Monthly Archives: February 2006

EPP Exercises

If you’ve done all the quiz questions for this week…. You Passed 8th Grade Math Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct! Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Topsy Turvy

1. The Centre for Independent Studies are calling for an inheritance tax (in the form of recovering student debts from deceased estates). 2. Labor and the Greens are opposing it. Remember, you read it here first. (FWIW, I support the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

To Market, To Market

For anyone interested in prediction markets, the "Prediction Markets Ecosystem" just emailed me a cluster of relevant links. They’re over the fold.

Posted in Uncategorized

Briand Reversed?

Mark Bahnisch notes some odd figures in Caroline Overington’s analysis of youth voting trends. I haven’t written about age patterns and the 2004 poll, but my paper on the 1966-2001 elections found precisely the opposite pattern to the one Overington … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Looking for a Landscape Architect?

My wife Gweneth is working at Tract, one of Melbourne’s funkier landscape architecture firms. She’s doing the landscaping plan for the Scoresby section of the Scoresby freewayMitcham to Frankston toll road. Gweneth is also interested in doing some work on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

EPP – additional articles of interest

According to The Age, the 2006 Australian census will take an initial step towards counting unpaid work (see also Andrew Norton’s take on this). An article in the latest issue of Foreign Policy discusses the question of how long growth … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Treasury Too Busy Preparing Budget to Download Information From Internet

Peter Costello has asked two prominent businessmen to prepare a table setting out how Australia’s tax rates compare with other countries. According to the Age: Mr Costello said it was important to internationally benchmark the Australian tax system to show … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Bringing Home the Bacon

I have a paper out on pork-barrelling during the 2001-04 election cycle, in which I find that, holding constant relevant demographics (land area for road programs, income for social programs), a number of Coalition programs might be characterised as "pork-barrelling". … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Yet Another Paper on Tax Reform

I have a paper out in the Progressive Essays series (edited by Emerson, Lawrence and McMullan), arguing that those who advocate lowering top tax rates are out of step with the views of most Australians. I show that (contrary to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Upper Class Welfare?

According to the ABS’s 2003-04 income distribution survey (Excel file, see Table 5), the ratio of "government pensions and allowances" received by the richest 10 percent is 1.91 times the amount received by the poorest 10 percent.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Efficient Markets Debunked?

Nicholas Gruen once told me that there are two types of economists in the world – those who don’t believe there are $20 bills lying on the footpath, and those who pick them up. As a firm believer in the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

It Seemed Like a Good Idea

This one falls into the category of papers that are uncomfortable, but important. State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment ActJoanna Lahey Some anti-discrimination laws have the perverse effect of harming the very class they were meant … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Larry's Legacy

Coinciding with Larry Summers’ resignation as Harvard prez this week comes a study showing that his decision to waive tuition for students from families with incomes below $40,000 succeeded in boosting the share of poor students in the entering class.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Workers, United, Will Never Be Defeated

This week is orientation week at Melbourne, so as I wended my way out to grab a morning coffee, I found myself in the midst of the stalls set up to attract new students to clubs. It’s a gorgeous sparkling … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Economics & Public Policy Course

Sam Fraser pointed me to a John Lanchester piece in the New Yorker on happiness. Well worth a read. (FWIW, my take on Layard is here). Yesterday’s slides and the week 3 quiz are on the course intranet. I’m still … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

One Swallow a Summers Makes

With a brief statement, Larry Summers has just stepped down as President of Harvard (in-house reportage here and here). As the Harvard Crimson put it, this makes him the shortest-serving Harvard president since the Civil War. It’s a pity for … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Think Tank Talk

I was rather critical recently of Ryan Heath’s new book, but he has written what I think is the best article yet on why Australia’s progressive thinktanks need to get their act together, and what they can learn from their … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Protectionism Lives!

Sad news today for those of us who regularly fly to the US, with the federal government blocking Singapore Airlines’ application to ply the trans-Pacific route. A generation after we began phasing down tariffs on clothes and shoes made in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

A capital offence

If you sign up for a Velocity visa card, charge something on it, and cancel it before they charge the annual fee, you can earn a free Virgin Blue flight. Better yet, you get the entertainment value of receiving emails … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Unnecessary Martyr-Making

British "historian" David Irving has been jailed by an Austrian court for 3 years under a 1947 statute that bans the "public denial, belittling or justification of National Socialist crimes". Unless his appeal is successful, it looks like he’ll serve … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Doggone It

We’re looking for a Melbourne kennel to house our pup. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Smarter Tests

Over at The Education Sector, Thomas Toch has a report on what the US federal government could do to promote better tests (which analyse comprehension, not just rote learning). He quotes a figure of $10-30 per student for typical tests, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Getting Better All the Time….

In the latest Blueprint magazine, the Progressive Policy Institute’s Rob Atkinson reviews two new books on economic growth by Harvard economics professors, and puts his own political spin on the findings. In a similar vein, I’m currently reading Gene Sperling’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Economics and Public Policy – A Useful Opportunity (at a Small Cost)

Go to the Crooked Timber blog. Scroll down to John Quiggin’s post "Most "Economists’ Aren’t" (currently 8 posts down – I don’t want to give you the direct link, since the answer is over the fold). See whether you can … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Green Growth?

I mentioned at a Victorian government symposium a couple of weeks ago the theory of an environmental Kuznets curve – the notion that emissions per capita might rise with incomes until a certain point, and then begin to fall. But … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

The Grass is Always Greener

The ubiquitous Nicholas Gruen has a beaut post on the rhetoric of the tax cutters, pointing out their penchant for focusing solely on benefits. Reading his post, it struck me that the statement "lower taxes would be good" is as … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Fair Ground

I went along last Thursday to hear Ian Harper, new head of the Fair Pay Commission, give his first speech on the topic of minimum wages, and what his new Commission will do. Full text over the fold. There isn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Speaking of Tragic Moments…

From AP, via Crikey. Q: Yes, Mr. President, do you feel it was appropriate that the vice president didn’t reveal his shooting accident until the next day, and through a private citizen? And do you think it was OK that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

AL on AL

My friend and Harvard classmate Andrew Laming lost his RU486 amendment yesterday (a good thing, in my view). But his personal stories about performing abortions prompted his first real spate of media attention since entering parliament in 2004. My favourite … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Economics & Public Policy, Week 2

Just two readings readings this week, since the quiz is longer than usual. * Wikipedia on national accounting. * An RBA discussion paper on The impact of superannuation on household savings (PDF), which sets out to explain the patterns shown … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized