Because I Love to Count

“I am The Count. They call me The Count because I love to count things.”
         — The Count (Sesame Street)

An article in the weekend Financial Times extols the virtues of counting things as a way into doing some grounded economics. Here are some examples:

  • Number of Picasso pictures reproduced in every art history book of the last 15 years: 395
  • Number of pictures by Matisse, Duchamp, and Mondrian combined: 395 (roughly)
  • Number of official signatures required by a farmer in the Central African Republic before he’s allowed to ship bananas to America or Europe: 38
  • Number of official procedures a Lagos businessperson must go through to buy a warehouse: 21