Words matter. These are the best Economists Quotes from famous people such as Stephen J. Dubner, David Autor, John Sulston, Richard Thaler, Annalee Newitz, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
When most people think of economists, they think of macro-economists. Macro-economists try to describe or – even harder – predict the movements of a hugely dynamic system. They’re like a transplant surgeon trying to simultaneously transplant every failing organ in someone’s body.
I think we labor economists like to think of ourselves as being closer to the people.
I’m pleased that some economists and sociologists are beginning to talk about, for example, alternative measures of human well-being – alternative, that is, to GDP, on which the world runs.
The sad truth is that many behavioral economists know very little about psychology.
In the 1970s, as historians became enchanted with microhistories, economists were expanding the reach of their discipline. Nations, states and cities began to plan for the future by consulting with economists whose prognostications were shaped by investment cycles rather than historical ones.
As economists bandy about terms like ‘recapitalization,’ ‘credit lines,’ and ‘liquidity,’ families are facing brutal cuts to their social services and welfare payments, losing their homes, wondering how their kids will make their way in the world.
There must have been something in the air of Gary that led one into economics: the first Nobel Prize winner, Paul Samuelson, was also from Gary, as were several other distinguished economists.
Instead of a universal basic income, we could have a basic income guarantee. Or, as economists prefer to call it, a negative income tax.
In the 1960s, and stretching back to the 1930s, it was felt by many economists that easy money is a reliable way to increase employment.
Indeed, willingness to challenge professional economists and other experts is a foundation stone of democracy. If all we have to do is to listen to the experts, what is the point of having democracy?
Some economists believe that the Greeks’ work ethic and thrift can pull them through. But the classical virtues can do nothing to offset the dearth of innovation that plagues the economy.
Contrary to what professional economists will typically tell you, economics is not a science. All economic theories have underlying political and ethical assumptions, which make it impossible to prove them right or wrong in the way we can with theories in physics or chemistry.
Perhaps concentrated wealth will inspire a nation of innovative problem-solvers. But if the view of many economists is right – that it sometimes discourages innovation – then we should worry.
I have always been considered to be the most German among Italian economists, which I always received as a compliment, but was rarely meant to be one.
I’ve felt for some time that economics needs to be taught differently by economists who actually have had experience making a payroll or investing on Wall Street. When economics is taught by pure academics, watch out.
The traditional story of economists has been to say education explains what the returns are to school. I say, ‘Okay, that’s fine, but what explains the education? How much is just a matter of my giving you a poor kid versus a rich kid?’
Economists are coming to acknowledge that measures of national wealth and poverty in terms strictly of average income tell you little that is significant of the health or viability of a society.
I think Obama and the economists around him have a very sophisticated understanding of both globalization and the technology revolution and the impact they’re having on the world economy and they way they’re creating these winner-take-all spirals.
When the Smoot-Hawley bill landed on President Herbert Hoover’s desk, more than 1,000 economists urged him to veto it. Tragically, the president ignored their pleas.
There’s a rising tide of concern among activists, economists, and artists about Africa. Theres a temptation to think of it as a monolith as opposed to all these different countries with different problems.
Economists actually disagree about whether there are significant economic returns from attending an elite college versus a less-selective one.
Economists must always be prepared for surprises: they find many in trying to find order in the universe of their study.
Some economists seem to think that only a credentialed economist has the right to be utterly wrong about an issue of economics. Their contempt for amateurs – columnists with broad audiences, for example – would sear the lungs if inhaled.
Many scientists and economists also say putting a price on carbon through carbon taxes and/or cap-and-trade is necessary.
Raising the minimum wage, as President Obama proposed in his State of the Union address, tends to be more popular with the general public than with economists.
Some economists estimate that for every family that goes bankrupt, there are about 15 more who are in the same amount of financial trouble and would profit from bankruptcy but just haven’t filed.
With more than 67 percent of the Nation’s freight moving on highways, economists believe that our ability to compete internationally is tied to the quality of our infrastructure.
I have arrived at the conviction that the neglect by economists to discuss seriously what is really the crucial problem of our time is due to a certain timidity about soiling their hands by going from purely scientific questions into value questions.
In terms of the Green New Deal, I support the urgency and the end goal of the Green New Deal. I would look to work with our climatologists, economists to propose my own plan and how we would meet those goals.
Most economists use ‘fixed’ and ‘pegged’ as interchangeable or nearly interchangeable terms for exchange rates.
The biggest tab the public picks up for fossil fuels has to do with what economists call ‘external costs,’ like the health effects of air and water pollution.
People today don’t become economists to make the world a better place.
Fortunately, economists open to new ways of thinking are finding novel ways to use supposedly irrelevant factors to make the world a better place.
I don’t think we should run government based on economists’ predictions.
Happiness quantification sounds a bit wishy-washy, sure, and through a series of carefully administered surveys across the globe, economists and psychologists have certainly confronted a fair number of sticky issues around how to measure, and even define, happiness.
Although most Americans apparently loathe inflation, Yale economists have argued that a little inflation may be necessary to grease the wheels of the labor market and enable efficiency-enhancing changes in relative pay to occur without requiring nominal wage cuts by workers.
Economists who have studied the relationship between education and economic growth confirm what common sense suggests: The number of college degrees is not nearly as important as how well students develop cognitive skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving ability.
The role of the media in economic management is not often recognised even by professional economists. Politicians, however, ignore this at their own peril.
In the late 1960s, the New Classical economists saw the same weaknesses in the microfoundations of macroeconomics that have motivated me. They hated its lack of rigor. And they sacked it.
The greatest economic power might in fact remain in the hands of the Federal Reserve. Economists credit the Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates at historic lows with helping to pump up the economy and bring unemployment down.
I may be only a fish and chip shop lady, but some of these economists need to get their heads out of the textbooks and get a job in the real world. I would not even let one of them handle my grocery shopping.
A lot of people are surprised economists are assisting with kidney exchanges. Exchanges are what economists are good at.
Talking with economists, climate scientists, and psychologists convinced me that depersonalizing climate change, such that the only answers are systemic, is a mistake of its own. It misses how social change is built on a foundation of individual practice.
We are all amateur attention economists, hoarding and bartering our moments – or watching them slip away down the cracks of a thousand YouTube clips.
But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.
Thirty years ago, many economists argued that inflation was a kind of minor inconvenience and that the cost of reducing inflation was too high a price to pay. No one would make those arguments today.
Psychologists and economists love to talk about the notion of two selves: present self and future self. It’s a nice way to explain the tendency to have one preference about the future, but a very different preference when the future becomes the present.
Parents, teachers, professors, economists, pundits, entrepreneurs, tinkerers and misfits all have to do a better job of unapologetically singing the praises of capitalism and free markets which unequivocally demonstrate the ability to pull people out of poverty and improve and lengthen their lives.
My folks are economists and have taught economics and social science so I grew up with those kind of conversations around the dinner table.
To assert, as some have, that illegal immigrants do not depress wages because they do the jobs Americans refuse is the kind of nonsense economists speak when they strain to be counterintuitive. It is similar to saying that cheap imports do not hold down prices.
Many economists are great believers in the idea that everything in nature is competitive and that we should set up a society which is competitive to reflect that. Anyone who cannot keep up, well, too bad.
Years ago, I noticed one thing about economics, and that is that economists didn’t get anything right.
Some struggle with medical issues – like insomnia – that make sleep hard. But for many of us, the quantity and quality of sleep come down to a matter of choice. Still, only a few enterprising economists have looked closely at this, and generally, those have assumed that we choose our hours of sleep optimally.
Most economists, when modeling market behavior, tend to sweep major fluctuations under the rug and assume they are anomalies. What I have found is that major rises and falls in prices are actually inevitable.
Over the last decade, economists seemed to share a broad consensus about economic policy, with the old splits between monetarists and Keynesians apparently being settled by events. But the Great Recession of the last two years has changed everything.
Nobody at CNBC owns gold. Nobody at Bloomberg owns gold. Gold is being constantly talked down by the media, and Fed officials, and economists, who also don’t own any gold. They’re all stocked up in equities.
Anything that makes us take more seriously scientists – or economists or chemists or physicists or biologists – I think is helpful in times when things get distorted because of people not paying attention to all the facts.
The biggest downside of my current job is that I have to wear a suit to work. Wearing uncomfortable clothes on purpose is an example of what former Princeton hockey player and Nobel Prize winner Michael Spence taught economists to call ‘signaling.’
The Communists were interested in getting into key positions as union officers, statisticians, economists, etc., in order to utilize the apparatus of the unions to promote the cause of revolution.
The reality is that we are all economists. We all deal with scarcity as we make choices and calculate how to ration various items and resources that we consume, produce and utilize.
The prevailing ideology of the modern west – which is political economy – is in the doghouse. Having failed to notice atmospheric pollution, the economists then frightened themselves with the sort of financial crisis they said they had abolished.
Economists have the same occupational hazard as baseball managers and football coaches: Every person on the street knows their job better than they do.
Economists agree about economics – and that’s a science – and they disagree about economic policy because that’s a value judgment… I’ve had profound disagreements on policy with the famous Milton Friedman. But, on economics, we agree.
Sometimes economists are right, and sometimes economists are wrong.
I can observe the game theory is applied very much in economics. Generally, it would be wise to get into the mathematics as much as seems reasonable because the economists who use more mathematics are somehow more respected than those who use less. That’s the trend.
Health economists have estimated that an injection of $250 million per year in Indigenous clinical care, and $50 million in preventative care, is required to provide services at the same level as for any other group with the health conditions of Indigenous Australians.
In my long life, I have known some great economists, but I have never counted myself among their number nor walked in their company.
Many economists and industry experts agree that the United States faces unfair competition and artificially low prices that have damaged the domestic steel industry. But they don’t agree that a tariff is the right approach for addressing the problem.
When better business decisions are made, economists won’t make them.
As economists have often pointed out, we pay doctors for quantity, not quality. As they point out less often, we also pay them as individuals, rather than as members of a team working together for their patients. Both practices have made for serious problems.
If economists were to wait for careful studies before offering opinions about policy, we would never have anything timely to say.
My professional apprenticeship at Iowa State College from 1930 to 1943 could not have been better; the Great Depression made it so, and the talented younger economists at Ames during that period made it an exciting and profitable intellectual experience.
If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion.
The density of settlement of economists over the whole empire of economic science is very uneven, with a few areas of modest size holding the bulk of the population.
Keynes eliminated economic theory’s ancient role as spoilsport for inflationist and statist schemes, leading a new generation of economists on to academic power and to political pelf and privilege.
Entire populations of market strategists, fund managers, and economists are employed to try and intuit for clients which securities to bet on for the best possible return each year – or quarter.
Economists of a classical bent lay a large part of the decline of employment, and thus lagging output, to a contraction of labour supply.
Future generations of economists will look at the trickle-down theory in much the same way we now look at witch burning, slavery, and the Sinclair C5.
If all the economists in the world were laid end to end, it wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Economists have allowed themselves to walk into a trap where we say we can forecast, but no serious economist thinks we can.
That subject has lost its one time appeal to economists as our science has become more abstract, but my interest has even grown more intense as the questions raised by the sociology of science became more prominent.
Economists have put themselves in a position where what they are doing is supposed to be impossible to understand for outsiders, so they don’t even talk – sometimes not even with their girlfriend or boyfriend or friends – about what they are doing.
I suspect that one of capitalism’s crucial assets derives from the fact that the imagination of economists, including its critics, lags well behind its own inventiveness, the arbitrariness of its undertaking and the ruthlessness of the way in which it proceeds.
Well, you have the public not wanting any new spending, you have the Republicans not wanting any new taxes, you have the Democrats not wanting any new spending cuts, you have the markets not wanting any new borrowing, and you have the economists wanting all of the above. And that leads to paralysis.
When you cover the economy as a reporter, there’s one part of the job that is always easy: finding economists who disagree.
Economists often get the market wrong.
Like many free market economists, with whom he had little else in common, Nehru seemed to believe that people will find a way to get their children educated.
One of the profound effects of economics in our day is that the people with the money and the power have embraced the guilt-free, external-less, everything-will-turn-out-okay-in-the-end philosophy of economics in order to justify their own evil works. And the economists, for the most part, have sucked up to that money.
Scratch the surface at conservative think tanks and universities that house free-market economists, and it’s not hard to find proponents of a carbon tax.
The track record of economists in predicting events is monstrously bad. It is beyond simplification; it is like medieval medicine.
I guess economists, it’s a bit like scientists; you have definitely fewer women in that field.
Economists tend to think they are much, much smarter than historians, than everybody. And this is a bit too much because at the end of the day, we don’t know very much in economics.
English majors understand human nature better than economists do.
It’s clear that policymakers and economists are going to be interested in the measurement of well-being primarily as it correlates with health; they also want to know whether researchers can validate subjective responses with physiological indices.
It’s essential that we understand things like the free-rider problem, but we also need to understand that, fortunately, humans are a little nicer than economists give them credit for. Some people actually leave money at roadside fruit stands; some people give money to NPR so we can listen to it.
Economists specialize in pointing out unpleasant trade-offs – a skill that is on full display in the health care debate. We want patients to receive the best care available. We also want consumers to pay less. And we don’t want to bankrupt the government or private insurers. Something must give.
Very often, the judgments by ordinary citizens may be better than those by professional economists, being more rooted in reality and less narrowly focused.
Unfortunately, a lot of economists wanted to make their subject a science. So the more what you do resembles physics or chemistry, the more credible you become.
Economists create their own worlds. We’re like little gods with our artificial economics, wanting to see what happens.
The good news is that economists are intelligent, engaging and often charming folks. The bad news is their work is often of little use to investors.
Unlike physics, economists don’t settle things. There seems to be plenty of room for different conclusions that are still accepted in the academy.
Economists often like startling theorems, results which seem to run counter to conventional wisdom.
I believe that economists put decimal points in their forecasts to show they have a sense of humor.
Our biggest challenge is to eliminate the popular perception that economists don’t have anything useful to say.
I think behavioral economists don’t have any more of an explanation about the rise of Trump than anyone else.
Ever since economists revealed how much universities contribute to economic growth, politicians have paid close attention to higher education.
My fellow economists and academics fail to understand the economics of trade in the real world. Traditional models of academia respect free trade without considering whether it is fair trade.
I am often considered almost not a part of the profession of Establishment economists. I am even referred to as a sociologist. And by that, economists usually do not mean anything flattering.
Leading economists have shown that by shrinking Texas, we can actually create more income for Texas in the long run.
I can’t speak for them, of course, but I believe that most economists would accept the view that, while you sometimes can make a score by sheer luck, you can’t do it constantly, unless you’re willing to put the resources in.
In the 1940s, economics started getting highly mathematical. It was basically because economists weren’t smart enough to write down models of real behavior that they started writing down models of highly rational behavior – and they kind of forgot about humans.
More than any other issue, economists have kind of been boosters for trade.
Markets work well with goods that economists call private goods.
We want an economic team, Paul Krugman and Robert Kuttner, Joseph Steiglitz’s people and others, who say, you know what? We’re sophisticated economists but we’re concerned about poor and working people.
Ask five economists and you’ll get five different answers – six if one went to Harvard.
With respect to the first of these obstacles, it has often been made a matter of grave complaint against Political Economists, that they confine their attention to Wealth, and disregard all consideration of Happiness or Virtue.
I don’t think quantitative easing is deliberately misleading, but I do think it’s suspiciously bland and reassuring. It doesn’t sound like anything big, experimental, scary and strange – which is what many economists think it is.
Discovering various economists, economic works, reading financial periodicals and keeping up on current events in geopolitics and economics around the world opened my eyes to many facets of how the extended order works.
People who are rich find it hard to understand the behavior of poor people. Economists are no exception, for they, too, find it difficult to comprehend the preferences and scarcity constraints that determine the choices that poor people make.
Raising the minimum wage seems to all economists to, at the very least, fail to ‘raise’ employment, and we’d all like to see better inclusion of low-skilled workers into good-paying jobs.
Free market economists frequently see minimum wage legislation as mere political intervention. However, there are decent economic theories which show that, under certain circumstances, minimum wages can be beneficial, as it makes workers more productive.
A study by Treasury economists estimated that a country with a tax rate one percentage point lower than another country’s attracts 3 percent more capital. It’s not surprising then, that average OECD corporate tax rates have trended steadily downward.
Everything is possible, from angels to demons to economists and politicians.
To economists, prices serve as crucial signals to producers and consumers. In a regulated market, the state sets prices high enough for private companies to cover their costs and earn a guaranteed profit for their investors. But in a deregulated market, prices should vary with demand and supply.
Economists typically think that your happiness goes up as you get more money, but the more you have, the less each additional dollar matters. This means that you value money most in times when you have less income and more expenses.