Sunday, November 27, 2005

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 and 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 incurably stochastic.
--Sir Dennis H. Robertson. 1956. "Economic Verse" in Economic Commentaries, pg. 174.

*Composed mainly during a session of the International Economic Association Conference on the Business Cycle, Oxford 1950, and published in its Proceedings (see p. 85).

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