Category Archives: Uncategorized

The purpose of this blog

This blog contains an archive of my blog posts from 2004-2010, written while working as an academic economist at the Australian National University. They have been moved here because I wanted to use the URL andrewleigh.com as a political site … Continue reading

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France Wins Clark Medal Again

Congratulations to Esther Duflo, French-born development economist extraordinaire and winner of this year’s John Bates Clark medal for the best US economist under 40. If you’ve never heard of Esther, check out her academic website or the Poverty Action Lab … Continue reading

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Does Mum’s Age Matter?

Xiaodong Gong and I have a paper in the latest issue of the Australian Economic Review. Abstract below. Does Maternal Age Affect Children’s Test Scores? Andrew Leigh and Xiaodong Gong We estimate the relationship between maternal age and child outcomes, … Continue reading

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The Last Australian Shoe Manufacturers

I had a throwaway line in my op-ed this morning. What will a company tax rise do to prices? While the evidence is thin, theory suggests that companies will be most likely to put up prices on consumers when they … Continue reading

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The Ideas of March

On 20-21 March, the folks at ANU’s Manning Clark House are running the closest thing that Canberra has to a Festival of Ideas: a weekend event titled ‘Fair suck of the sauce bottle: a celebration of Australian language’. Teaser on … Continue reading

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Another interesting Joyce of words

From BusinessWeek: Greek government bonds fell after Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said his country is in a “terrible mess” and compared fixing the nation’s deficit to changing “the course of the Titanic.”

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Miscellaneous links

Alison Booth and I have written up our gender discrimination paper for Vox EU. The Kaufman Foundation has released its econ-blogger survey (I’m one of the many datapoints) From a recent article about journal ranking in economics: Nearly every ranking … Continue reading

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Names on TT

Today Tonight did a 5-minute story last night on my name discrimination research (with Alison Booth and Elena Varganova). The video should be up on their website for the next day or so.

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Knowledge vs Power

From the introduction to Malcolm Gladwell’s splendid new book, What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures: The other trick to finding ideas is figuring out the difference between power and knowledge. Of all the people whom you’ll meet in this … Continue reading

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Charter 08

The news that Chinese intellectual Liu Xiaobo has been sentenced to 11 years’ jail for helping to draft Charter 08 led me to look back at the document itself, to see what it actually contained. Here are some of the … Continue reading

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Paul Samuelson

As an econ-blogger, I’d be remiss not to mention the passing this week of one of the greats of the profession, Paul (“I don’t care who writes a nation’s laws if I can write its economics textbooks”) Samuelson. Amidst a … Continue reading

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Remarkable Rejoinders

Malcolm Gladwell beautifully demonstrates how one can respond to criticism.

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A Satisfying Chat

My Wryside Economics segment on Life Matters this morning was about the effects of gender and money on happiness, essentially riffing off two important papers that Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers presented at my happiness conference last week (the research … Continue reading

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All Hallows E’en

Today is All Saints day, the day for to celebrate saints who don’t have their own special day. So last night was the celebration to scare away the evil spirits in anticipation of their arrival. Which brings me to the … Continue reading

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One for the road

It’s fashionable to disparage the US for having a legal drinking age of 21. But there’s pretty solid evidence to suggest that Australia could save lives by following suit. From a new research paper: Long Term Effects of Minimum Legal … Continue reading

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More op-ed tips

A few years ago, I put together a list of tips for budding opinion piece writers. My friend Dalton Conley (an NYU sociologist who thinks like an economist) has just emailed me his own set of suggestions, which are much … Continue reading

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Policy Exchange

Steve Thomas was one of the four who won a free ticket to attend Per Capita’s annual Policy Exchange conference. Here’s his views on the event: I enjoyed Policy Exchange because of how it provided an opportunity to present and … Continue reading

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Results of the Mini Policy-Competition

Last week, I offered up two free tickets to the PolicyExchange conference for the people who could come up with the most interesting new policy ideas. Joshua Gans kindly added his two free tickets, so we had four to give … Continue reading

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Intergenerational Mobility

On the Inside Story website, Peter Browne has a terrific piece on social mobility in Australia, the US, and the rest of the developed world (a shorter version appeared in the Canberra Times last week). On the same topic, I’m … Continue reading

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A Letter to Gerard Henderson

I sent the following letter to Gerard Henderson today. Mr Gerard Henderson The Sydney Institute 24 September 2009 Dear Mr Henderson, I am writing to you regarding Issue 28 of your Media Watch Dog newsletter, and your discussion of Joshua … Continue reading

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The economics of love, flossing, and altruism

Tim Harford is answering readers’ questions at the Freakonomics blog. If you like economics, I expect this will be the funniest thing you’ll read this week.

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Can you help ONA do a better job?

I attended a fascinating roundtable last week on ‘open-source intelligence’ at the Office of National Assessments (ONA), a body whose mandate to ‘provide all-source assessments on international political, strategic and economic developments to the Prime Minister’.  As a recent US … Continue reading

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Memorials

My wife, a landscape architect, has been writing regular critiques of Australian projects for Landscape Architecture Magazine, the journal of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Her latest focus is on the SIEV-X memorial in Canberra. Since people are typically … Continue reading

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Just one more Dr Seuss story, or you’ll never get into Yale

Two new NBER working papers look at the  increasingly tough market to get into the best US colleges, and suggest that it may be having implications for high-schoolers, parents, and maybe even lil munchkins. (Both gated, sorry.) Playing the Admissions … Continue reading

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Pollie Pay

My Wryside Economics talk on politicians pay can be downloaded here. I’d also recommend Tanveer Ahmed’s discussion of why electro-convulsive therapy should be more common.

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Health risks among Vietnam veterans have been overplayed…

…at least, according to new research on mortality by Dalton Conley and Jennifer Heerwig. Their empirical strategy relies on the random nature of the draft lottery, so it’s pretty convincing. Abstract below. The Long-Term Effects of Military Conscription on Mortality: … Continue reading

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Wry-side economics

I’ve started a regular gig on ABC Radio National, chatting about new economics research with Richard Aedy on Life Matters. The first episode was this morning – speaking about creative lifecycles. You can listen to it here. I’ll be back … Continue reading

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Theo

My second son (Theodore) entered the world on Friday: 3.6kg and a beautiful button nose. I may be a little less regular in posting this week.

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Tax Online

Ken Henry’s tax review held a conference in Melbourne last week. If (like me), you weren’t able to get there, you’ll be glad to see that PDFs of all the papers and powerpoints are now online. Auerbach and Slemrod’s contributions … Continue reading

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Putting up pollies’ pay?

My oped today is on politicians’ pay, reviewing the evidence on whether higher pay (a) gets better-quality people to run for office, and (b) improves the performance of legislators once they’re in office. Although the empirical findings aren’t crystal-clear, the … Continue reading

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