes the world economy tick than you do spend most of their time mocking your answers. It’s not enough that you’re trying to understand a system with complexities no one can understand, everyone else feels the need to make fun of you for not being able to understand it.

That said, economist jokes are hysterically funny. Well, at least to some of us. And reveling in that fact may just be the best way to come to grips with the fact that even the world’s most educated people on the subject still can’t tell you exactly why gasoline costs $4.25 a gallon (or why it won’t by the time you read this).

So, without further ado, here are some of the best (or worst, depending on your tastes) economist jokes out there.

A Sampling of Some Classic Economist Jokes

How has French revolution affected world economic growth? Too early to say. 

Did you hear of the economist who dove into his swimming pool and broke his neck? He forgot to seasonally adjust. 

How many economists does it take to change a light bulb? Seven, plus/minus ten. 

World leaders Bill and Boris are taking a break from a long summit, Boris says to Bill, “Bill, you know, I have a big problem I don't know what to do about. I have a hundred bodyguards and one of them is a traitor. I don't know which one.” “Not a big deal Boris,” Bill responds. “I'm stuck with a hundred economists I have to listen to all the time before any policy decision and only one tells the truth." “That sounds like the same situation,” Boris says. “Yes,” replies Bill. “But in my case it's never the same one!”

President Truman once said he wants an economic adviser who is one handed. Why? Because normally the economists giving him economic advice state "On one hand and on the other..."

Ronald Reagan used to say that if trivial pursuit were designed by economists, it would have 100 questions and 3,000 answers.

There were two economists who were shipwrecked on a desert island. They had no money but over the next three years they made millions of dollars selling their hats to each other.

Two economists were sitting at a nudist colony. The one said, "Have you read Marx?" The other says, "It's these wicker chairs."

Economic forecasters assume everything, except responsibility.

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

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 missed by a meter to the right. The third econometrician didn’t fire but shouted in triumph, “We got it! We got it!”

What’s the difference between an economist and a confused old man with Alzeheimer’s? The economist is the one with a calculator.

Three leading economists took a small plane to the wilderness in northern Canada to hunt moose over the weekend. The last thing the pilot said was, “Remember, this is a very small plane and you will only be able to bring ONE moose back.” But of course, they killed one each and come Sunday, they talked the pilot into letting them bring all three dead moose onboard. So just after takeoff, the plane stalled and crashed. In the wreckage, one of the economists woke up, looked around and said, “Where the hell are we.” The other economist replied “Oh, just about a hundred yards east of the place there we crashed last year.”

Why was astrology invented? So economics would seem like an accurate science.

How many conservative economists does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. Eventually the darkness will make the light bulb screw itself in.

Did you know economists have predicted nine out of the last five recessions?

There was a party of economists out mountain climbing in the Himalayas and they got lost. One of them took a look at the map and studied very carefully, compared it to distant landmarks and checked his compass. Finally he said to the other economists, “Do you see that big mountain over there? According to the map, we’re standing on top of it.”

On the first day, God created the sun. In response, the Devil created sunburn. On the second day, God created sex. In response, the Devil created marriage. On the third day God created an economist. This was a tough one for the Devil, but, in the end and after a lot of thought, he created a second economist.

A central banker walks into a pizzeria to order a pizza. When the pizza is done, he goes up to the counter get it. There a clerk asks him: "Should I cut it into six pieces or eight pieces?" The central banker replies: "I'm feeling rather hungry right now. You'd better cut it into eight pieces."

The First Law of Economists: For every economist, there exists an equal and opposite economist.  The Second Law of Economists: They're both wrong.

An economist, a philosopher, a biologist, and an architect were were arguing about what was God's real profession. The philosopher said, "Well, first and foremost, God is a philosopher because he created the principles by which man is to live." "Ridiculous!" said the biologist "Before that, God created man and woman and all living things so clearly he was a biologist." "Wrong," said the architect. "Before that, he created the heavens and the earth. Before the earth, there was only complete confusion and chaos!" "Well," said the economist, "where do you think the chaos came from?"

“You know it's said that an economist is a man who, when he finds something works in practice, wonders if it works in theory.” – Walter Heller

 “We have 2 classes of forecasters: Those who don't know . . . and those who don't know they don't know. “ - John Kenneth Galbraith

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.

Look, someone drew a mustache on this picture of Karl Marx.


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