Monthly Archives: January 2007

Media diversity

In case  you missed it the first time around, today’s Australian runs a version of my paper on trust and diversity. I’ll be talking about it on the Life Matters program this morning at about 9am. (On an unrelated note, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Social Capital | 15 Comments

Third Way in the Fourth Estate

I notice that both Kevin Andrews and Julie Bishop are describing ALP policies as “Third Way”. As I once argued, the Third Way concept met its death in about 2003, and I don’t recall having heard a Labor politician talking about … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 6 Comments

Immigrant Assimilation

Tim Hatton and I have a new paper out, looking at how immigrants assimilate. While economists have tended to view immigrant assimilation as an individualistic process, sociologists look at what happens to ‘communities’. So we take a leaf from the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 13 Comments

A Century of Top Incomes

My coauthor Tony Atkinson is giving a talk at the ANU in a couple of weeks. Tony is a brilliant economist. And how often do you get to hear a knight talk about inequality? ANU TREVOR SWAN DISTINGUISHED LECTURES IN ECONOMICS  … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality | 2 Comments

Teacher Talk

Last year, I mentioned having met the very impressive Elizabeth Stone, a maths teacher at Barker College. She’s now set up a website called FreshTeacher, a forum for Australian teachers to exchange ideas.

Posted in Economics of Education | Comments Off on Teacher Talk

Economists for Minimum Wage Rises

According to a new article by Daniel Klein and Stewart Dompe in EconJournalWatch, 83.5% of US economists (and 78.8% of Australian economists) believe that “A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers”. But not all take this view. Klein … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 2 Comments


My spam-blocker has been having some trouble lately, first catching a handful of legitimate comments (I see the same happened on John Quiggin’s site), and then allowing a couple of dozen to go through. Please bear with me on the … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging | Comments Off on Spamalot

Top Aussies

Congratulations to Tim Flannery, 2007 Australian of the Year, who joins a distinguished list of scientists and cricketers to have received the honour. Given that the betting markets have had Flannery at firm favourite since December, the man’s had time to … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 3 Comments

Let's bid adieu to the red, white and blue

I have nothing new to add to the flag silliness of this week – just a re-hash of some old stuff. The Australian flag has outlived its utility to the nation. Our blue ensign flag, with the Union Jack occupying … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 29 Comments

You may want to sit down before reading this

Since the end of the cold war, game theory has languished a little. But now, it’s proving its indispensability. The social norm of leaving the toilet seat down: A game theoretic analysis Hammad Siddiqi We model the toilet seat problem as … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 4 Comments


Regular commenter Derrida Derrider (double-D) draws my attention to the fact that Daniel Davies (D-squared) has posted the third part of his review of Freakonomics.  Derrida likes Daniel’s review. I wasn’t so enamoured. Much of it is about the problems … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, From the Frontiers | 5 Comments


A new macroeconomic blog, Global Economy Matters, has just launched. Worth watching, particularly for anyone whose job involves economic forecasting. I’ve added it to the blogroll.

Posted in Blogging | Comments Off on GEM

Best blog posts

The OLO/Troppo best blog posts of 2007 list is burgeoning daily. Lots of great reading; full list here.

Posted in Blogging | 1 Comment

How many would work for less than the minimum wage?

Somebody may well have written on this already. If so, I apologise. But I haven’t read anything on the topic, so perhaps it’s new to you too. Flipping through the HILDA dataset on the weekend (as you do), I stumbled upon an … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 18 Comments

Teacher quality might matter

Ed Sector has put out a new report, purporting to show that in Illinois, students do worse if they have lower-quality teachers (as measured by the teachers’ average test scores, qualifications, etc). Unfortunately, while the conclusion seems sensible, I don’t trust … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 2 Comments

All early childhood interventions are not created equal

A 2003 post by John Quiggin sent me to a 1995 review of The Bell Curve by James Heckman. One line jumped out: Chapter 17 of their book discusses the mixed evidence on the success of early childhood interventions designed … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 15 Comments

Baby Jihad

On the topic of baby names, commenter Russell draws my attention to a new list of popular names, this time from Western Australia. I couldn’t help noticing the fact that the boys’ list begins: Jack Thomas Incidentally, my wife and I have … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family, Law | 5 Comments

Obama's Odds

US Senator Barack Obama has created an exploratory committee for his presidential bid. While this has been billed as big news by some local journos, the betting markets seem to have regarded it as being as predictable as the next act … Continue reading

Posted in US Politics | 9 Comments

Economics RSSS seminars for Jan-Feb 2007

For anyone thinking ‘how will I get through the break without some seminars to look forward to?’, the ANU RSSS Economics seminar list for January and February 2007 is over the fold.

Posted in Economics Generally | Comments Off on Economics RSSS seminars for Jan-Feb 2007

Difference of Opinion

I flew to Sydney last night to appear as a panellist on a new ABC program hosted by Jeff McMullen called “Difference of Opinion”. The topic was schooling, and my fellow panellists were Stephen O’Doherty, Jane Caro and Robyn Ewing. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Media | 36 Comments

The case for excluding public goods

Frances Woolley has written a useful paper for anyone who teaches public goods, essentially arguing that the notion has become too woolly to be useful (sorry), and that we should instead focus on the underlying concepts. I think it’ll change … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 3 Comments

Coming Conferences

There are a few interesting econ conferences coming up in the next couple of months: The 2007 Australian Labour Market Research Workshop, Melb Uni, 7-8 Feb 25th Australasian Economic Theory Workshop, ANU, 15-16 Feb The Information Economics Revolution (a conference in honour … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | Comments Off on Coming Conferences

The Audacity of Hope

In yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald, I had a review of Barack Obama’s new book, The Audacity of Hope. They cut it down a bit, so the full version is over the fold. Shorter AL: Obama for Prez.

Posted in US Politics | 6 Comments

Minimum wages, US-style

The NYT discusses proposals to raise the US federal minimum wage by 40% (from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour by 2009). Advocate Jared Bernstein estimates that it will directly affect about 6 million workers, and indirectly affect another 7 … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 13 Comments

Young Guns

The NYT has an article listing the 13 young economists to watch. I’m delighted to see that it includes my friend Justin Wolfers. A point not made by the NYT is how Harvard-centric it is. By my calculations, 8 of … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 10 Comments

Diversity, Trust and Redistribution

As a perk for receiving the early career award from the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, I was asked to write a paper for their journal, Dialogue. I thought I’d pick something a bit provocative, so chose to … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Economics Generally | 18 Comments

Econ blog roundup

George Akerlof’s 72-page AEA Presidential Address “The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics” is online (hat tip: Mark Bahnisch). I might blog on it if I get time. I can recommend Joshua Gans’ review of Richard Dawkins latest tome, The God Delusion … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 2 Comments

Something suddenly came up at the office

Now here’s a neat idea, nicely executed, with non-obvious results. And you can tell your friends about it over a dinner party. What more can you want from good social science research? Working Late: Do Workplace Sex Ratios Affect Partnership  … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 1 Comment

Early childhood intervention – what works, what doesn't

For anyone working on early childhood education, the latest issue of the Economics of Education Review is devoted to the topic. You’ll need a university licence to get access to it, but I’ve put the table of contents over the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 3 Comments


Apologies for the blog-hiatus. Moving house. Pregnant wife. Sunny days. All the regular excuses, really. Anyhow, I’m back at your service now. Thanks to my favourite commenters, who’ve kept on with a stimulating dialogue in my absence.

Posted in Blogging | 2 Comments