How many economists can change a light bulb?

I don’t know. But perhaps the Australian Economic Society’s survey of 500 economists can answer the question. Survey results below:


  1. It’s good to see that the views on the abolition of the FHBG are broadly consistent (Agree: 32.5%, Strongly Agree: 40.4%).

    As for the number of economists required to change a lightbulb, from my highschool days I recall the answer to that question to be two. One to assume the existence of the ladder and one to change the bulb.

  2. I am interested in the 8 people who never studied beyond high school and still call themselves economists !!
    Also, pity that question about educational qualification didn’t include a category for half-PhDs 🙂

  3. How many to change a lightbulb. Mmmmmm – around 577 if this survey is anything to go by.

    A few questions there seems broad agreement but in general hopelessly divided – my guess is they couldn’t agree how and by whom.

  4. How many economists does it take…?

    That depends on whether darkness is a state of market equilibrium and whether an artificially induced increase in the supply of light (interfering with the market by adding a new bulb) would cause light inflation – that is, the economy would become too bright. Since the velocity of light is assumed to be fixed in this economy, all other things being equal, an addition of light bulbs will cause overheating, and, ultimately, in the absence of measures by authorities to absorb light, meltdown in the light accounts.

    Prudent managers will look to the past – to the dark ages – when no meltdowns were ever recorded.

    • What was I thinking when I did my economics degree. Should of been one of the smart guys who did Science etc to have more females around. Less then 10% females in my lectures. Maybe that was good, maybe I learnt something without the distractions.
      Miss the old days of macro 101. Our professor’s first words to us innocent bright eyed pupils
      “economists rule the world, with their friends the lawyers”.
      how true that is, even more so today I would say.

  5. I can’t tell you how many until you let me know what the consensus is so that my estimate is not too far away from that number.

  6. Spending the last 2 hours with 100 future economists, I’m not sure they’ll be able to even change their underpants tomorrow…

  7. Alex Heyworth

    How many economists does it take to change a light bulb? On the one hand …

    On a more serious note, the questions leave something to be desired. “There would be less unemployment if the minimum wage was lowered.” By how much? I don’t think a one cent an hour reduction would have much impact. Ten dollars an hour? You bet it would.

  8. … change a what?

    Economic’s fundamentals are founded in opinion; not consensual opinion but individual opinion and as such, this allows the trump card of the totally corrupted Banking System.

    No conspiracy, as they are not intelligent enough – just stupidity and incompetence.