Monthly Archives: April 2006

Inflation and redistribution

In Differing preferences between anti-inflation and anti-unemployment policy among the rich and the poor (from unis only, sorry) Arjun Jayadev shows that across 20 countries, the rich tend to care more about inflation, while the poor tend to worry more about unemployment. … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality | 2 Comments

Homo economicus

It is sometimes suggested that learning economics is easier if you come to the subject thinking like “homo economicus”. For example, if you’ve always believed that efficiency matters more than equity, the theory goes, you may find it easier to get the hang … Continue reading

Posted in Economics & Public Policy Course, Inequality | 10 Comments

Frightening the rich

In an article on economy class plane travel in the SMH today, William McInnes proves the truth of Jules Dupuit’s beautiful 1849 quote on price discrimination: It is not because of the few thousand francs which have to be spent to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 5 Comments

Spam 101

Sometimes, I feel almost sorry for spammers. Take this guy, for example, clearly fresh outa spam-school. Subject: Greeting From:    “Dr Paul Raymond” <paul_raymond24@virgilio.it> Date:    Thu, April 13, 2006 7:37 pm To:      Undisclosed recipients:; Jaidka Hello Good day and best wishes … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Rating the Rates

The Hendy-Warburton report, released yesterday, wasn’t as ideological as I’d feared. As Peter Costello pointed out in his press conference, plenty of the statistics give the lie to the notion that Australia is suffering “taxploitation”. My two favourite graphs are … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | 4 Comments

When Perry and Elmira grow up

Kirsten Storry draws my attention to this 2005 AIFS report on early childhood intervention programs. It’s a comprehensive summary of the international research on the topic.

Posted in Economics of Education | Comments Off on When Perry and Elmira grow up

Odds on JWH

According to The Age, John Howard will today be the first PM to testify before a Royal Commission since 1983. But like Bob Hawke before him, it’s unlikely to hurt his re-election chances. Centrebet has the Coalition a comfortable 58% … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 10 Comments

Exunt Emmott

I’m behind on my Economist reading, so only last night read this brilliant valedictory from Bill Emmott, who edited the magazine from 1993-2006.

Posted in Economics Generally, Iraq | 3 Comments

Predicting teacher success

Jonah Rockoff and coauthors discover that qualifications predict very little about which teachers do best in the classroom. What Does Certification Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness? Evidence from New York City Thomas J. Kane, Jonah E. Rockoff, Douglas O. Staiger  We use … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | Comments Off on Predicting teacher success

EPP – exam prep

Any EPP students wanting to see me about exam preparation, I’ll be holding office hours from 4.15-5.15pm today, and at the same time next Wednesday. Also, the class next Wednesday will be devoted to a review of the course. After … Continue reading

Posted in Economics & Public Policy Course | Comments Off on EPP – exam prep

Broker's tip: sell med students, buy ed students

In today’s Oz, Joseph Clark writes up his proposal for the capital markets buying equity slices of individual students (he put out a longer version as a CIS paper recently). Say a student wants to study a bachelor of laws … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 27 Comments

Rising union membership?

I just had a conversation with a journalist about the “rise” in Australian union membership, which she said was up 4%. It took me a while to work out that this was the absolute rise in membership. When you look … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Low Wage Work | Comments Off on Rising union membership?

Innovation in the West

Following my cash for classes oped, Ingrid Matthews from UWS emailed to tell me about the program that they run to encourage Indigenous school students to attend the university. Caring for Country with UWS aims to encourage and support Aboriginal … Continue reading

Posted in Universities | 3 Comments

Can a prediction market predict the sales of a prediction market book?

More folks are piling on to the prediction markets bandwagon, with a new event being held in Chicago on June 7, and Cass Sunstein due to release a book on the topic, called Infotopia (which sounds a lot like The Wisdom … Continue reading

Posted in From the Frontiers | Comments Off on Can a prediction market predict the sales of a prediction market book?

For love and money

A very cool report out today from the Melbourne Institute, the people who brought you the HILDA survey. Three things I learned from it: The poor move house more often than the rich (p36) 41% of people in the poorest … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Inequality | Comments Off on For love and money

The Israel Lobby

An academic paper and an article in the London Review of Books on “The Israel Lobby” by Harvard professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have provoked plenty of debate, including a feisty attack from Christopher Hitchens. Reacting to the crisis, … Continue reading

Posted in Universities | 1 Comment

Why tell the tax authorities what they already know?

Coinciding with the US tax-filing deadline (April 15), Austan Goolsbee has a NYT oped sensibly proposing that the IRS “pre-populate” our tax forms for us, so we don’t have to tell them what they already know. I can’t resist mentioning … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | Comments Off on Why tell the tax authorities what they already know?

Half a billion here, half a billion there, and soon you're talking real bribery

Yuriy Gorodnichenko and Klara Peter have come up with a clever way of measuring bribery: This study is the first to provide a systematic measure of bribery using micro-level data on reported earnings, household spending and asset holdings. We use … Continue reading

Posted in From the Frontiers | 2 Comments

As if children mattered

At the Brisbane Festival of Ideas recently, one of my fellow panelists was Griffith Uni criminology professor Ross Homel. He gave a powerful lecture on children the following day. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Inequality | 2 Comments

Ideology first, facts second

On the right, Rafe Champion is outraged by the fact that disabled workers have to work for the minimum wage. On the left, Gummo Trotsky is outraged by Rafe’s outrageous suggestion. Neither seem to have heard of the Supported Wage … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 6 Comments

EPP – additional readings

An article in yesterday’s NYT suggests that methodological differences in that most fickle of tasks – measuring GDP – may be overstating the share of national income received by employees.

Posted in Economics & Public Policy Course | Comments Off on EPP – additional readings

Harry Clarke

I’ve added Harry Clarke’s Kalimna to the blogroll. Particularly embarassing that he wasn’t there before, given that he is (I’m pretty sure) the only head of an Australian economics department currently residing on the blogosphere. Plenty of good stuff on his … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Economics Generally | 2 Comments

The Age of Tax Cutting

I’ve always regarded The Age as Australia’s most left-wing newspaper, so it’s somewhat surprising to see that of the 358 people who’ve so far answered the question “Should the top marginal tax rate be cut?”, 60% say yes. And the … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | 3 Comments

EPP update

The exam will now be 2 hours rather than 3 hours (though still, alas, closed book) A combined quiz, covering the material in the Wed and Fri classes, is now on the course website. For those interested in knowing more … Continue reading

Posted in Economics & Public Policy Course, Tax | 1 Comment

Jobs for Economists

The ANU Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (RSPAS) is advertising for a level C economist, whose research is primarily on Indonesia. Salary $76-87k, plus 17% super. Details on their website.

Posted in Economics Generally, Universities | 13 Comments

Happy people

ANU put out a press release yesterday on my happiness paper with Justin Wolfers, so I’ve done half a dozen radio interviews on it over the past 24 hours, and there are even a few stories in today’s press. Perhaps … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 2 Comments

Cash for Classes

I have a piece in the SMH today, arguing that because education is so crucial to life success, and because we have traditionally done so poorly in boosting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school attendance rates, we should pay all … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 16 Comments

Discretionary reading

My ANU colleague Bob Goodin is coauthoring a book on discretionary time, looking at data from the US, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden, Finland. They’ve put the first draft of the book on the web. Well worth a read for anyone … Continue reading

Posted in From the Frontiers, Universities | 3 Comments

Economics & Public Policy – Housekeeping Stuff

Three quick things for the EPP’ers. Since we have two lectures this week, I will give you a combined quiz, which will be on the course website on either Friday night or Saturday morning. A couple of people have asked … Continue reading

Posted in Economics & Public Policy Course | Comments Off on Economics & Public Policy – Housekeeping Stuff

Culture Club

I’ve been meaning for some time to post on David Throsby’s essay, Does Australia Need a Cultural Policy?, the latest in the Platform Papers series (which so far as I can tell is the Quarterly Essay for people who know … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 59 Comments