StandUp Economist: 10 Principles of Macro-Economics

Mankiw’s 10 principles of economics, translated for the uninitiated. Presented at the AAAS humor session, February 16, 2007.

Transcript and additional details can be found here.

Print version:

Mankiw’s Principles

#1. People face tradeoffs.
#2. The cost of something is what you give up to get it.
#3. Rational people think at the margin.
#4. People respond to incentives.
#5. Trade can make everyone better off.
#6. Markets are usually a good way to organize economic activity.
#7. Governments can sometimes improve market outcomes.
#8. A country’s standard of living depends on its ability to produce goods and services.
#9. Prices rise when the government prints too much money.
#10. Society faces a short-run tradeoff between inflation and unemployment.



#1. Choices are bad.
#2. Choices are really bad.
#3. People are stupid.
#4. People aren’t that stupid.
#5. Trade can make everyone worse off.
#6. Governments are stupid.
#7. Governments aren’t that stupid.
#8. Blah blah blah.
#9. Blah blah blah.
#10. Blah blah blah.


via Stand Up Economist

Yoram Bauman

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Eclectic commented on Feb 28

    It’s the first thing I’ve ever seen you blog that I’ve disagreed with entirely.

    I don’t generally agree with Mankiw, but all 10 of those are essentially the foundation stones of economics as a science.

  2. squik commented on Feb 28

    The opening description of microeconomists and macroeconomists is priceless.

  3. Norman commented on Feb 28

    And I thought that my Econ 101’s supply and demand curves were boring. These poor Harvard students.

  4. jagmohan swain commented on Feb 28

    Econometrics are total waste of time and print – in my humble opinion.Those partial differential equations are much better off left alone by the economists.It legitimizes the process without improving outcome.

  5. Eclectic commented on Feb 28

    I realize now I’d failed to garner the context on this subject before making my last comments.

  6. donna commented on Feb 28

    I think America has totally forgotten #8….

  7. Bob Giddings commented on Feb 28

    Way too blase manque and studiedly cynical. But here’s a marketspeak translation in the aftermath of 2/27 that isn’t. Robert Reich: A “correction” is a Wall Street euphemism for “holy shit!”

    (Taken from Economist’s View)

  8. David Merkel commented on Mar 1

    What’s worse, #10 is wrong in the long run, and likely wrong in the short run as well.

  9. commented on Mar 1

    People Are Stupid and Other Principles Of Macro-Economics

    The “stand-up economist” translates Harvard professor N. Gregory Mankiw’s introductory economics textbook “The Principles of Economics” into more useful, shorter and funnier restatements. (And, yes, we do realize that the words useful, shorter and fun…

  10. metroplexual commented on Mar 2

    Finally economics that makes sense. I always was suspect of the dismal science anyway.

  11. Psychologie en beleggen commented on Mar 2

    The StandUp Economist

    De StandUp Economist beschrijft de 10 Principles of Economics. Grappig en leuk gebracht.

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