I’ve written a few posts over the past year about humor in economics. Humor in the field, it seems sometimes, is a desert. Not necessarily for its desolation, but for its dryness. However, this gem from APM’s Marketplace caught my eye for its extreme lack of moisture. A paper entitled “A Few Goodmen: Surname-Sharing Economist Coauthors” was presented at a recent American Economics Association in Boston. Its main finding:
We believe this paper is the first written by four economists who share a surname.
From the conclusion section,
Future breakthroughs on this topic should be possible. We believe much could be learned if only economists John Turner (University of Georgia), Lesley Turner (University of Maryland), Nicholas Turner (U.S. Treasury Department) and Sarah Turner (University of Virginia) would find a way to work together. Substantial progress might also come from collaboration between Janet Smith (Claremont McKenna College), Jeffrey Smith (University of Michigan), Jeremy Smith (Uni- versity of Warwick), and Jonathan Smith (College Board), whose work could explore the impact of both surname-sharing and first initial-sharing. Finally, we encourage cousins Erzo F.P. Luttmer (Dartmouth College) and Erzo G.J. Luttmer (University of Minnesota) to consider collaborating for reasons too obvious to state. This area seems ripe for exploration.
For economists, I think is a pretty, if not surprisingly, good humor piece. So, the next time you need to tell an econ joke, consider reaching for this one from your back pocket.