Category Archives: Economics of the Family

Mexican antipoverty program might work in the US too

Don Arthur alerts me to a new report from MDRC (the organisation that administers many of the US randomised trials) on Opportunity NYC, a conditional cash transfer program in New York city that’s based loosely on the Mexican Progresa/Oportunidades program. … Continue reading

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

The most sobering sentence I’ve read this week

From the NYT: “We’ve got to figure out how to break the cycle of poverty, and the way we’re doing it now isn’t working,” said Hank M. Bounds, the Mississippi commissioner of higher education and, until recently, the state superintendent … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family, Inequality | 3 Comments

Scroogenomics

My last segment for the year on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters program was talking about Joel Waldfogel’s work on the deadweight cost of Christmas (aka Scroogenomics). The podcast should be here in a few hours. For the data wonks, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family

Happiness, Love, Money, and Sex

My AFR op-ed today discusses two happiness papers by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers. Full text over the fold. 

Posted in Economics of the Family, Labour Economics, Macroeconomics | 2 Comments

Tantrums and Child Care

Chikako Yamauchi and I have a new paper out this week on the impacts of child care. Abstract below (click on the title for the full paper). Which Children Benefit From Non-Parental Care? Andrew Leigh & Chikako Yamauchi Although the … Continue reading

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

Of E-tags and I-health

While work by Amy Finkelstein shows that electronic tolling leads to higher prices (because drivers are less price-responsive), a more recent paper shows that there’s an upside for those who live near the highway. Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family, Health economics

Conference on Intergenerational Mobility

On Monday 30 November, I’m running a conference at ANU on ‘The Economics of Intergenerational Mobility’. This is an area I’ve been interested in since 2007, when I wrote what I’m pretty sure was the first paper estimating the intergenerational … Continue reading

Posted in Development Economics, Econometrics, Economics of Education, Economics of the Family, Health economics, Inequality, Labour Economics, Tax

Time to take your daughter to the casino

My colleague Alison Booth has an article in VoxEU on gender, risk and competition (I blogged on part of this research agenda recently). Some snippets. Gender differences in risk aversion and competition, it is sometimes argued, may help explain some … Continue reading

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

The Economics of Sex Work

My oped today is on the economics of sex work. For the most part, researching the piece involved reading other people’s work. But there did come a point when I realised that while the Australian Bureau of Statistics has an … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family, Labour Economics, Law | 9 Comments

The Costs of Comparative Advantage

The New York Times editors ask 5 experts on marriage how Ruth Madoff, Bernie Madoff’s wife, could not have known about his fraud. Perhaps I need to get out more, but the only one that makes any sense to me … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 2 Comments

Beating the Kindy Cutoff

Joshua Gans and I have a few papers showing that the timing of births responds to financial incentives, lucky dates, inauspicious dates, and even obstetricians’ conferences. But perhaps we should be relieved to know that parents aren’t perfectly strategic. Suburban … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 5 Comments

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

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

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

Parentonomics

My regular co-author Joshua Gans has written a terrific book called Parentonomics: An Economist Dad’s Parenting Experiences. I read a draft earlier this year, and loved it. He is now putting the first copy on ebay, to raise money for … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family

Skills, Schools and Synapses

Team Heckman has a new paper out (NBER version here, free version here) on early childhood intervention. Much of the ground has been covered by previous Heckman papers, but one new aspect is a 5-point guide to designing what he thinks … Continue reading

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

Supporting Adam & Steve Might be a Healthy Decision

Gay marriage is typically debated as a moral issue – but it might also have public health implications. A clever paper by Thomas Dee (forthcoming in the Economic Journal) suggests that countries which permit gay marriage could improve public health. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family, Health economics | 2 Comments

Does redshirting help?

Any parent with a child born near the school entry age cutoff faces a dilemma – should they let their child start school a little early, or a little late? In the US, the practice of holding one’s child back … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family | 24 Comments

Sweden, en famille

I’m in Stockholm this week, visiting the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), as the guest of Daniel Waldenstrom. The main purpose of the visit is a workshop on inequality – something Swedes don’t have much of, but seem very keen to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 5 Comments

Scrap the Baby Bonus and Raise Teacher Pay?

I popped into the ABC studios on my ride to work today to do a pre-record with Life Matters this morning on why the Baby Bonus is bad policy and should be scrapped. Cycling into work afterwards, a thought occurred to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family | 23 Comments

Why give when you can lend?

My opinion piece today is on the multifarious uses for income contingent loans. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Australian Politics, Economics Generally, Economics of the Family | 8 Comments

If it were done, then 'twere well it were done quickly

According to today’s press, the Baby Bonus is about to be means-tested: But yesterday Mr Rudd began the speculation the baby bonus and other forms of so-called middle-class welfare would be means-tested in the budget. “I say people at the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family, Health economics | 3 Comments

Birth Pangs

It seems to be my week for being in the firing line. Below the fold is an article from the Launceston Sunday Examiner by Fran Voss. Yet again, my coauthor (in this case, Joshua Gans) seemed to dodge the bullet.

Posted in Economics of the Family, Health economics | 6 Comments

Still working it out

In their paper on ‘total work’, Dan Hamermesh and coauthors add up market and household work, and point out that in rich countries on four continents, there is no difference — men and women do the same amount of total work. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 16 Comments

Whoops, they did it again

Regular blog readers might recall that in June last year, Joshua Gans and I released a paper (copy here) on the impact that the sudden introduction of the $3000 Baby Bonus had on births. Because a baby born on 1 … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 22 Comments

Portrait of the Economist as a Young Man

In the Australian today, Bernard Lane profiles my coauthor, Joshua Gans — recent winner of the Economic Society of Australia’s inaugural young economist award. My favourite bit: Any time for hobbies? “I pride myself on spending more than the typical amount … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 3 Comments

Child Care and Early Intervention (Redux)

I somehow neglected to write a post on Jennifer Buckingham’s new CIS childcare report when it came out last week.* The report surveys the evidence on child care, and concludes that we have very little high-quality evidence on whether formal … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family | 10 Comments

Plus ça change

Following on from my post on the latest ABS births data, I just noticed an amusing fact. The reason for the apparent ‘growth’ in fertility isn’t because the 2006 figure is high, it’s because they revised down their 2005 figure. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 10 Comments

Bonus Question

ABS births data out yesterday show another increase in fertility – from 1.79 babies per woman in 2005 to 1.81 in 2006. In the midst of an election campaign, the question naturally arises: how much credit can the baby bonus … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 8 Comments

What happens to junior when mum or dad loses their job?

What happens to kids’ school performance if their parent becomes unemployed? According to a new study from Norway, the answer depends on whether it’s mum or dad. They use plant closings rather than all job losses, since economists generally think that … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family, From the Frontiers | 7 Comments