Monthly Archives: March 2009

Correlation, causation, and breastfeeding

An interesting piece in the Atlantic on breastfeeding. Here’s a snippet: One day, while nursing my baby in my pediatrician’s office, I noticed a 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association open to an article about breast-feeding: … Continue reading

Posted in Health economics | 3 Comments

Where philosophy & policy collide

Andrew Norton is running a survey ‘on how philosophical political identity (classical liberal, conservative, social democrat etc) links to policy attitudes’. It’s interesting and pretty quick (I just did it in 8 minutes), so click here if you have time.

Posted in Blogging | 1 Comment

Baptism Bonus

Joshua Gans and I have previously shown that financial incentives can affect birth timing. Now some evidence that non-monetary incentives matter too. From the BBC: At the end of 2007, in a move to reverse the Caucasian country’s dwindling birth … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 2 Comments

My kind of cartoon

From XKCD (HT: Rocco Weglarz & Robert Wiblin)

Posted in Uncategorized

What makes a good CEO?

My AFR oped today looks at some new research on what makes a good business leader. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Labour Economics | 3 Comments

Wolfers @ Brookings

My friend Justin Wolfers has been appointed a co-editor of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. This strikes me as a particularly good fit. Justin’s signature style is an applied economics paper that presents a pastiche of evidence – ranging across … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally

Stigler’s List and Social Capital

I just reviewed an edited collection on social capital for the Economic Record, and kicked off with what I think might be the standard economic response to most books of this type: George Stigler once observed that economists’ objections are … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Social Capital

When Good Leaders Hit Bad Times

In early-1993, Australian unemployment peaked at nearly 12%. In 1992-1995, six of Australia’s eight states and territories ousted their government. By contrast, unemployment averaged 5% in 2003-2006. In these years, no state or territory government was ousted from power. In … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Economics of Child Care

For those who are interested in the economics of child care (or who are wondering what on earth a bunch of dismal scientists could possibly say about keeping kids happy), I’ve posted on my website a 2-page summary of the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family

Blame the climate, not the colonists

My ANU colleague Sambit Bhattacharya has a new paper on the causes of African underdevelopment. He tests various theories, and concludes that what matters most is having a climate that is conducive to malaria. Here’s the abstract: Root Causes of … Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Development | 4 Comments

An Evidence Hierarchy for Social Policymakers

The Economic Roundup, Treasury’s in-house journal, has just released its first issue for 2009. Evidence is a bit of a theme for the issue, and among the articles, I have one that discusses the idea of a medical-style ‘evidence hierarchy’ for social policymakers.* … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Randomisation | 14 Comments

The Economics of Childcare

With my colleague Chikako Yamauchi, I’m organising a conference next week (Thu 12 March, to be precise) at ANU on ‘The Economics of Childcare’. We officially closed registrations last week, but still have room for a few more if people want … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family | 1 Comment

Oportunidades Knocks?

Can paying children for attendance and grades boost scores, or will it do more harm than good? In development economics, one of the most popular programs over recent years are conditional cash transfer programs. Modelled on a randomised trial of … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Trade & Development | 3 Comments

Blog Back

After an eye-opening secondment at Treasury (when I started in July 2008, people were still talking about skill shortages), this week saw me back at my regular gig at ANU. I’ll miss the rich information flow, the daily policy debate … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging | 7 Comments