Brandis’ (1972) article ‘An Irreverent Glossary’ is a very humorous look at the definitions of an economist, econometrician and mathematical economist, amongst others. We’ve given you a taster below. You can download the full article from Jstore.
DISSERTATION: Labyrinth into which graduate student is thrown if he wins game of Preliminary Exam (q.v.). Many are never heard from again. Some escape by unwinding a computer print-out. Some succeed in appeasing the Minotaur (who is half bull) by making a suitable offering.
ECONOMETRICIAN: Statistician (q.v.) who has taken holy orders. Can enter outer sanctum of Economic Theorist (q.v.) if basic data has been purified beforehand so as not to offend Theorist by casting doubt on his belief.
ECONOMIC THEORIST: High priest. In ceremonial robes, difficult to distinguish from Mathematical Economist (q.v.). The latter often assists Theorist in the ceremony of counting equations and unknowns.
MATHEMATICAL ECONOMISTS: Modern descendants of Baby-lonian stargazers. Thought by some to be animal worshipers because of frequent invocation of walrus. One large sect plays Growth Model (q.v.) and practices magic with t (q.v.).
Brandis, R., (1972), An Irreverent Glossary, Journal of Economic Issues, 6(2/3).