Monthly Archives: August 2006

ANU goes to New Haven

We’ve been told that ANU is setting up an office in Yale University, to be staffed by Professor Malcolm Gillies. According to our VC, Ian Chubb, the office will be “designed to facilitate the interaction with the US, particularly funding agencies, … Continue reading

Posted in Universities | 1 Comment


I’ve finally gotten around to dropping all my posts from the Imagining Australia blog into this one, so the archive in the sidebar now covers July 2004 onwards. The comments also seem to have come across ok. The only downside … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging | Comments Off on Blarcheology

ANU Economics RSSS Seminars for August & September

The ANU RSSS Economics seminar schedule for August and September is over the fold. All welcome. Seminars are held in the Coombs Building.

Posted in Economics Generally, Universities | Comments Off on ANU Economics RSSS Seminars for August & September

Whaddawewant? Cheaper kids clothing. Whendawewannit? Now.

Nicholas Gruen, Harry Clarke and John Quiggin have been discussing protectionism in the car industry recently. One of the issues that hasn’t come up yet is the distributional one. Tariffs are just consumption taxes applied to particular goods, so I played … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Economics Generally, Inequality | 7 Comments

Don't believe the hype

I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed Boyd Hunter’s public lecture on August 3, on the topic that Indigenous policy should be based on evidence rather than hyperbole. Much of the talk focused on critiquing work coming out of the … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous Policy | 4 Comments

Orroroo Roadtrip

Spent the weekend in South Australia (exciting new slogan: “SA, where less is always more”). I was there first for a labour econometrics workshop (attended by, among others, Derrida Derider, a regular commenter on the Ozblogosphere), and then for a … Continue reading

Posted in Travel | 5 Comments

Big Companies, Big Bosses

I’ve been meaning for the last couple of weeks to blog on the various interesting papers discussed at the NBER Summer Institute this year, which some regard as the Wimbledon of labour economics. Some I’d already written about, such as Leigh Linden … Continue reading

Posted in From the Frontiers, Inequality | Comments Off on Big Companies, Big Bosses

On the Bright Side….

Canberra resident Bob Douglas has just released a little 100-page book entitled SEE-Change Centres, Grey Power and Hope. I don’t agree with all Bob’s policy recommendations, but I’m seduced by his optimism, and interested by his suggestion that one of the … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, What I'm Reading | Comments Off on On the Bright Side….


There’s a curious process going on in economics at present: the unravelling of blind refereeing. As a social scientist, I like the notion of blind refereeing. Research like Claudia Goldin & Cecilia Rouse’s paper showing that blind auditions improve the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 8 Comments

Dr Blog

A friend of my wife’s is a medical doctor in the US, and has taken up blogging as Chloe, MD. She writes poignantly, and I hope she will post more often. I’ve added her to the blogroll.

Posted in Blogging | Comments Off on Dr Blog

Putting the boff back into boffin

Enterprising Monash University student Greg Hill has applied prediction markets to a very Australian problem – which AFL team will be the next to have a player appear in court facing criminal charges? Here’s his description: As part of The … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Sport | 5 Comments

Will Joe Go?

Lieberman’s not looking good to stay a Senator – with 25% of booths reporting, the NYT has him trailing 45/55. Update: Lieberman has lost the primary, but says he’ll run as an Independent. My understanding is that he’d romp it … Continue reading

Posted in US Politics | 4 Comments

I've got a little list

In the United States, the US News & World college rankings have a near-monopoly among college-choosers. So it’s refreshing to see the Ed Sector, in collaboration with Washington Monthly magazine, putting out a rankings scale based on a socially progressive … Continue reading

Posted in Universities | 1 Comment

Air on a G String

Herald Sun commentator Andrew Bolt today links to a study that finds a positive relationship between listening to sexual music and having sex at a younger age, and concludes that dirty music leads to sex. The hyperlink doesn’t work, so … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 15 Comments

Sprawling cities or sprawling prices?

On 15 August, the ACT Economic Society is hosting a talk by Wendell Cox, of the urban policy thinktank Demographia. His rather provocative line (previewed in a talk on Counterpoint recently) is that the ratio of median house price to … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Economics Generally | 10 Comments

The Real (Estate) Cost of Public Schools

With Ian Davidoff, a recent graduate from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, I have a paper out today, looking at the relationship between school quality and house prices. The research was prompted by quotes like this one, from … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Not so Incognito

I’m presently enjoying Tim Harford’s book The Undercover Economist. In fact, for anyone looking for an introduction to the way that economists think about the world, I think it might well be my first recommendation (Freakonomics is entertaining, but more … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 1 Comment

So maybe they're not evil after all

In a new paper entitled Handedness and Earnings, Christopher Ruebeck, Joseph Harrington and Robert Moffitt conclude: Building on the very large literature studying laterality in biology and psychology, this study is the first to explore whether handedness correlates with measures of … Continue reading

Posted in From the Frontiers | 4 Comments

Cut out

When the RBA announced a 25 basis point rise on Wednesday, it didn’t list tax cuts as being among its reasons for raising rates. This prompted John Howard to say, on the 7.30 Report that night: KERRY O’BRIEN: The bank has noted that … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Tax | 3 Comments

Freedom of association

Ron Hicks in the Australian has an article on Tasmania’s system of selecting judges’ associates, which will require the use of a selection committee. This sounds overly bureaucratic to me, but it’s an attempt to deal with the current clubbish … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 2 Comments

Gross National Happiness?

Ranking countries for happiness seems to be quite the growth industry. In the past week, colleagues have sent me links to a Happy Planet Index (put together by Friends of the Earth) and a World Map of Happiness (compiled by folks … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 13 Comments

Counting the expats

To coincide with the Australian census on August 8, the expat organisation Advance is running its own census of Australians abroad. Cleverly, the way they get you to do the census is to join their organisation. To participate, click here. … Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Comments Off on Counting the expats

When I'm 34

I’ve reached the ripe age of 34 today, a point at which “early-30s” seems more of a hope than a description of reality. Also, I couldn’t help noticing in one of the news stories yesterday that when Castro was my … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 16 Comments

Write oped, see world

Do you know a feisty Australian writer aged 18-28 who has ideas on progressive politics? Encourage them to enter this competition. Entries close 18 September 2006. Young Writers Competition for the Race Mathews Award What are the most important issues … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 5 Comments

Is John Howard betting on himself?

Bryan Palmer speculates today on whether the Australian political betting markets are being manipulated. I am intrigued that over the past 18 months, Centrebet’s odds (in red) have almost always favoured the Coalition in comparison with IASbet’s odds (in blue). … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 6 Comments

Spot the hot spot

In an earlier discussion about wi-fi in the US, a commenter posted a question about free wi-fi hot spots in Australia. Hi Andrew, I’m a geriatric granny who visits Australia each year from the UK and brings a laptop which runs … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 4 Comments

Trust me, I'm a doctor

Free lunches for doctors have been in the news quite a bit lately. Following suggestions by ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel that allowing freebies from drug companies may not be in the consumer’s best interest, AMA President Mukesh Haikerwal claimed that: … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 2 Comments

Lower Prices Are Just the Beginning

Robert Atkinson, a former coauthor of mine, has recently switched from the Progressive Policy Institute to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, where he’s just released a couple of neat papers on the interest groups that oppose e-commerce.  The first paper … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 5 Comments