Top Economists Quotes

Browse top 90 famous quotes and sayings about Economists by most favorite authors.

Favorite Economists Quotes

1. "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."
Author: Adam Davidson
2. "Unlike physics, economists don't settle things. There seems to be plenty of room for different conclusions that are still accepted in the academy."
Author: Adam Davidson
3. "When you cover the economy as a reporter, there's one part of the job that is always easy: finding economists who disagree."
Author: Adam Davidson
4. "Economics ought to be a magpie discipline, taking in philosophy, history and politics. But heterodox approaches have long since been banished from most faculties, claims Tony Lawson. In the 1970s, when he started teaching at Cambridge, the economics faculty still boasted legends such as Nicky Kaldor and Joan Robinson. "There were big debates, and students would study politics, the history of economic thought." And now? "Nothing. No debates, no politics or history of economic thought and the courses are nearly all maths."How do elites remain in charge? If the tale of the economists is any guide, by clearing out the opposition and then blocking their ears to reality. The result is the one we're all paying for."
Author: Aditya Chakrabortty
5. "But if, if you take a look at what would have happened, I mean, do we need to see soup lines down the street to figure out what would have happened? We avoided - and all economists will tell you that millions of jobs were saved because of the Recovery Act, and we avoided a second Great Depression. That, that is a reality."
Author: Alexi Giannoulias
6. "Economists had found an almost one-to-one match between PISA scores and a nation's long term economic growth. Many other things influenced economic growth, of course, but the ability of a workforce to learn, think and adapt was the ultimate stimulus package...For students, PISA scores were a better predictor of who would go to college than report cards...PISA wasn't measuring memorization; it was measuring aspiration."
Author: Amanda Ripley
7. "Economists report that a college education adds many thousands of dollars to a man's lifetime income - which he then spends sending his son to college."
Author: Bill Vaughan
8. "Economists don't seem to have noticed that the economy sits entirely within the ecology."
Author: Carl Safina
9. "In neo-classical economic theory, it is claimed without evidence that people are basically self-seeking, that they want above all the satisfaction of their material desires: what economists call "maximising utility". The ultimate objective of mankind is economic growth, and that is maximized only through raw, and lightly regulated, competition. If the rewards of this system are spread unevenly, that is a necessary price. Others on the planet are to be regarded as either customers, competitors or factors of production. Effects upon the planet itself are mere "externalities" to the model, with no reckoning of the cost - at least for now. Nowhere in this analysis appears factors such as human cooperation, love, trust, compassion or hatred, curiosity or beauty. Nowhere appears the concept of meaning. What cannot be measured is ignored. But the trouble is that once our basic needs for shelter and food have been met, these factors may be the most important of all."
Author: Carne Ross
10. "President Truman famously asked for a "one-armed economist" who would take a clear stand; he was sick and tired of economists who kept saying, "On the other hand …"
Author: Daniel Kahneman
11. "It affects every aspect of our lives, is often said to be the root of all evil, and the analysis of the world that it makes possible - what we call 'the economy' - is so important to us that economists have become the high priests of our society. Yet, oddly, there is absolutely no consensus among economists about what money really is."
Author: David Graeber
12. "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."
Author: Dennis Hastert
13. "When you poll all of the economists, uh, across America that I think are intellectually honest they would all, or maybe not all, but 95% of them 96% of them would say you know we really have got a powerful economy."
Author: Donald Evans
14. "Ego-identification with things creates attachment to things, which in turn creates our consumer society and economic structures where the only measure of progress is always more. The unchecked striving for more, for endless growth, is a dysfunction and a disease. It is the same dysfunction the cancerous cell manifests, whose only goal is to multiply itself, unaware that it is bringing about its own destruction by destroying the organism of which it is a part. Some economists are so attached to the notion of growth that they can't let go of that word, so they refer to recession as a time of "negative growth"."
Author: Eckhart Tolle
15. "Ask five economists and you'll get five different answers - six if one went to Harvard."
Author: Edgar Fiedler
16. "Economists actually disagree about whether there are significant economic returns from attending an elite college versus a less-selective one."
Author: Emily Oster
17. "In an age in which economists take for granted that people equate well-being with consumption, increasing numbers of people seem willing to trade certain freedoms and material comforts for a sense of immutable order and the rapture of faith."
Author: Eugene Linden
18. "The Newtonian scheme became an illusion of determinism in a tempestuous world of human actions. Economists became preoccupied with mechanical models of markets and uninterested in the willful people who inhabit them."
Author: George Gilder
19. "Economists, like royal children, are not punished for their errors."
Author: James Buchan
20. "English majors understand human nature better than economists do."
Author: Jane Smiley
21. "Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists."
Author: John Kenneth Galbraith
22. "None of this excuses anyone from mastering the basic ideas and terminology of economics. The intelligent layman must expect also to encounter good economists who are difficult writers even though some of the best have been very good writers. He should know, moreover, that at least for a few great men ambiguity of expression has been a positive asset. But with these exceptions he may safely conclude that what is wholly mysterious in economics is not likely to be important."
Author: John Kenneth Galbraith
23. "The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist."
Author: John Maynard Keynes
24. "If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid."
Author: John Maynard Keynes
25. "One the one hand, our economists treat human beings as rational actors making choices to maximize their own economic benefit. On the other hand, the same companies that hire those economists also pay for advertising campaigns that use the raw materials of myth and magic to encourage people to act against their own best interests, whether it's a matter of buying overpriced fizzy sugar water or the much more serious matter of continuing to support the unthinking pursuit of business as usual in the teeth of approaching disaster."
Author: John Michael Greer
26. "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."
Author: John T. Flynn
27. "There are two visions of America a half century from now. One is of a society more divided between the haves and the have-nots, a country in which the rich live in gated communities, send their children to expensive schools, and have access to first-rate medical care. Meanwhile, the rest live in a world marked by insecurity, at best mediocre education, and in effect rationed health care?they hope and pray they don't get seriously sick. At the bottom are millions of young people alienated and without hope. I have seen that picture in many developing countries; economists have given it a name, a dual economy, two societies living side by side, but hardly knowing each other, hardly imagining what life is like for the other. Whether we will fall to the depths of some countries, where the gates grow higher and the societies split farther and farther apart, I do not know. It is, however, the nightmare towards which we are slowly marching."
Author: Joseph E. Stiglitz
28. "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."
Author: Joseph Stiglitz
29. "Economists often like startling theorems, results which seem to run counter to conventional wisdom."
Author: Joseph Stiglitz
30. "The evident problem with democracy today is that the state is pre-empting—or "crowding out," as the economists say—our moral judgments. Rulers are adding moral judgments to the expanding schedule of powers they exercise. Nor does the state deal merely with principles. It is actually telling its subjects to do very specific things. Yet decisions about how we live are what we mean by "freedom," and freedom is incompatible with a moralizing state. That is why I am provoked to ask the question: can the moral life survive democracy?"
Author: Kenneth Minogue
31. "The scholars who research happiness suggest that more money stops making people happier at a family income of around seventy-five thousand dollars a year. After that, what economists call "diminishing marginal returns" sets in. If your family makes seventy-five thousand and your neighbor makes a hundred thousand, that extra twenty-five thousand a year means that your neighbor can drive a nicer car and go out to eat slightly more often. But it doesn't make your neighbor happier than you, or better equipped to do the thousands of small and large things that make for being a good parent."
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
32. "[I]t is funny because economists are not real scientists, and because logicians think more clearly, but mathematicians are best."
Author: Mark Haddon
33. "Percentages! Those are for economists, polls, and politicians. Percentages can't define your identity."
Author: Mary E. Pearson
34. "Although the view that, once discovered, ideas can be imitated for free by anybody is pervasive, it is far from the truth. While it may occasionally be the case that an idea is acquired at no cost—ideas are generally difficult to communicate, and the resources for doing so are limited. It is rather ironic that a group of economists, who are also college professors and earn a substantial living teaching old ideas because their transmission is neither simple nor cheap, would argue otherwise in their scientific work. Most of the times imitation requires effort and, what is more important, imitation requires purchasing either some products or some teaching services from the original innovator, meaning that most spillovers are priced."
Author: Michele Boldrin
35. "A good accountant is someone who told you yesterday what the economists forcast for tomorrow"
Author: Miles Thomas
36. "We economists don't know much, but we do know how to create a shortage. If you want to create a shortage of tomatoes, for example, just pass a law that retailers can't sell tomatoes for more than two cents per pound. Instantly you'll have a tomato shortage. It's the same with oil or gas."
Author: Milton Friedman
37. "There is the expression of selfishness and there is the expression of selflessness - but economists or theoreticians never touched that part. They said: 'Go and become a philanthropist.' I said, 'No, I can do that in the business world, create a different kind of business - a business based on selflessness.'"
Author: Muhammad Yunus
38. "What I did not know yet about hunger, but would find out over the next twenty-one years, was that brilliant theorists of economics do not find it worthwhile to spend time discussing issues of poverty and hunger. They believe that these will be resolved when general economic prosperity increases. These economists spend all their talents detailing the process of development and prosperity, but rarely reflect on the origin and development of poverty and hunger. A a result, poverty continues."
Author: Muhammad Yunus
39. "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."
Author: Nassau William Senior
40. "Suckers think that you cure greed with money, addiction with substances, expert problems with experts, banking with bankers, economics with economists, and debt crises with debt spending"
Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
41. "I've debated many economists who claim to specialize in risk and probability: when one takes them slightly outside their narrow focus, but within the discipline of probability, they fall apart, with the disconsolate face of a gym rat in front of a gangster hit man."
Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
42. "The public is even more pessimistic about the economy than even the most bearish economists are."
Author: Nate Silver
43. ". . . we come astonishingly close to the mystical beliefs of Pythagoras and his followers who attempted to submit all of life to the sovereignty of numbers. Many of our psychologists, sociologists, economists and other latter-day cabalists will have numbers to tell them the truth or they will have nothing. . . . We must remember that Galileo merely said that the language of nature is written in mathematics. He did not say that everything is. And even the truth about nature need not be expressed in mathematics. For most of human history, the language of nature has been the language of myth and ritual. These forms, one might add, had the virtues of leaving nature unthreatened and of encouraging the belief that human beings are part of it. It hardly befits a people who stand ready to blow up the planet to praise themselves too vigorously for having found the true way to talk about nature."
Author: Pythagoras
44. "Economists and psychologists get confused when they are asked 'out of syllabus' questions by life!"
Author: Saurabh Sharma
45. "Engineers do engineering, i.e. they build bridges. So engineering needs engineers. The economy does NOT need economists. Economists do not make economy, but they try it and that is why we have so much problems with some financial models."
Author: Steve Keen
46. "Smarter people tend to think more like economists"
Author: Steven Pinker
47. "People do more for their fellows than return favors and punish cheaters. They often perform generous acts without the slightest hope for payback ranging from leaving a tip in a restaurant they will never visit again to throwing themselves on a live grenade to save their brothers in arms. [Robert] Trivers together with the economists Robert Frank and Jack Hirshleifer has pointed out that pure magnanimity can evolve in an environment of people seeking to discriminate fair weather friends from loyal allies. Signs of heartfelt loyalty and generosity serve as guarantors of one s promises reducing a partner s worry that you will default on them. The best way to convince a skeptic that you are trustworthy and generous is to be trustworthy and generous."
Author: Steven Pinker
48. "No one knows anything about economics. It's the great lie of the economists. By contrast in football people might have contrasting opinions, each of which has some validity. But the economists always speak in conditionals - what a mess."
Author: Vicente Del Bosque
49. "People are beginning to understand there is nothing in the world so remote that it can't impact you as a person. It's not just diseases. Economists are now beginning to say if we are going to have good markets in Africa, we're going to have to have healthy people in Africa."
Author: William Foege
50. "After he wrote The Paradox of Choice, Schwartz got fervent amens from European governments as well as individual readers for insisting that the management of your focus has become one of decision-laden modernity's major challenges. Many behavioral economists and social psychologists also share his concern about what he calls "the consequences of mis-attention."
Author: Winifred Gallagher

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It is common to distinguish necessaries, comforts, and luxuries; the first class including all things required to meet wants which must be satisfied, while the latter consist of things that meet wants of a less urgent character."
Author: Alfred Marshall

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