George Bernard Shaw? Farmer Brown? Isaac Marcosson? Stephen Leacock? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: The advice offered by economists is often equivocal and hedged. The famous playwright and witty social critic George Bernard Shaw reportedly crafted the following lament:
If all the economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.
I have been unable to find a solid citation. Would you please examine this topic?
Quote Investigator: “The Saturday Review of Literature” credited George Bernard Shaw with the expression above in May 1933, but the saying had entered circulation by July 1932 without an attribution. In addition, intriguing precursors appeared by the 1920s. Hence, the ascription to Shaw is currently uncertain.
Below are selected citations in chronological order.