Monthly Archives: May 2006

Two grubs don't make a butterfly

Double standards don’t get much better than this. From last Thursday’s Hansard: Mr ABBOTT (Warringah—Leader of the House) (12.34 pm)—I move: That that snivelling grub over there be not further heard. Opposition members interjecting— The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lindsay)—Order! Members … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 9 Comments

Call for papers – workshop on the economics of teacher quality

I’m running a workshop on the economics of teacher quality at ANU on 5 February 2007. If you know of anyone who might be interested in presenting, please draw their attention to the call for papers.

Posted in Economics of Education | 2 Comments

The web ate my email

I’ve been getting reports today about emails going astray. If you wrote to me in the past few days, and I haven’t replied, feel free to resend.

Posted in Uncategorized

Charity begins at home, but doesn't end there

John Quiggin has information on an appeal to assist victims of the Yogykarta earthquake. Equally, I’m sure Oxfam Australia will make good use of your money.

Posted in Inequality

Does RBC stand for Really Busy Cutting taxes?

When he meets Peter Costello tomorrow, Nobel Prize-winning economist Ed Prescott will apparently argue in favour of more tax cuts. So far as I’m aware, Prescott never met a tax cut he didn’t like. And, at least according to Brad … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 6 Comments

Drawn, hung, and quartered

The Archibald Prize for portrait painting is in the courts again. In 1943, William Dobell’s win was challenged in the basis that it was a caricature, not a portrait. Now, Craig Ruddy, the 2004 winner, is being challenged on the basis that his … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 5 Comments

Economics for Government – Help on the Essay

With a little over two weeks to go before the essay is due, this seems the right time to mention that the ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre is an excellent place to visit if you’re not comfortable with academic … Continue reading

Posted in Economics for Government Course | 1 Comment

The tail-light on the hill

The AFR Magazine recently profiled the federal education minister, Western Australian Liberal MP Julie Bishop. I’ve never met her, but she came across as (a) friendly and personable, (b) ambitious and extremely politically savvy, and (c) lacking any driving philosophy. The … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 7 Comments

Lionel Young

Graham Young, the founder of Online Opinion, gave a moving eulogy for his father Lionel yesterday, which he reprints in OLO today. Apparently Lionel Young was the main benefactor of Online Opinion, which means that many of us in the Australia … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Benefit=knowledge, Cost=$800 + 2 days of your time

Peter Abelson, one of the doyens of Australian public economics, is running a two-day workshop on cost-benefit analysis in Sydney on 22-23 June. It’s about $800, but should be good.

Posted in Economics for Government Course, Economics Generally

The Efficient Supermarkets Hypothesis

It’s always tempting to switch lines in the supermarket. After waiting for 5 minutes in one checkout line yesterday, Gweneth and I jumped to the next queue. Turned out we’d jumped in behind someone who was complaining about a price being … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations, Economics Generally | 33 Comments

Laming Lectures

Andrew Laming is giving a talk on welfare reform at 3.30pm at the National Museum tomorrow, as part of the ANU Demography & Sociology Program’s 2006 Australian Social and Economic Policy Lecture Series. Full details over the fold.

Posted in Australian Politics, Low Wage Work | 1 Comment

Excuse me, sir, can you tell me how to get to the economics department? Practice, son, practice.

Greg Mankiw has some useful advice for undergraduate economics students and a collection of links to advice for postgraduate economics students. Update: Don’t miss Mankiw’s 10 tips on time management. Perfect for the procrastinators among us….

Posted in Economics Generally

Bub Sees World

Josh Gordon gave a racier spin to the Millennium Bub in Saturday’s Age.

Posted in Economics Generally


This just in. Federal Court Ruling (AP) – A seven year old boy was at the centre of a courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Around the blogs

Harry at Crooked Timber asks “Are divorced opponents of gay marriage hypocrites?” John Quiggin discusses the vexed issue of employment in remote Aboriginal communities. For the next 30 days, Steve Levitt will pay $100 to any stranger who recognises him. Here’s … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Economics Generally | 4 Comments

The Millennium Bub

Joshua Gans and I have recently been having far too much fun looking at daily Australian data on births and deaths. So far, we’ve written five papers on various topics, which I’ll be talking about over the next few months. … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations, Economics Generally | 1 Comment

The Gruen tax

Blogger Nicholas Gruen has written a report for CEDA on tax cuts.* The executive summary: The Australians facing the strongest disincentives to work are mostly on middle and lower incomes. These people are also the ones most likely to respond … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work, Tax | 9 Comments

Who gets the minimum wage?

The Australian Fair Pay Commission is presently tendering for a consultancy to answer three questions: Who is subject to the federal minimum wage? What are the individual characteristics of employees covered by the federal minimum wage? What are the household … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 2 Comments

IV he's a jolly good fellow

One of the clever tricks in modern applied economics has been the use of instrumental variables (IVs). Using IVs can help tease out causal relationships, where we might otherwise be left with correlations. For example, Caroline Hoxby’s paper on class size … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally

Get PhD, see world

Blog reader Peter McBurney has asked me to post this ad for a PhD scholarship on the topic of market-based control of complex computer systems. The Agent ART Group of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Universities | 2 Comments

The world's newest developing nation

Tim Hazledine and John Quiggin have a neat paper in the latest issue of the Australian Journal of Political Science (working paper version here). Their abstract: No more free beer tomorrow? Economic policy and outcomes in Australia and New Zealand … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 9 Comments

An economic argument for more public holidays

Economists are always coming out with crazy findings. Take this paper, for example. It turns out that public holidays are good for social life. Who woulda thunk it? Keeping in Touch – A Benefit of Public Holidays Joachim Merz and Lars … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 4 Comments

Putting the pub back in public servant

I enjoyed debating evidence-based policymaking with Lindy Edwards (author of the aptly-titled How to Argue With An Economist) at an IPAA event in the National Press Club last night. It seems only fair that I draw the attention of any … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

What I'm watching (when I really should be working)

Al Gore on Saturday Night Live. Jon Stewart and John Hodgman on Bush’s Tax Cuts.

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 2 Comments

Top floor, going up

In the SMH today, John Garnaut discusses half a dozen papers on the super-rich, including research on whether CEOs are overpaid, and what has happened to top incomes (including my work with Tony Atkinson on top income shares).

Posted in Inequality | 3 Comments

King and Queen Beats Two of a Kind

I have a new paper out, looking at the relationship between the gender of your children and whether you’re married (8/10 parents are married, 1/10 have never been married, and 1/10 are divorced). If you think children do better when … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, From the Frontiers | 9 Comments

What will it be, sir, productivity or exports?

After recently criticising CEDA’s focus on our trade performance, I was pleased to see that an oped by CEDA CEO Catherine Baldwin in today’s AFR (not online) at least cited Paul Krugman’s view that productivity is what matters most.

Posted in Economics Generally

Poll dancing

In a discussion about whether journalism students should know more about economics, Mark Bahnisch said this morning: “I think one thing aspiring journos need is a grasp of social and behavioural statistics and how to interpret them.” And as if … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Media | 19 Comments

Reporter, school thyself

Greg Mankiw makes a suggestion that’s apt on both sides of the Pacific. There are probably many reasons why the quality of economics journalism is not better than it is, but an article in today’s Wall Street Journal suggests one … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Media | 13 Comments