The U.S. celebrates Hug An Economist Day on January 31 each year. Now, it’s obvious this day was meant to show your affection for economists, but we like to think it also encourages us to learn more about economics and how it affects us. Unfortunately, we don’t know much more about this day, like who initiated these celebrations or when they began. For now, this might be an unofficial holiday, but we urge you to celebrate officially and with gusto!
History of Hug An Economist Day
Since ancient times, man has been trying to figure out how money (or currency, as it were) shaped the world. The Ancient Greeks spent time on this subject and the 15th and 16th centuries are full of literature about economics and what it means.
But the separation of economics from other studies, marking it as a unique field, came about in the 16th century. A Scottish philosopher, Adam Smith, had published a book just when Britain was set to lose much of its older empire. This book, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” was the founding of the famous then-brand-new school of thought — classical economics. The next century was marked by new economic thinking and many economists devoted their efforts towards figuring out how resources were allocated. Of course, back then, the profession was only a hobby for gentlemen of leisure. Very few academics chose this vocation. While economists wrote about economic policy, they were rarely, if ever, consulted with by legislators on economic matters.
The post-World War II world looked very different, even for economics. For one, mathematics had begun to influence economic theory. Then, all empirical research studies began to get more sophisticated; even involving statistical testing of economic predictions.
By the 20th century, economics and economists had further changed the way the world perceived wealth. Interest turned to less-developed nations, and economic planning was created to lessen the gap between rich and poor countries. This transformation brought a new wave of thinking. Today, most governments, large agencies, and even commercial banks have their own group of economists to advise them, and they influence multiple sectors. The future remains uncertain but what is certain is that economics will remain a vital branch of knowledge forever.
Hug An Economist Day timeline
Scottish philosopher Adam Smith publishes “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” also called “The Wealth of Nations.”
The world is living under the classic gold standard; this is perhaps the best period of economic development ever seen globally.
The 20th century brings change to how the world views economics and economists; the very first Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is awarded to Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen.
Economist Milton Friedman works on a series of new programs called the “New Deal;” these are designed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide relief to and recovery from the effects of the Great Depression.
Hug An Economist Day FAQs
Who was the first economist?
Many documents label Adam Smith (Scottish economist, philosopher, pioneer of political economy) as the first economist, although there have almost certainly been multiple economists living well before the 18th century.
Who is known as an economist?
People who practice the social science discipline of economics are called economists. They sometimes even study, develop, and apply economic theories and concepts, to write economic policy.
What jobs can economists do?
Economists can be economists for organizations and governments, financial risk analysts, data analysts, financial planners, accountants, economic researchers, financial consultants, investment analysts, and so on.
Hug An Economist Day Activities
Hug an economist
We only recommend this with economists you really know (and are close to). If you are lucky enough to count an economist among your loved ones, go on and give them a huge hug to show your appreciation for all they do.
Celebrate the profession and the field
Host an economics-themed party. Design little dollar-shaped cupcakes, dress up as famous economists, and even play economics-themed games. Monopoly, anyone?
Learn about economics
Economics is used in conjunction with several other fields, including business, marketing, education, and even the environment. There are plenty of resources that make learning new economic theories and concepts fun — check out videos, presentations, and even Pinterest for ways to learn and remember new information about this field.
5 Fun Facts About Hug An Economist Day
Not a real Nobel
Unlike other Nobel Prizes, the Nobel Prize in Economics is awarded by the Swedish central bank and is officially called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
The first (and only) woman winner
In 2009, American Elinor Ostrom won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for her pioneering work in showing that ordinary people could successfully create their own rules and institutions without any regulation by central authorities or privatization.
Economics in politics
Not only do politicians actively consult economists while creating economic policy, but many statesmen also have degrees in economics.
A degree that’s in great demand
Approximately 130 colleges and universities around the U.S. grant around 800+ new P.h.D.s each year in economics.
An economist predicted the 2008 crisis
In a position paper for the International Monetary Fund, Nouriel Roubini warned people that the real estate bubble would crash; his prophetic words earned him a nickname — Dr. Doom.
Why We Love Hug An Economist Day
Economists do a lot of work
We won't look at an economist (or economics) the same way again, now that we know how many decisions they actually have a hand in. Let’s show them some appreciation for all the work they do.
They need some love too
Their contributions affect lives in many ways. We think they should receive a little love too.
We understand the world around us
The more we learn about this profession and the people in it, the quicker we realize how ordinary lives are impacted by money matters. If nothing else, we gain an added awareness about our decisions.
Hug An Economist Day dates