Ever wondered who was the better lead singer of the rock band AC/DC? Well, economist Robert Oxoby answered it in a 2009 article titled “On the efficiency of AC/DC? Bon Scott versus Brian Johnson”.
As the abstract states:
We use tools from experimental economics to address the age-old debate regarding who was a better singer in the band AC/DC. Our results suggest that (using wealth maximization as a measure of “better”) listening to Brian Johnson (relative to listening to Bon Scott) resulted in “better” outcomes in an ultimatum game. These results may have important implications for settling drunken music debates and environmental design issues in organizations.
In the acknowledgments, Oxoby pays thanks to “a delayed Air Canada flight and a bar in the Vancouver airport for providing the time, space, and resources necessary to pursue this research. All errors are attributable to Air Canada.”
You would think that anyone reading Oxoby’s article would realise that it was supposed to be humorous. Well, it turns out that Steven Levitt (yes, the Freakonomics guy who wrote about tons of wacky things) didn’t understand that the article was intended to be funny. Levitt, writing on his seriously unfunny Freakonomics blog (there, take that AC/DC hating Mr Levitt!!), said of the article, “This is what happens to people who listen to too much AC/DC… I hope for this guy’s sake he has tenure.” Like a true bad-ass, Oxoby replied in the blog’s comments section “I have tenure”. And just like that, Oxoby dropped the proverbial microphone on Levitt. AC/DC rock!!