If you’ve ever fallen asleep listening to Allen Greenspan, then you know that the field of economics is missing something. More than line graphs and pie charts, more than another cost-benefit analysis, economics needs a comedian.
At the juncture of Marxes Karl and Groucho is the world’s first and only standup economist, Yoram Bauman.
While studying at the University of Washington’s economics department, Bauman wrote a parody of an economics textbook “to blow off steam.” Unexpectedly, Bauman found himself an overnight standup comedian after presenting his “research” to rave reviews at a Science Convention in Seattle. These days Bauman hosts and coordinates a non-profit comedy night every Tuesdays at Comedy Underground.
If there’s anyone who’s earned the right to poke fun at the field, it’s Bauman, who holds a doctorate in economics and is, by day, a professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Washington.
“You know you’re an economist,” he says, “when you adamantly refuse to sell your children because you think they’ll be worth more later.”