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

Category: Digital Media, Economy

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

11 Responses to “StandUp Economist: 10 Principles of Macro-Economics”

  1. Eclectic says:

    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 says:

    The opening description of microeconomists and macroeconomists is priceless.

  3. Norman says:

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

  4. jagmohan swain says:

    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 says:

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

  6. donna says:

    I think America has totally forgotten #8….

  7. Bob Giddings says:

    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 says:

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

  9. 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 says:

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

  11. The StandUp Economist

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