The Element of Humour in Economicsby Alley Walker Education Consultant
You must be wondering what has Humour to do with the subject of Economics, but then, this world has so many things for us to explore. It was back in the year 1899; Thomas Carlyle termed economics as “The Dismal Science”. Ever since then, the view of Economics as “dismal” has persisted. But it is to be noted that not all economist and their writings are humourless as this reputation suggests. It is said that there has been humour in Economics, as long as Economics literature has existed.
Isn’t it interesting to realism that the subject was much more than a rigid sub-discipline at one point of time? Students were not required to look for online economics assignment help, struggle with complex theories and be a part of the mundane academic routine. They could actually enjoy the humorous elements present in the subject matter instead of dreading the consequences of a missed deadline, not being able to solve complex Economics equations and the likes.
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The Victorian England traced the use of humour by economist. The sardonic works of Bastiat, Veblen and Mandeville are considered crucial when it comes to the context of the element of humour in Economics. Gradually, during the years 1970’s and 1980’s, humour in Economics was one of the most talked about phenomenon.
Authors, back in those days, used light and slightly contemptuous mockery to poke fun at a wide variety of topics. From exploring various economic theories to research methodologies; the economists left no stone unturned to use the different aspects of the subject as the source of humour.
Now that you are aware of the inception of Economics as a subject of humour, let’s talk about the contemporary scenario. Here are two of the most hilarious and talked about economics articles the economists came up with, over time.
§ Willingness Toupee: The article written by David. M. McEvoy, O. Ashton Morgan and John C. Whitehead talks about the hairy problem of male pattern baldness. The research work surveyed balding men and elicited their willingness to pay to move from their current poor state to a more plentiful one.
§ The Economics of Spam: This is yet another piece of research work that contains the elements of humour, based on the concept of “spam”, as applied to unsolicited online communications and unwanted emails. There’s a hilarious context in this article where a waitress describes what is there in the menu with an increasing usage of the word “spam”, and a group of Vikings started singing “spam, spam, spam, spam, spam” in a hilariously intriguing way.
While these are two of the most mentionable pieces of works that brought forth the humorous side of the economists in the modern world, there are other works related to this particular topic. To name a few, Why Economists Fear the Commandments They Do Not Remember, An Economic Theory of Workaholics and Alcoholics, and The Major General Theory get a special mention.
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Created on Oct 10th 2019 06:07. Viewed 426 times.