Monthly Archives: November 2005

Historical musings

I went to see Angus Maddison, doyen of long-run GDP, speak on economic history yesterday at an ANU conference organised by Quentin Grafton. He must be around 70, but remains feisty, taking potshots at Brad DeLong, Jeff Williamson and William … Continue reading

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House hunting, literally

We’re doing a three-month stint in Melbourne from February to April next year, so are looking for a dog-friendly house near Melbourne University. In the process, Gweneth has been coming across some interesting house-share ads. For example: Mount Gambier SA  … Continue reading

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Chalk Talk

Allen & Unwin has posted on their website some reviews of Imagining Australia by school teachers.* They’re kinda fun to read (well, for us at least…), and it’s exciting to think that IA might be read by school children as … Continue reading

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AEOP's Fables

The Australian Employee Ownership Association informed me recently that: The Federal Government has set a target for doubling the number of employees who are participating in some form of employee ownership in Australia to 11% as a proportion of the … Continue reading

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Economists Not Heartless Right-Wing Ideologues, Says Economist

My friend Daniel Mulino, an economist at Monash, has been writing the AFR "Lies and Statistics" column on a monthly basis since returning from Yale in the middle of the year. His column this weekend uses US data to argue … Continue reading

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Heretical Imaginings

Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen just had a go at Imagining Australia in his first Boyer lecture. Four of our brightest and best – university medallists, historians, lawyers, Harvard graduates, first class honours men – have written a book … Continue reading

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Doggone it

Prompted by a jab in the ribs from Troppodillan Nicholas Gruen, I’ve posted a series of silly photos of our Keeshond, "Texas". Update: Anyone with one of their own should check out the KeesTalk discussion forum.

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From Emerald City to Big Apple

It sounds like those of us who like travelling to the east coast of the US will have to wait until at least April 2007 to do so. That’s when Qantas is due to take delivery of its first A380s.

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Has 'Kerr's Cur' Curdled?

I don’t have much to add to the voluminous commentary on the 30th anniversary of the Dismissal. For those who are hankering for more, Larvartus Prodeo has plenty.

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Policy Horseraces: Is the Minimum Wage the Makybe Diva of Social Policy?

I’ve just written a review of a new US book, Minimum Wages and Poverty: An Evaluation of Policy Alternatives for the Economic Record. According to the editor, the earliest the review might be published is June 2006, so I thought … Continue reading

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When a man is tired of blogging, he is tired of life

Over at Catallaxy, Andrew Norton turns 40 today, and muses on the various stages of life (a neat counterpoint to his post yesterday, which questioned the veracity of sex surveys). If Google is to be believed (and if it isn’t, … Continue reading

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Crime Does Pay

If you’re an empirical economist, that is. Below are recent papers from a couple of the folks doing the more interesting work on crime. Underground Gun Marketsby Philip J. Cook, Jens Ludwig, Sudhir Venkatesh, Anthony A. BragaThis paper provides an … Continue reading

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Realist he ain't

Christopher Hitchens lands deserved blows on left and right in a new article on the horrors of America’s do-nothing strategy towards Darfur.

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Get thee to a seminary

Anyone in Canberra is welcome to attend our economics seminars. The program for the rest of the year is over the fold, and a map of ANU, showing the Coombs building, is here.

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More on teacher quality

The ARC discovery grants were announced today, allocating $273 million in "discovery" grants – grants for basic research. I was lucky enough to get a bit less than 1/1000th of the pie, with $210,000 to research teacher quality in Australia … Continue reading

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I've got a little list

Brian Leiter argues in favour of a new university comparison – take the Times Higher Education Supplement rankings, then throw away everything except the peer comparison (what academics say about each others’ universities).* His argument for doing this is here, … Continue reading

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Howard Government Appoints Judicial Activist?

In her swearing-in speech yesterday, Justice Susan Crennan came across as more of a judicial activist than the Howard Government might have liked. From a quote on The World Today: Over time, particularly the last two decades, there have been … Continue reading

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Paris one day, Sydney the next

Such a lack of originality in Australia’s youth today.

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I Spy…

From the Cairns Blog comes a good reason not to play new Sony/BMG CDs on your computer – apparently they have a tendency to hack into your OS, using the same technology as spyware.

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No, there really is a difference between any publicity and good publicity

A friend called yesterday to say that Kay Hull (the National MP representing the Riverina) was quoting from my latest minimum wage paper in Parliament. Somehow, I expected she’d be quoting from the "results" sections of the paper. But no, … Continue reading

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With friends like this….

I went on ABC Alice Springs yesterday to talk about the decline in informal socialising in Australian neighbourhoods. It’s not a major decline, but it does suggest that things are moving in the wrong direction (though one of the questions … Continue reading

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ThinkToasters

I wrote a few weeks ago on the "Since Sliced Bread" ideas competition currently being run by the Service Employees International Union in the US. The Democratic Leadership Council reports that so far, 6405 ideas have been submitted. I don’t … Continue reading

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How do union members vote?

I’ve just finished a draft of a little paper (PDF) on the voting behaviour of unionists. It’s still in "please do not quote or cite" status, but I’d be most grateful for any comments that people have on it.

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Neighbours and neighbours

As part of a book I’m writing on long-run trends in social capital, Ipsos Mackay were kind enough to run a repeat survey, asking a sample of 1000 Australians some survey questions about informal socialising that were also asked in … Continue reading

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Annals of dodgy medical research

An economics professor of mine once said that she loved the Journal of the American Medical Association – she could guarantee that every issue would have one or two articles that she could set for her undergraduate econometrics class to … Continue reading

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What I've been reading

Michael Fullilove’s ‘Men and Women of Australia!’: Our Greatest Modern Speeches is without doubt the best of half-dozen or so compilations of Australian speeches to have come out in recent years. I feel confident in writing this, not only because … Continue reading

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Blogging for Joy

Via New Economist comes the news that Will Wilkinson has set up a happiness blog. Well worth reading. And he even has pictures….

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Odd juxtaposition

From the SMH: Although Mr Howard refused to give details about the "specific intelligence and police information this week, which gives cause for serious concern about a potential terrorist threat,"  he said an urgent amendment to existing anti-terrorism laws was … Continue reading

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Coming soon to a TV near you

Red Rag reports that we haven’t seen the last of the WorkChoices campaign – apparently once the legislation is passed, the government intends to start a new campaign "to sell the changes to business and to educate employers on how … Continue reading

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Brent Spar

Andrew West channels Noam Chomsky, arguing that there’s really no difference between realists and idealists. Really? Try getting Christopher Hitchens started on Brent Scowcroft (btw, the New Yorker profile of Scowcroft – not online – is a superb piece of … Continue reading

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