Economics made fun, and made fun of: how 'fun' redefines the domain and identity of the economics profession

Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (4):427-437 (2012)
This paper compares two aspects of the use of ?fun? within the economics profession. It analyzes the way in which a recently emerged genre of economics-made-fun uses fun and surprising insights to reach new audiences. And it also analyzes the way in which humor is used within and from outside the economics profession to criticize certain practices and characteristics of economists. It argues that the economics-made-fun genre, ?Freakonomics? being the prime example, not only redefines the domain of economics, as is widely acknowledged, but also changes the identity of economists. In a similar way, humor is used by both insiders and outsiders to (re)define the appropriate identity and domain of economists. It draws on recent work in the history of science which distinguishes between various professional identities of scientists, such as the quirky genius and the intuitive and playful amateur. We argue that Levitt and other authors within this new genre redefine the identity of economists toward this latter type. On the other hand, humor is often used by critics of this economistic outlook on life to show the limitations of this perspective and to delineate its appropriate domain
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/1350178X.2012.745298
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,479
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Diane Coyle (2012). The Paradox of Popularity in Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (3):187-192.
Roger E. Backhouse (2012). Economics is a Serious and Difficult Subject. Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (3):231-241.
Daniel Hausman (2001). Explanation and diagnosis in economics. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 3:311-326.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

9 ( #439,905 of 1,925,753 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #254,997 of 1,925,753 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.