20 September 2009

The Non-Econometrician's Lament

This poem was brought to our notice by Professor Nachane: "While going through the references for one of my articles on Business Cycles, I came across this gem of a poem from Sir D.H.Robertson, an economist of an earlier generation (and for those of you who may not have heard of him, he was at one time a friend and rival of the great Lord Keynes)." Sir Dennis H. Robertson who also contributed a lot to Monetary theory and of course with Pigou 'Those Empty Boxes'. But, for now read on "The Non-Econometrician's Lament."

"As soon as I could safely toddle
My parents handed me a Model;
My brisk and energetic pater
Provided the accelerator.
My mother, with her kindly gumption,
The function guiding my consumption;
And every week I had from her
A lovely new parameter,
With lots of little leads and lags
In pretty parabolic bags.

With optimistic expectations
I started on my explorations,
And swore to move without a swerve
Along my sinusoidal curve.
Alas! I knew how it would end:
I've mixed the cycle with the trend,
And fear that, growing daily skinnier,
I have at length become non-linear.
I wander glumly round the house
As though I were exogenous,
And hardly capable of feeling
The difference 'tween floor and ceiling.
I scarcely now, a pallid ghost,
Can tell ex ante from ex post:
My thoughts are sadly inelastic,
My acts invariably stochastic."

Sir Dennis H. Robertson (Presented at the International Economic Association Conference on Business Cycles, Oxford, 1952 and published in the proceedings edited by Erik Lundberg, Macmillan 1955)

I would like to reiterate the last two lines.

"My thoughts are sadly inelastic,
My acts invariably stochastic."

They add icing to the cake. They are like diamond studs in the necklace made up of gems.

No comments:

Post a Comment