Monthly Archives: November 2006

Crime and mental wellbeing

Along with two colleagues at University College London – Francesca Cornaglia and Christian Dustmann – I was lucky enough to yesterday receive two years’ ARC funding for a project on “The impact of crime on the mental wellbeing of communities”. Here’s the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Universities | 49 Comments

Less Catalyst, More Crystal Balls

Over at Catallaxy, ScepticLawyer takes a swing at the ABC for its decision to swap Catalyst for 15 weeks of a show called “Psychic Investigations”. I hope this doesn’t become a habit for them.

Posted in Television | 2 Comments

John versus (Kevin versus Kim)

I see that Centrebet’s punters now think that it is more likely that Kevin Rudd will lead the ALP to the 2007 election ($2.40, 38%) than that Labor will win the 2007 election ($2.50, 37%).

Posted in Australian Politics | 1 Comment

Speed Dating

When people talk about economics seeking to colonise the social sciences, this is the kind of paper they have in mind. Can Anyone be “The” One? Evidence on Mate Selection from Speed Dating Michèle Belot and Marco Francesconi Abstract: Marriage … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 7 Comments

Conference on the Economics of Teacher Quality, 5 Feb 2007

I’m running a teacher quality conference on 5 February 2007 at the Australian National University, featuring three international speakers: Eric Hanushek (Stanford University) Hamilton Lankford (University at Albany, State University of New York) Jonah Rockoff (Columbia University) And three Australian … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 2 Comments

Free Frijters

My former colleague Paul Frijters, one of the most productive applied microeconomists in the country, has just posted all the papers he’s ever written on his new QUT website (as I’ve argued in the past, this is what every Australian … Continue reading

Posted in From the Frontiers, Universities | 3 Comments

An odd state of affairs

I’ve been reflecting today on the statistical oddities of recent Australian election results. As former Liberal Party director Michael Kroger pointed out on Saturday night: Labor has won 20 out of 20 of the last state and territory elections Labor … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 26 Comments

Law of large numbers

Sacha Blumen draws my attention to a profile of James Simons, a US mathematician (and hedge fund squillionaire) who has put together Math for America, with the goal of getting more mathematically talented teachers into American schools. The number of … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 8 Comments

Econ talks

The RSSS economics seminar schedule for the remainder of the year is over the fold. All seminars are held in the Coombs Building at ANU.

Posted in Economics Generally, Universities | Comments Off on Econ talks

Time Out

University of South Australia Professor Barbara Pocock has recently been delivering the Clare Burton memorial lecture around Australia. Here’s the text. Much better than most social scientists, the lecture melds lived experience and data, as well as taking account of both … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 7 Comments

Enlightenment bleg

For a research project, I’m trying to code up the lightness/darkness of about 100 black-and-white headshots of people. All the photos are currently in PDF, but could be exported into any other format. Does anyone know of software that would … Continue reading

Posted in Web/Tech | 6 Comments

Baby talk

Next Wednesday lunchtime, I’ll be presenting in the CRPSM lunchtime seminar series at the University of Canberra. Please come if you’re in the area. Date: Wed 29 Nov Time: 12:30-1:30pm Venue: Room 6c35, Building 6 (one floor up from the usual … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 13 Comments

Labor Learns

My friend Macgregor alerts me to Lindsay Tanner’s speech at the Sydney Institute last night. As always with Tanner’s stuff, it’s well worth a read. So exactly who are we? Over recent years I’ve thought a lot about my own … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Economics of Education | 17 Comments


At an Australian Academy of Social Sciences dinner in Canberra last night, I was lucky enough to win their 2006 Early Career Award, jointly with Jennifer Hudson, a Macquarie University psychologist who does some very cool work on anxiety disorders in children. It also … Continue reading

Posted in Universities | 5 Comments


I just came across a list of the 20 Australian books that were most often borrowed from Australian libraries in 2004-05. Number one is Mem Fox’s Possum Magic. One of my all-time favourite books – Tim Winton’s Dirt Music – came in … Continue reading

Posted in What I'm Reading | 8 Comments

Smells like bovine spirit

My friend and Imagining Australia coauthor Peter Tynan has just written a chapter (with John Stephenson) on the US-India nuclear agreement. They conclude that proponents have overplayed its benefits (“Although the development of nuclear energy today could aid in the … Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Development | 1 Comment

Metaphysical transitions

I tend to be sceptical of international reports that put any Australian university in the world’s top 20, but one exception is the ANU philosophy group, which is extraordinarily impressive. The carefully-constructed Philosophical Gourmet lists them as the 15th best faculty … Continue reading

Posted in Universities | 1 Comment

Cultural learnings of America

We saw Borat last night. I’d rate it 7/10. Some funny scenes (the rodeo anthem is gutsy), but overall it felt like a bit of a grab-bag of material. And a surprisingly short one (the official website says it’s an … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Media | Comments Off on Cultural learnings of America

If we're going to compete in the global marketplace for ideas, we'll need better rhetoric than this

My friend Ben Ticehurst points out that a certain phrase seems to have crept into John Howard’s vocabulary lately. It seems the PM can’t stop talking about Australia’s “competitive advantage“. While the term “competitiveness” means something when applied to firms, … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Trade & Development | 18 Comments

Wage inequality

In a discussion of minimum wages, Anthony says: Minimum wage adjustments in Australia also serve another purpose: when the AIRC and now the Fair Pay Commission adjusts minimum wages it does not simply raise the level of a single minimum … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality, Low Wage Work | 9 Comments

Milton Friedman

Andrew Norton alterts me to the fact that Milton Friedman died several hours ago. His Wikipedia biography and a long New York Times obituary provide more background. (Friedman was 94, so the NYT has clearly had plenty of time to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 15 Comments

Fair-y tales

Among the interesting papers that have crossed my desk recently: Fairness, Export Subsidies, and the Fair Trade Movement Mathias Risse & Malgorzata Kurjanska ABSTRACT: Subsidies and the Fair Trade movement are two topics central to reflection on fairness in trade. … Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Development | 1 Comment

Does raising the minimum wage help the poor?

I gave a little presentation at Melbourne University last night, on the question “Does Raising the Minimum Wage Help the Poor?”, and thought some people might be interested in glancing at it. Here it is in Powerpoint and PDF. Basic … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 5 Comments

Brief Idea

To mark the 150th anniversary of Louis Brandeis’s birthday, Adam Cohen has  a neat oped in the NYT on the Brandeis brief. For Brandeis, raw data was always key. Oliver Wendell Holmes, his distinguished senior colleague, once complained that Brandeis … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 6 Comments

'Move on' is good advice

Ed Kilgore mentions something that hadn’t occurred to me. The junior senator from Connecticut is an Independent. The other irony, of course, is that Democratic control of the Senate now depends on Joe Lieberman. Nobody has any reason to think … Continue reading

Posted in US Politics | 8 Comments

Maybe we'll have to appoint the A.R.M executive?

In one of life’s ironies, the Australian Republican Movement, of which I am a member, is having all kinds of difficulties running this year’s election for its national committee. They’ve just extended the deadline for voting, but it isn’t helping … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 4 Comments

Incorporating just about anything

The High Court has dismissed a challenge by state governments and unions to the Work Choices legislation (Callinan J and Kirby J dissenting). The full judgment is here. Bottom line: the corporations power in the Constitution (section 51(xx)) is now … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Media | 5 Comments

Slow copy

Last week, Kim Weatherall made the point on her blog that the new copyright legislation would criminalise the recording of a live concert on your mobile phone. This week, the mainstream media catches up. (Given the depth of commentary on Kim’s blog … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 3 Comments

Uniform policies

Lots of things don’t work in development. It’s good to come across one that does. Education and HIV/AIDS Prevention: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Western Kenya Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas, Michael Kremer & Samuel Sinei The authors report results … Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Development | 1 Comment

"I'm not racist, except towards Americans…"

In his new Blogocracy blog, Tim Dunlop has a chuckle at the notion that the Democratic victory has driven Andrew Bolt, Tim Blair and Mark Steyn to anti-Americanism. I’m more interested in the unspoken flipside of Tim’s posting: the prospect that this … Continue reading

Posted in Media, US Politics | 15 Comments