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Economics has been derided as ‘the dismal science’.
While this may be so, one Wellington economist is out to show the truth of that other proverb: ‘misery loves company’.
Infometrics economist Matt Nolan has marked Valentines Day by running a poll to see who people think the country’s sexiest economist is.
It is, as you might expect, a crowded field. It is early days with the voting so far, but there are already a few surprises on the upside, as economists would say.
The competition is on Mr Nolan’s blog – which is called ‘The Visible Hand’ although he says no one should read any double meaning into that.
“I just saw the Durex poll and decided to do one for economists,” he told NBR ONLINE. (Condom manufacturer Durex today ran a poll on the country’s sexiest politicians – and came up with a few surprising results).
The economist poll though is mostly for the women - and it is known there are a number of female business reporters whose mouse fingers will be twitching over the name of Bank of New Zealand’s head of market economics Stephen Toplis.
Mr Nolan opted to confine the poll to economists who have a public profile - which means only one of the candidates comes with a set of XX chromosomes.
This is already having an effect on the supply and demand curve: as of 2pm today Kiwibank’s Donna Purdue is riding high in the poll. Without wanting to denigrate the estimable Ms Purdue, one feels fans of her fellow number crunchers, such as Sharon Zollner, Jane Turner, Christina Leung – to name just three, off the top of the head – should have the chance to vote for their favourites.
Some of those who are there have entered into the spirit of the thing: University of Canterbury’s Eric Crampton has commented he is worried he will - as Prime Minister Helen Clark once famously said about herself - be a victim of his own popularity and competence.
Mr Nolan has suggested Mr Crampton’s reasonably high vote is, at this stage, probably due to the fact he is holding a beer in the accompanying photo.
If you want to vote or comment, go here.