200 economists walk into a bar…

22/06/2012 § 2 Comments

…but called it a conference so they could expense the drinks.

The classical economists said the drunkenness was the fault of the bar owner, because his supply had created their demand.

The Keynesians were depressed, and argued that the bar should offer free drinks in order to stimulate their consumption.

The Austrians declared that those still standing clearly had better drinking techniques than those who had fallen over.

The behaviouralists observed that people were using an unknown heuristic to link ‘bars’ with ‘drinking’ (and that it required further research).

The libertarians independently decided the optimal approach was to internalise as many externalities as their budget constraints allowed.

And Ben Bernanke told those assembled that a punch bowl may have been appropriate in a sake bar, but he certainly couldn’t provide one in the current circumstances.

The New Zealand Association of Economists is meeting 27-29 June in Palmerston North. I hope to see you there. If not, please check out the conference website and the papers deposited there.

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