The “keys under the streetlight story” is well known among economists, but in case you haven’t heard it, it goes like this.
A person is walking home late at night and notices an economist searching under a streetlight for his keys. The person stops to help. After searching a while without luck the person asks the economist where he lost his keys. The economist points far off into the dark abyss, to which the person responds incredulously, “Then why the heck are you searching here?” To which the economist responds: “This is where the light is.”
Critics of economics like this joke because it nicely captures what they see as the limitations of economists’ overly mathematical and technical methods. Read more