Monthly Archives: February 2006

Richard "Burr" Cheney

The Daily Show analyses the first Vice-Presidential shooting since 1804, when Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton. Jon Stewart: "I’m joined now by our own vice-presidential firearms mishap analyst, Rob Corddry. Rob, obviously a very unfortunate situation. How is the vice … Continue reading

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Happy Days

Last year, Justin Wolfers and I wrote a comment on a paper by US/UK economists Danny Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald. Ten days ago, the UK Daily Telegraph came out on their side. Now, true to national stereotypes, Alan Wood in … Continue reading

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Intervene Early or Risk Failure

I have an oped in today’s SMH on early childhood intervention and randomised trials (this version has hyperlinks to the research). It wouldn’t have happened without Bruce Bradbury suggesting that I pitch it to the editor – BB, I owe … Continue reading

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What I've Been Reading

Inspired by a December conversation with my philosophy colleague Professor Frank Jackson (who I learned today appears as a character in David Lodge’s book Thinks), I recently devoured two books by Japanese/British author Kazuo Ishiguro. An Artist of the Floating … Continue reading

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Best Cheney Headlines So Far

Dick Cheney bags a lawyer on a shooting trip (UK Herald) Vice president aims for bird, shoots attorney at quail hunt (Times Reporter) Duck! Cheney blasts pal (The Sun)

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Glum Research

According to reports of new resesarch on the Australian Unity Wellbeing survey, the federal electorate of Grayndler* is the unhappiest, while Wide Bay is the happiest. While others have read this as evidence that money can’t buy you happiness, I … Continue reading

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Trust me, I'm a neuroeconomist

Reading a very interesting paper on The Neuroeconomics of Distrust (PDF) in the American Economic Review, I suddenly realised that you don’t have to pay UCLA undergraduates much to get them to do stuff: Distrust was examined using the “trust … Continue reading

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RU4 Cutting Crime?

With abortion the topic de jour in the Australian Senate, I can’t resist some shameless autocitation. In 2000, Justin Wolfers and I tentatively noted evidence that the drop in crime rates in Australia seemed consistent with the Donohue & Levitt … Continue reading

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Futurists

Crikey‘s Stephen Mayne posts on the outcomes statement from the Australian Future Directions Summit, which rates Indigenous disadvantage the top policy priority for Australia, and has some interesting suggestions (most but not all of which I agree with) in other … Continue reading

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The First Estate

Adrienne Stone, a law-talkin’ colleague of mine, is running a conference on 25-27 May at ANU on Law, Religion and Social Change. If you have a few hundred bucks and three days to spare, it looks like an interesting event.

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A Heck of a Lecture

I just returned from a tour de force 150-powerpoint-slides-in-90-minutes lecture on human capital policies from Nobel laureate James Heckman. He’s been arguing for nearly a decade now that we should spend more on early childhood programs, and less on remedial … Continue reading

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The Heavy Cost of Light Weaponry

From an article in the Ameican Educator, discussing how technology contributed to the rise in child soldiers: Advances in technology and efficiency of these weapons now permit the transformation of children into fighters equally as lethal as any adult. For … Continue reading

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70% would trade their password for a chocolate bar

There’s some debate over whether users should be required to change passwords regularly. Inherent in this idea is that people keep their passwords very close to their chest, but hackers can break in and access the password file. But does … Continue reading

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Economics and Public Policy – Topics 1 and 2

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting readings for my MBA Economics and Public Policy class on this site. Here’s the first tranche. Background: The Commanding Heights website. Economic statistics for Australia: RBA, ABS national accounts An entertaining interview … Continue reading

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Taking one for the team

Hot on the heels of Erzo Luttmer’s Neighbors as Negatives (PDF), published in the QJE last year, comes an analysis by Benno Torgler, Sascha Schmidt, and Bruno Frey, unsexily entitled Relative Income Position And Performance: An Empirical Panel Analysis. The … Continue reading

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Another day, another….

I’ll post at some point on the experience of living in Melbourne, as compared to Canberra. But for now, suffice to say that (a) our Canberra house is much warmer in the mornings, and (b) we don’t have quite as … Continue reading

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Should the Supremes Retire?

Returning to my lawyerly roots for a day, I have a short piece in the National Law Journal, arguing that the United States could benefit from introducing a compulsory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices, as Australia did for the … Continue reading

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U-Turn

Over at Catallaxy, Andrew Norton discusses Ryan Heath’s Please Just F* Off: It’s Our Turn Now, drawing out some of the oddities in Heath’s anti-HECS section. I skimmed the book on the weekend, and was surprised to see that Heath … Continue reading

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Yoof Issues?

A chatter of bright young things (well, under-40s, anyhow) are meeting for the next few days in the Yarra Valley, in the Australian Future Directions Summit.* Modelled on a similar event in 1980, it looks worthwhile. The Saturday Age had … Continue reading

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IT & Productivity

Some work I did with thinktank researcher Rob Atkinson in 2001 (an Internet aeon ago) showed up in the appendices (pdf) to a neat European report (also pdf) on ICT and productivity in the EU. Our work isn’t particularly relevant … Continue reading

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New arrival in Ozeblogistan

In a move that surely marks a double-digit increase in the number of Australian economic bloggers, MBS’s Joshua Gans (competition expert, Star Wars fan, and coauthor of the most underrated economic policy book of recent years), has started a blog.

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Get a Job, Part II

My colleague Deborah Cobb-Clark and I are presently advertising for a full-time research assistant/Stata programmer. The salary is $45,000-$55,000, plus a generous 17% super. If you know anyone who might be suitable, please encourage them to apply before February 28.

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Get a Job, Part I

My friend Michael Fullilove has a terrifically provocative oped (PDF) in today’s FT, arguing that for the most part, celebrities should stay out of poverty advocacy.

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How Big Should Schools Be?

Optimal school size is essentially a tradeoff between economies of scale from larger schools, versus the bad stuff that seems to happen more at big schools (loss of social norms, playground violence, etc). Not surprisingly, most studies find that the … Continue reading

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Random Thoughts

The late Senator Peter Cook used to tell me that your message is only starting to get out there when you feel like a broken record. I did a talk at a Victorian State Services Authority "futures conference" today (chaired … Continue reading

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