Why I Am an Economist
Because e-quil-i-bri-um is the perfect end to Haiku
Because time slows to a discount rate
at the asymptote of an hour glass
Because I am color blind to shades of gray
Because I like to tell bedtime stories to a captive audience
Because marginal costs are like shooting stars
when it counts
Because there are exactly seven colors in a rainbow
Because self interest is like a cockroach
Because there is always a right question to the wrong answer
Because my worry lines give me away
Because I approach the limit of creativity but never reach it
Because a rational mind needs a pillow
Because the market for astronauts is too small
Because numbers are like words and functions are like stanzas
Because efficiency is the pay dirt of a lazy mind
Because a fortune cookie told me to ‘be practical’
and so did my advisor.
By Mary Davis
Theme inspired by ‘Why I Write Poetry’ by Major Jackson, Ploughshares
Poetry Anthology – UEP 251 Economics for Policy and Planning (2016)
An anthology of economic-themed poetry representing the ‘best of the best’ student submissions collected during a classroom poetry experiment. The project was funded by a Tufts Innovates grant, with support from student RAs Jonathon Diaz and Lylee Rauch-Kacenski.
Professor Davis has published two peer reviewed journal articles relating poetry to improved learning outcomes in the economics classroom:
Bringing Imagination Back to the Classroom: A Model for Creative Arts in Economics,” International Review for Economics Education Vol. 19:1-12 (2015).
Poetry and Economics: Creativity, Engagement and Learning in the Economics Classroom, International Review for Economics Education (2019).