Monday, August 04, 2008

Hide the women 

I heard this joke long ago, that the prostitution business dries up in convention cities when the economists come to town.

About 30 years ago, we were at an economics convention, doing the usual stuff -- meeting people, going to paper presentations, interviewing candidates and/or interviewing for jobs, looking at book displays, drinking like fish, etc. After about a day and a half, one of the bellhops at the convention hotel asked us, "What do you guys do for a living, anyway?"

We proudly informed him we were economists. "Why do you ask?"

"I've never seen a convention like this," he said. "More booze than I've ever seen before, but no broads. What's wrong with you guys? Where are the hookers?"

The St. Paul police are saying that RNC conventioneers will be so busy they won't have time to use the services of ladies of the evening.
St. Paul police spokesman Tom Walsh said his department discussed the issue with police in New York and Boston, which hosted the 2004 Republican and Democratic conventions, respectively.

"And what they have reported to us is that is that there is not an increase in that kind of traffic," Walsh said.

"There is so much going on, I don't know that there is a lot of unstructured time to be involved in any other activities."
I can tell you economics conventions have lots of free time ... and that's when the booze happens. I can also tell you this was not true at the 1984 AEA meetings in San Francisco where a certain A.B.D. job-seeker stumbled to a coffee shop at 11pm for an impromptu meeting with a small college that was interviewing and whose interviewer was friend of a friend; said job-seeker was approached once going to the coffee shop and twice going back.

But it hasn't happened in many years, at least not to that job-seeker (who learned the words "no money" worked well.) Instead, economists write about prostitution.

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