Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Economics: Blah blah blah

Economic comedian Yoram Bauman translates Mankiw's 10 Principles of Economics in this video. The three macro concepts were immediately translated to blah, blah, blah.

Here I want to improve of his efforts and translate some of the many concepts that seem to mystify all who encounter them. Some readers might not agree. Others might have better suggestions. Let me know in the comments. 

Economic Term
Actual Meaning
Capital
Stuff
Capital
Money
Capital
Control
Money
Debts
Money
Barter
Money
Accounting unit
Money
Medium of exchange
Medium of exchange
Accounting unit
Accounting unit
Credits and debits (‘promise unit’)
Production function 
Recipe
Time
Just kidding, economists don't care about time 
Dynamic 
Static
Equilibrium 
Magic attractive force
Equilibrium 
Current state of the world
Productivity
Unexplained residual
Efficiency
New recipe
Free Markets
Very specific set of government institutions 
Rational 
Ignorant
Stylised fact
Guess
Scientific
Unfalsifiable
Deadweight loss
Difference between a real pudding, and the magic pudding
Structural reform
Non-specific legal change to give rich people more power in the name of efficiency
Imbalances
Why aren’t we in equilibrium?
Competitiveness
Low wages
Growth
Bigger numbers devoid of meaning
Degenerative scientific research programme
Why don’t people agree with me?
Objective
Laden with hidden value judgments
Strategy
Choice
Choice
Decision
Constraint
State of the world
Opportunity cost
What you could be doing instead
Price
Price
Cost
Some other prices
Rent seeking
Buying political favours
Market failure
Real life
Heterodox
Outside the club. Go home.
Pluralist
Pipe dream
Welfare
Happiness
Utility
Mystical element allowing decisions to be made
Incentives
Monetary incentives
Short run
Arbitrary time period that makes the model work
Long run
The end of time itself
Uncertainty
Perfectly known distribution of possible outcomes
Comparative advantage
Started producing it first
Comparative advantage
Was on/under the land when we conquered
Endowment
How rich your parents are
Technology
Error
Institutions
Error
Beliefs
Error
Expectations
Error
Representative agent
One person
Uniform distribution of agents
One person
Rational 
Clairvoyant 
Growth
Error
Land
Capital
Property rights
Unspecified institutional setting
Protection
Covertly transferring money to people you know
Restriction
Someone else covertly transferring money to someone they know
Trivial
Vitally important, but I can’t explain it
AggregationFallacy of composition


3 comments:

  1. Actually, production functions aren't recipes, they're just (lists of) lists of ingredients -- to be recipes they would have to tell you how the labour and capital get combined.

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    Replies
    1. Great point. I'll update in the next version. Also, if capital in the production function is all non-labour inputs you get a recipe that looks like this.

      "Combine vegetable and non-vegetable ingredients optimally. Enjoy your tasty meal"

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