Monthly Archives: December 2007

Inequality Reading

I’ve just finished reading two books about inequality. One is a beautifully written (and short) tome by Robert Frank, entitled Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class. Over the years, many people have argued that one of the costs of inequality … Continue reading

Posted in What I'm Reading | 9 Comments

Pubs

I just finished putting together my 2007 publications for our departmental administrator (as part of DEST’s grand cataloguing process, all universities report publications annually). I predicted in March that I’d get 6-7 published articles in 2007. In the end, I … Continue reading

Posted in Universities | 4 Comments

Staying at School Ain't Silly

Nicholas Gruen draws my attention to a piece on school completion by CIS researcher Peter Saunders (based on a longer paper here), who argues: Three-quarters of students currently stay to year 12, and most of them benefit from higher earnings … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 22 Comments

Season's Greetings

I’m jumping on a plane to the US on Monday, and Tuesday is apparently some holiday or other. So I may be a little intermittent in my posts over the coming week. However, in early-January I’ll be attending the annual … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

It's been a good year for US political comedians

In the New York Times, Daniel Kurztman catalogues 2007′s most laughable US political antics. My favourite paragraph: Best Fodder for the Late-Night Comedians: Senator Larry Craig (R-estroom) gave “new meaning to the word caucusing” (David Letterman) when he was caught … Continue reading

Posted in US Politics

Charity Rating

Today’s NYT writes up two hedge funders who rate charities on their effectiveness. Their assessment certainly seems more robust than most charity-comparison sites I’ve seen. Their site is GiveWell.net, and they have a blog, natch.

Posted in Trade & Development | 2 Comments

Time for Tables

My final AFR oped for the year is on school reporting (aka league tables). Full text over the fold. ABC Brisbane called me this morning to do an interview on the piece. At the time, I was at home looking … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 6 Comments

Napoleon as Natural Experiment

Here’s a snippet from the paper “From Ancien Régime to Capitalism: The French Revolution as a Natural Experiment“, by Daron Acemoglu, Davide Cantoni, Simon Johnson & James Robinson: In investigating the relationship between the collapse of the ancien régime and … Continue reading

Posted in From the Frontiers, Trade & Development | 2 Comments

Call for Papers – New Techniques in Development Economics

I’m co-organising an ANU conference on ‘New Techniques in Development Economics’ on June 19-20, 2008. We’ve just issued a call for papers – details below. CALL FOR PAPERS NEW TECHNIQUES IN DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS JUNE 19-20, 2008 AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY The Research … Continue reading

Posted in Coming Events, Trade & Development

Open thread

I’ve been trying to get a bunch of projects completed by year’s end, so have been posting rather more slowly than usual. I apologise for this, and offer by way of recompense an open thread, to do with as you … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Making Work Pay

The Progressive Policy Institute has released a paper proposing an expansion of the US Earned Income Tax Credit, which happens to be one of my favourite policies. It also contains a useful discussion of the various presidential candidates’ proposals to … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 32 Comments

ANU RSSS Economics Seminar Schedule – Dec/Jan

The seminar schedule from now until the end of January is over the fold. All seminars are in the HC Coombs building, and are open to the public.

Posted in Coming Events

Edgy Economics

I’ve become interested lately in the economics of illegal or semi-legal activities, an area that seems to be utterly under-researched, and which I think could make a really good honours or masters thesis. To name just a few areas, I … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Law | 7 Comments

He used to rob old ladies, but now he just plays video games all day

I blogged a few months ago about empirical evidence suggesting that pornography might reduce sexual assault (not increase it, as most media and political commentators seem to assume). In a similar vein, a new study on video games seems to … Continue reading

Posted in From the Frontiers, Law | 4 Comments

Should public schools be privatised? (Full discussion in one thread)

If you’d prefer to read the discussion with Andrew Norton in one go, here it is in chronological order. (Thanks to JG for the suggestion.)

Posted in Economics of Education

Should public schools be privatised? Day 6

[Introduction] [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] Comments are now open.  Dear A.N., What a brutal final paragraph! So if I don’t support your plan, I guess that makes me a conservative who doesn’t care about teacher quality. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 20 Comments

Should public schools be privatised? Day 5

[Introduction] [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] From Andrew Norton:  Dear A.L, As you suggest, former private school students might show more civic attitudes and behaviour than former government school students, but that doesn’t show that the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

Should public schools be privatised? Day 4

[Introduction] [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] Dear A.N., Let’s be careful about what we claim for private schools. The fact that private school attendance is positively correlated with civic activity doesn’t tell us anything about the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

Should public schools be privatised? Day 3

[Introduction] [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] From Andrew Norton:  Dear A.L., Periodically, our politicians rediscover civics in schools. In 1994, the Keating-appointed Civics Expert Group released a report supporting civics and citizenship education. One of their … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

Should public schools be privatised? Day 2

[Introduction] [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] Dear A.N, I’ve enjoyed your writings on education for some time, so am chuffed to be discussing perhaps the biggest issue in education policy: should we have public schools at … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

Should public schools be privatised? Day 1

[Introduction] [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] From Andrew Norton: Hi A.L, According to Australian Education Union election advertising, we need a federal government that will put public education first. But do we need public education at … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

Should public schools be privatised? Introduction

[Introduction] [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] Andrew Norton is a researcher with the Centre for Independent Studies, and works in the office of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne. He has formerly worked as an … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

The Two Andrews: A Bloggish Debate

Over the next week or so, I’m going to be engaging in a debate with Andrew Norton, over the topic, “should public schools be privatised?”. The idea of a two-way discussion is loosely related to Slate’s Breakfast Table, and is … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

Passing Trade

A new paper, from Emily Oster, looks at the impact of trade on HIV infection rates. Routes of Infection: Exports and HIV Incidence in Sub-Saharan Africa by Emily Oster  I generate new data on HIV incidence and prevalence in Africa … Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Development | 4 Comments

Water Talker

At the ANU Economics Showcase this week, the penultimate paper was by Quentin Grafton, who has put together an extremely compelling powerpoint presentation on why prices beat rationing when it comes to water. It occurred to me that this “raise … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Economics | 2 Comments