Saturday, January 02, 2010

Economists are Cheap

I had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, the bartender asked if I was from out of town, I guess the Wisconsin accent is noticeable in the South. Anyhow, I asked her if she was ready for 10,000 nerdy economists. She said it sounded great because they would be big drinkers, and likely big tippers. I had to burst her bubble, as a group economists are not much for partying, even if my peer group is. The urban legend is:
True story. I'm riding up the elevator at the Boston ASSA meetings
a few years back. In the car with me is a woman who works in the hotel.
I ask her if economists are really as dull a bunch as they're made out
to be. She responds that she used to be stationed at the NYC branch of
the chain when the meetings were held there and that even the hookers had
taken the week off.

I wish I would have had the WSJ with me. I could have shared with her this article:

Economists are often cheapskates.

The economists make cities bid against each other to hold their convention, and don't care so much about beaches, golf courses or other frills. It's like buying a car, explains the American Economic Association's secretary-treasurer, John Siegfried, an economist at Vanderbilt University.

"When my wife buys a car, she seems to care what color it is," he says. "I always tell her, don't care about the color." He initially wanted a gray 2007 Mercury Grand Marquis, but a black one cost about $100 less. He got black.

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