Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Are Economists Regular Folk?

The other day I received an e-mail from Ripley, saying,

I started reading your blog a few months ago and I find it interesting. As an economist, you see things differently than us regular folk and I think I've even learned a thing or two!
What is it about economists that causes people to distinguish between us and "regular folk"?

Is it that we appear to be more cold and calculating [e.g. my posting on assessing the incremental costs and benefits of searching for a marriage partner].

Is it that we think more explicitly in terms of probabilities and calculus?

Is it that we appear not to care about people's feelings?

My suspicion is that we are, indeed, regular folk. It's just that we're a whole lot more explicit about the qualitative and quantitative calculations that are implied by day-to-day decisions.
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