Random Questions About Economists

In progress, in no particular order :

1. Has anyone ever seen a job description that required for which a BS in Economics was both necessary and sufficient?

2. If every CEO of a publicly traded company in the US were called into the Oval Office and were told that it would no longer be legal for them to employ economists, how many of them would care? How many of them would feel constrained to issue public statements to satisfy fair disclosure rules because of a material change in their business outlook?

3. Estimate the rough percentage loss in the US standard of living if 'Economist' was no longer a legal occupation.

4... To be added,

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Johnathon: that may be true

Johnathon: that may be true but i don't think you live in the 'workers paradise' known as Kanada. if you listen to the insane-ity that passes for economic journalism in this republik you'd have to modify your ratio. Its ALL run by goverment and the people who love it., sadly.

The CEO of the company I

The CEO of the company I work for, a huge international corporation that deals with oil wells and things that get put into them (a competitor of Halliburton's), has a PhD in economics, so I understand.

Its easy, PR people and

Its easy, PR people and anyone involved in the sensitivity positions, like guidance counsellors and "sensetivity training" people

Roy: I'm curious what you

Roy: I'm curious what you think an example would be...?

4. What precentage of

4. What precentage of economists actually believe in the capitalist system, and actively promote those beliefs?

There are really only two

There are really only two undergraduate majors. They are called "I can write" and "I can do math." That's all employers really care about. Econ generally falls in the latter category.

4. What precentage of

4. What precentage of economists actually believe in the capitalist system, and actively promote those beliefs?

I'd say that a random sampling of economists would yield a much higher percentage that supported free market policies than a random sampling of the population at large.

Glen: That's a really good

Glen: That's a really good point, though the fact is somewhat frustrating. (Also, there's the "I can't do much of anything, but if you don't hire someone like me you may be in trouble" majors.)

Oh. Well...I guess it does

Oh. Well...I guess it does work. Just not in the preview.

http://jobsearch.monster.com/

http://jobsearch.monster.com/jobsearch.asp?q=BS+economics&fn=&lid=&re=104&cy=us

By the way, how do you add a link to a comment? The <a> tag doesn't seem to work. Case in point.

How about: "What percentage

How about:

"What percentage of economists are NOT employed by
a) the government, or
b) tax-funded educational institutions?"

Tom, I'm in a

Tom,

I'm in a moderately-challenging economics masters program at the moment, and I can assure you that the percentage of economists who don't use math is very, very small. You might not be the only one, but you are surely one of the only ones. Outside of the left- and right-heterodox schools, if you want to be an economist (in the "other people who call themselves economists think of me as one of them" sense), you need to spend lots of time with multivariate calculus and matrix algebra.

That said, I need to go do my reading for macro, which, as Brian Doss accurately described it, is bollocks.

-jared

Here's one: What percentage

Here's one:

What percentage of economists eschew mathematics, and would disembowel on sight the first person they see writing a "consumption function"?

I can't be the only one!

An interesting set of

An interesting set of factoids about economists.

First, a list of of statements and the fraction of economists agreeing with them (Taken from AER May 1992):

"A ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available." 93%

"Tariffs and import quotas usually reduce economic welfare" 93%

"Flexible and floating exchange rates offer an effective international monetary arrangement." 90%

"Cash payments increase the welfare of recipients to a greater degree than do transfers-in-kind of equal cash value." 84%

"A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers." 79%

"Effluent taxes and marketable pollution permits represent a better approach to pollution control than imposition of pollution celings." 78%

Broadly speaking, I'd say these reveal a high level of active belief in market systems. And that's getting us half way at least towards capitalism.
I would say the main disputes among economists are not whether markets work better than planning, but rather
1) To what degree government intervention can (in theory) and does (in practice) aid markets in being free and competitive -- essentially an evidence-based scientific question
2) Normative/moral/political questions about tax-and-transfer, redistribution, social safety nets, etc.

Don, While he may not have

Don,

While he may not have thought of himself only as an economist, his official title was "Chief Economist". He did many other things that I did not list before like predict/comment on housing appreciation, interest rates, consumer behaviour, etc. I viewed him as an econimist who could do finance as opposed to most market practicioners who do finance and understand economics.

As far as having to give something up in order to be practical, you could say the same thing about any business degree. Although most people would call that learning on the job and getting a real world focus. A degree is a tool not an end all.

Stefan: Ethnic Studies.

Stefan: Ethnic Studies.

Patinator, If it makes you

Patinator,

If it makes you feel better, at my last job with a Fortune 100 firm, my first boss had a PhD in Economics from Berkley, was a managing director, hedged a $2B portfolio, sat on a panel that determined the curriculum for the Chartered Financial Analyst program and was a decent guy to boot...

That's all fine, but there's a distinction between economics and finance. Is it likely that your first boss spends significant amounts of time or effort applying calculus and linear algebra to historical economic (as opposed to financial) datasets? If he had to give up everything he was specifically taught in his economics curriculum, and wouldn't have acquired in some other way, would he be significantly worse off? Even with his highest degree in economics, he seems unlikely to refer to himself only as an economist.

Regards, Don

Don, If it makes you feel

Don,

If it makes you feel better, at my last job with a Fortune 100 firm, my first boss had a PhD in Economics from Berkley, was a managing director, hedged a $2B portfolio, sat on a panel that determined the curriculum for the Chartered Financial Analyst program and was a decent guy to boot.

There are a bunch of economists on Wall St. although the majority of them these days are Russian, Indian or Chinese.