What does an economist do?

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

What does an economist do??

Depends. Many simply teach and write more or less esoteric research papers for scholarly journals (sometimes, those are wicked fun to read). Some work for the government compiling national income statistics or researching policy options. Others work in the private sector estimating elasticity of demand for phone calls and airline tickets, forecasting interest rates for banks, or even working out details of customer loyalty programs (Gary Loveman, while teaching at Harvard Business School, consulted Harrah’s on this one so successfully that Harrah’s hired him as COO and eventually made him CEO).

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