Monthly Archives: October 2007

Plus ça change

Following on from my post on the latest ABS births data, I just noticed an amusing fact. The reason for the apparent ‘growth’ in fertility isn’t because the 2006 figure is high, it’s because they revised down their 2005 figure. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 10 Comments

Geek calls halt

Damien Eldridge (formerly known as Economics Geek) has decided to stop blogging. He tells me that at the end, he wasn’t really enjoying it (but adds “On the other hand, I have been enjoying my academic research recently!”). Sounds a … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging | Comments Off on Geek calls halt

Bonus Question

ABS births data out yesterday show another increase in fertility – from 1.79 babies per woman in 2005 to 1.81 in 2006. In the midst of an election campaign, the question naturally arises: how much credit can the baby bonus … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 8 Comments

South Coast Spenders

The Canberra Times today reports on a poll of 400 voters in the bellweather seat of Eden Monaro. When asked whether they prefer $34b to be devoted to tax cuts or health/education, 10% say tax cuts, while 88% say spending. … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Tax | 5 Comments

T’aint lark playin’ for Yorksha is it?

Last week, Gummo Trotsky wrote a feisty post, criticising the intervention of economists into the question of the impact of mobile phone usage on accident rates. More recently, commenter whyisitso on Andrew Norton’s blog asked economist Harry Clarke how he presumed … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 26 Comments

We the pretentious

A particular pet peeve of mine is academics who write sole-authored papers as “we”. So I was amused when A Word a Day dropped this into my inbox this afternoon. nosism (NO-siz-em) noun The use of ‘we’ in referring to … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 17 Comments


Speaking of talented up and coming Australian political scientists, Melbourne University’s Sally Young (with assistance from researchers Stephanie Younane and Mary Helen McIlroy) has just launched “Soapbox“, an archive of election material running back to federation. Browsing through the launch … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 4 Comments

What happens to junior when mum or dad loses their job?

What happens to kids’ school performance if their parent becomes unemployed? According to a new study from Norway, the answer depends on whether it’s mum or dad. They use plant closings rather than all job losses, since economists generally think that … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family, From the Frontiers | 7 Comments

Finding Furtive Flutters

Peter Van Onselen, definitely one of the rising stars of Australian political science, has a piece in the Bulletin this week on betting markets, which includes this tidbit. The Bulletin understands that political insiders, armed with internal party research, are … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 15 Comments

Is Don's Party Over?

Sportingbet is now offering odds on the Democrats’ performance in the 2007 Australian election. They think that there’s an 80% chance that no Democrat will make it. WILL A DEMOCRAT CANDIDATE IN EITHER HOUSE BE ELECTED AT THIS ELECTION? Yes, … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 2 Comments

Best of the Bets

For election tragics, Simon Jackman’s Betting Market Summary (updated daily; graphs and stats galore) should be compulsory reading.

Posted in Australian Politics | Comments Off on Best of the Bets

Forthcoming ANU RSSS Economics Seminars

The ANU RSSS Economics seminar schedule for the remainder of the year is over the fold.

Posted in Coming Events | Comments Off on Forthcoming ANU RSSS Economics Seminars

Was the OECD right after all?

Somewhat to my surprise, the feistiest part of Sunday night’s debate (“pathetic!”, “dishonest!”) was a discussion about whether an OECD report on public education spending had properly taken account of Australia’s HECS system. I had always assumed that this was because … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Economics of Education, Universities | 15 Comments

If you thought the discussion of aspirational voters was tedious, try aspirational tax schedules

Peter Costello is today focusing on 2012… or is it 2013? However, Mr Howard and Mr Costello focused on the “aspirational” tax pledges both sides have made for beyond the 2010 election. Labor said that in six years, if affordable, … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Tax | 1 Comment

ANU Economics Showcase

On 28-29 November 2007, ANU will be holding a conference to showcase economics research from across campus. Attendance is free – details here. If you’re a research-inclined undergraduate or Masters student, we might even pay your way.

Posted in Coming Events, Economics Generally | Comments Off on ANU Economics Showcase

You can tell me if you think I'm getting better on the drums

According to Simon Jackman’s aggregation of three bookmakers, the betting markets were suggesting a 56% chance of an ALP win on Sunday, and a 60% chance on Monday. Since the only real news in that period was the election debate, … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 9 Comments

A distributional analysis of the Coalition and ALP tax proposals

Since no-one else seems to be doing it, I’ve been tinkering with the Coalition and ALP tax proposals, trying to look at how they’re distributed across the income spectrum. Here’s my best estimate as to their distribution across the 10 … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | 14 Comments

Swings and Roundabouts

Ian McAllister (whose office is almost directly above mine) has put together a very readable compilation of trends in the Australian Election Study. Coauthored with Juliet Clark, it looks at topics ranging from trust to partisanship, party leaders to political issues. In some … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 2 Comments

Why don't most artists coauthor?

In a sole-authored paper, David Galenson thinks he has some ideas… Co-Authoring Advanced Art The joint production of paintings by more than one artist was not uncommon in the past:  a number of Old Masters had assistants do much of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Death Penalty Downunder

With the politics of capital punishment in the news lately, I thought I’d blog on three interesting pieces of work that have crossed my desk. Realists: In new ARC-funded (but not endorsed!) research, Sinclair Davidson and Tim Fry analyse the … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Law | 4 Comments

Did you know they've taken the word 'gullible' out of the dictionary?

I’m embarassed to say that this morning, I nearly fell for a scam-email purporting to be from the Australian Taxation Office, and offering a tax return of “270$”. I console myself with the thought that this is basically what I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | 3 Comments

The interest rates Pushmepullu

According to Peter Hartcher, markets currently put a 50% probability on the RBA raising rates at its 6 Nov meeting. And not surprisingly, many commentators are predicting that the Coalition’s tax cut package will increase that probability; though the effect … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | 7 Comments

Gold-plated tax cuts

The first announcement of the federal election is out, and it’s a juicy big package of tax cuts from the Coalition. My guess is that much of the commentary will focus on the inflationary impact of the cuts when the … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work, Tax | 21 Comments

Betting Markets Talk @ USyd

I’m presenting a seminar at the University of Sydney tomorrow afternoon. It’s looking at a specific aspect of election betting markets – whether they seem to suffer from the same favourite-longshot bias seen in horserace betting markets (the expected payout … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Universities | 3 Comments

Nattering Nabobs of November

As anyone who’s been watching Sportingbet’s election date betting market has known for the last few days, we’re on for Nov 24. Peter Hartcher gives a taste of what’s in store from the Coalition. So how does he expect to reverse … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 1 Comment

Odds 150 Updated

Posted in Australian Politics | 3 Comments

Political Perquisites

Surfing past LSE economist Tim Besley’s website, I came across a rather neat paper on the cost of UK MPs, which some enterprising political scientist could easily replicate for Australia. Working or Shirking? A Closer Look at MPs’ Expenses and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 5 Comments

Indigenous Policy Jobs

My former econ masters student Kirsten Storry is standing down from her position as indigenous policy researcher at the Centre for Independent Studies to take up a job in a Sydney law firm. It’s good for the law, but a … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous Policy | Comments Off on Indigenous Policy Jobs

Glaeser on Krugman

Ed Glaeser, who is always worth reading, writes a feisty fact-filled review of Krugman’s recent pro-Democrat book. He begins: Human knowledge is produced by intellectual combat that exposes weak premises and faulty conclusions to withering challenge. We are often improved … Continue reading

Posted in US Politics | 1 Comment

If you're not with us, you must be a crackpot intellectual

It’s always good to see reasoned debate in our nation’s broadsheets. And then there’s articles like this one, by political scientist John Keane. Our world is more complex than a novel, but Seeing should open our eyes to the rise … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 4 Comments