Aug 18 2007

Making Economics stick… try HUMOR!

Published by at 4:34 pm under Humor,Teaching

All the talk about economics being the “dismal science” is totally wrong. In fact, this subject is more funny than people know! Have you heard of the Stand-up Economist? He actually does shows in which Economics jokes get laughs from non-economists… now if we high school teachers can’t learn from a guy like this, then who can we learn from? While making econ funny isn’t always easy, it should certainly get our kids attention! So, add humor to your list of tools in your attempt to make economics stick with your students. Ladies and gentlemen, the Stand-up Economist!

[youtube YgB6mFmYEcM Making it stick!]

About the author:  Jason Welker teaches International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Economics at Zurich International School in Switzerland. In addition to publishing various online resources for economics students and teachers, Jason developed the online version of the Economics course for the IB and is has authored two Economics textbooks: Pearson Baccalaureate’s Economics for the IB Diploma and REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course. Jason is a native of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and is a passionate adventurer, who considers himself a skier / mountain biker who teaches Economics in his free time. He and his wife keep a ski chalet in the mountains of Northern Idaho, which now that they live in the Swiss Alps gets far too little use. Read more posts by this author

24 responses so far

24 Responses to “Making Economics stick… try HUMOR!”

  1. Teemar Ratanasirigulon 19 Aug 2007 at 12:51 pm

    Everyone shall agree with this. Adding humor to anything will make it more enjoyable. However, the stand-up Economist started becoming more political towards the end. It was a great laugh… Thanks.

  2. andreason 19 Aug 2007 at 2:51 pm

    He may not be Dane Cook or Robbin Williams but his jokes were actually pretty decent. Laughing while actually learning economics does sound better than devouring a fat textbook though! Economic jokes may not be the easiest to make funny but him being in "low demand" was really the easiest joke to make up but pretty funny even though it was predictable.

  3. Conrad Liuon 20 Aug 2007 at 8:37 pm

    I've got the same opinion as both Andreas and Teemar. The humor was a great way to help make economics more enjoyable to learn. Even though he might not be a more well-known comedian such as Russel Peters, his economic jokes still do the trick efficiently. I really enjoyed the clip.

  4. Nicole Wongon 23 Aug 2007 at 10:45 pm

    I think the most enjoyable part of this video was the fact that I could actually understand it! Although most of the humor hasn't gotten into as much "economic detail" as we probably will further on in the school year, that just means there are more opportunities for economics-related jokes. However, I do agree with Teemar that it got very US-government-related towards the end.

  5. KatherineYangon 24 Aug 2007 at 10:53 am

    The stand-up economist was pretty good, but I think I've still got a ways to go before I competely understand his jokes. It will certainly be interesting to watch more of his videos as we continue to learn economics, at least to be able to see ourselves learning more when we get more of his jokes faster or more in depth.

  6. yunqimokon 24 Aug 2007 at 7:18 pm

    I agree with Katherine! I understand most of the begining, but after it turned pretty political, it was way too US based. However, it was very funny, lending a lively air to economics.

  7. serenatuon 24 Aug 2007 at 8:35 pm

    I've got the begining part, it was an awesome video. Economic should be fun. I agree with Nicole and Temmar that toward the end, it got too US related.

  8. optional.xuon 24 Aug 2007 at 11:36 pm


    Yes. That was definitely lol. The jokes are the beginning were about as lame as well Mr. Welker, JUST KIDDING. Economics is definitely fun, although funny, I'm not so sure about. I don't see myself laughing at the economy cause if the economy goes bad, we are all really screwed. So why would you chance it and start laughing at it?

  9. calebliaoon 24 Aug 2007 at 11:39 pm

    I am a swing voter, I am an oblivious citizen of the U.S. and will probably end up voting for the wrong person in the up-coming election.

  10. Helenon 25 Aug 2007 at 5:27 pm

    I liked the part where he was talking about how you can tell if you are an economist. That was pretty funny. But I agree with most of the people who have commented before me – I think we have to study economics a bit more to get some of the other jokes. And it was a bit strange when the "stand-up economist" started going at political jokes at the end, but they were not bad. That video and all of its economic references would definitely stick in my head for quite some time.

  11. julie.linon 25 Aug 2007 at 7:24 pm

    i could've never understood any jokes from this video but i'm surprised i did. some of the econ-related word he says sounds pretty so familiar and i guess, by the end of this year or something, i'll be able to understand every joke he says. that'll be awesome.

  12. welkerjasonon 26 Aug 2007 at 12:36 am

    David, be careful what you say about my jokes! In case you think I don't read your comments, I DO! I take offense to your "lame" statement and will now have to spend all day tomorrow thinking up a good joke to tell in class! Also, I don't think the point is to laugh at the economy, because let's be honest, there's nothing funny about the economy, the point is to laugh at economists, now those guys… THEY are funny!

  13. Jeff Yeon 26 Aug 2007 at 1:24 am

    HAHA david, you got owned…

    Anyway, honestly, i thought that guy was kind of dumb. Sure his jokes had potential, but he wasn't very confident and i thought it was stupid how he kept asking the audience to laugh or make some noise when they obviously didn't think what he said was funny. However, i think the concept is a smart one, and i've got to give him credit for trying. Economics can be long and boring, so adding humor into it is never a bad idea.

  14. Alice Suon 26 Aug 2007 at 2:01 am

    Watching this clip definitely gave me a sense of accomplishment at the discovery that I could actually understand the jokes- some of them, at least. You have to admit that this guy was pretty creative and daring to give up his teaching job and try out this "stand-up economist" idea. (Could that be counted as entrepreneurship for coming up with this idea?) Also, I agree that funny jokes and stories can definitely make economics more interesting. At the same time, though, his jokes were kind of lame… having learned from David's example, however, I won't mention anything about Mr. Welker.

  15. kevinyehon 26 Aug 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Yes like many other people i felt accomplished in the fact that i understood some of the jokes. However, i still feel that I didn't really enjoy it that much. Like I would never actually go to his show or anything because it just doesn't seem that entertaining for me. In spite of that, humor can make economics for fun to learn.

  16. Charlie.Gaoon 26 Aug 2007 at 4:21 pm

    Some of these jokes were pretty funny, but others I did not get However, I give credit to this guy because he had to guts to do what no one else has done before. Plus, adding humor to economics can make it more fun to learn. Kudos to you. Anyways, if you all are interested in more funny economics stuff. Check this site out. It made me laugh, so you should laugh too.

  17. Michael Chowon 26 Aug 2007 at 5:59 pm

    I find this "new" way of stand up comedy very amusing yet creative. And I must say I am quite impressed with this style of talking about a very complicated subject and the comedian's ability to come up with jokes with references to Economics. Overall I especially enjoyed the jokes I could understand and the stand up Economist's originality and creativity to this new form of comedy.

  18. judychenon 27 Aug 2007 at 1:35 pm

    this is the first time that i've watched this video on econs. really enjoyable and funny! =D

  19. Jack Loon 27 Aug 2007 at 6:47 pm

    I thought this guy was kind of awkward up there on stage. BUT, it did make me feel proud of myself since I actually understood some of his jokes. I find using humor to teach economics to be a very creative idea. It can be interesting and refreshing compared to the hour long lectures (NOTE: I AM NOT SAYING THAT MR.WELKERS LECTURES ARE BORING.:D in fact, i think they're really interesting )

  20. Mondon 27 Aug 2007 at 10:53 pm

    Now this guy is a entrepreneur, I have never even heard of a stand up economist! I find it quite entertaining and enjoyable.

  21. Tim Chuon 28 Aug 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Sure, it was a little cheesy, but i still enjoyed it. But seriously, very unique stuff. I dont think i've ever had topics i've learnt presented in that kind of way.

  22. Sunny Kimon 31 Aug 2007 at 2:41 am

    First, I was quite surprised that there are jokes on economics, and there are people using those jokes to make other people laugh. This guy, a standing economist, applied some economic concepts that I've learned while he was talking, and he also referred things to politics and the government tell us some examples. Honestly, I couldn't understant all the jokes he said; however, from those I've understood, I can still conclude that this video was quite funny and it reviewed some concepts.

  23. Kai Lin Fuon 01 Sep 2007 at 2:35 pm

    You'd have to be very good and creative to successfully ahve people laugh at an economic joke. I mean I didn't there were even jokes let alone comedians on economy. The jokes were funny, but he lost me after a few jokes. But I got to hand it to him, it makes economy more enjoyable. I guess humor is a great way to teach mnay things.

  24. Kai Lin Fuon 01 Sep 2007 at 2:37 pm

    You'd have to be very good and creative to successfully have people laugh at an economic joke. I mean I didn't there were even jokes let alone comedians on economy. The jokes were funny, but he lost me after a few jokes. But I got to hand it to him, it makes economy more enjoyable. I guess humor is a great way to teach mnay things.