Monthly Archives: December 2006

Open thread

I’ve just returned from a trip away, and am moving house tomorrow, so apologies for the brief blog hiatus. In the meantime, here’s an open thread – do with it as you will.

Posted in Blogging | 7 Comments

Middle Class Welfare

Andrew Norton has a neat piece in the latest issue of Policy Magazine on “The Rise of Big Government Conservatism“, along with some really interesting graphs showing the spending patterns of the Howard Government. My favourite chart is below. Of … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 52 Comments

Now there's an idea with a slim chance of success

Glad to see I’m not the only economist putting out silly stories to suit the silly season. According to Brisbane’s newspaper of record, economist Paul Frijters (ex-ANU, now QUT) has called for a ‘fat tax’. Queensland University of Technology’s Paul … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 26 Comments

December's Child

Joshua Gans writes up a cute NYT article on birth patterns. In the US, child tax deductions aren’t pro-rata’ed. In other words, if you’re a parent anytime during the year, you can claim the child tax deduction. So there’s a big incentive … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 1 Comment

Charles 1, Centralisers 0

Every now and then, governments of one political persuasion or another ask themselves the question “why don’t we just let the federal government run Australian schools?”. Economics doesn’t have a clear answer to this. From a theoretical perspective, more centralisation means … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

Helping professions

Robin Hanson argues that ‘helping professions’ like medicine don’t really help more. Part of his argument goes as follow: 1. You charge a price for your services, so the help they receive is the difference between the value they gain … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

What should we give?

Wondering how much you should give to charity? Peter Singer has some pointers, based on his classic example of how much we should expend to save a child drowning in a shallow pond. In any case, even if we were … Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Development | 13 Comments