Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Stand-up economist

Hello. My name is Kostas Economides and I am a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of the South of England (USE for short). Well, actually that is not true really as the names of individuals and institutions in this blog have been changed to protect the innocent - and the guilty!

I see from his website that Dr Yoram Bauman, the self-proclaimed "world's first and only stand-up economist" will be over in the UK in May as part of his new "Neo-Keynesian Kickstarter tour".

It is almost a year to the day since Bauman was here at USE with his stand-up routine (and also to give a more standard staff seminar the following day). Bauman, who is a faculty member at the University of Washington and a specialist environmental economist, first came to prominence as a stand-up at the February 2007 meeting of the American Economic Association where he cleverly deconstructed the chapter headings of the best selling economics textbook "Principles of Economics" by Gregory Mankiw. Since then he has developed a routine that he takes around the world to conferences, economics departments and stand-up comedy venues.

His session here at USE included a reprise of his 10 Principles of Economics routine and also some very funny analysis of the sometimes weird comments that have been posted on YouTube next to the video of his original talk. Having captured his audience's attention he then neatly squeezed in some very serious and telling points about environmental economics and climate change.

Bauman has also written, with the help of illustrator Grady Klein, two economics comic books - one on microeconomics and one on macroeconomics.. If you are a student, particularly if you are studying economics but not as an economics major, you can probably learn as much economics from these books as from any standard textbook.

His latest cartoon book, just out, is the Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change which will cover the science, impacts, and policy of global warming. As with the other books he takes a tough subject and makes a fun and accessible cartoon book that everybody can relate to and learn from.

If you haven't seen his stand-up videos or want to find out more about his coming books just visit his website at

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