Monthly Archives: November 2007

Poor Kids, Poor Health?

One of the more important debates in health economics at present is over the so-called “income gradient” in children’s health, and whether it’s flatter in the UK than in the US. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but … Continue reading

Posted in Health economics, Inequality | 3 Comments

A bipartisan make-work program for political journalists

Quite a day of surprises. Julia Gillard is superhuman, but I’ve never imagined that one person could run industrial relations and education. Even given his victory, Rudd’s dropping of 4 members of the left and centre faction from the ministry is … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 11 Comments

Wanna Run a Thinktank?

With Clive Hamilton due to step down on 29 Feb 2008, the Australia Institute is looking for a new executive director. Details here. Applications close 13 Dec 2007.

Posted in Thinktanks | 15 Comments

Luck of the Law

Applying new economics techniques to questions that the legal profession has been investigating for some time, Chicago law professor David Abrams has two clever papers that exploit the random assignment of judges to defendants, and lawyers to clients. Abstracts over … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Randomisation | 6 Comments

New Boffins on the Block

My group (Economics RSSS) have just completed a hiring round, in which we’ve picked up four terrific senior academics: Xin Meng, Bob Breunig, Tim Hatton, and 60% of Richard Cornes. As it turns out, all are moving to us from another … Continue reading

Posted in Universities | 11 Comments

It never rains, it pours

Amidst Bernie Banton and the gloriously witty Matt Price passing away; and Mark Vaile and Clare Martin quitting politics, I’ve been rather too stunned to post. But feel free to discuss them in comments – or speculate on whether Glyn … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 7 Comments

All Over by Eight

University of Newcastle economist Steve Easton emails with a tidbit from election night. I thought you might be interested in the data presented in the attached spreadsheet. This is the first time to my knowledge that there has been active … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 12 Comments

Where's sense in gittin' sour?

Inspired by CJ Dennis, Peter Costello has announced that he won’t contest the leadership. I guess it’s Turnbull for opposition leader, then. When it resumes, parliament should be nothing if not entertaining. Update: Sportingbet has opened a market in who … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 16 Comments

Sunday-Morning Quarterbacking

Taking advantage of the time zones, Christine Neill emails from Canada with a spreadsheet comparing two predictors of the seat-by-seat results: Simon Jackman’s state-specific poll aggregation, and Simon’s last capture of Portlandbet’s seat-by-seat markets. With several seats still in play, … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 2 Comments

Labor Wins

There’s no sign yet of a concession speech from the PM, but there seems little doubt that Labor’s won. I might post something more substantial later, but since I just had my first call from a journalist asking how well … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 1 Comment

Betting Roundup

Almost election-eve, and Simon Jackman posts the latest betting market predictions. Database last updated at 12:01 November 22 2007 (Sydney time) Analysis tracks prices offered by three agencies: Centrebet, Portlandbet, Sportingbet ALP favoured to win in 80 of 150 seats (# … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 5 Comments

Well, he does represent Paddington

In releasing our candidate gender paper yesterday, Amy King and I wrote in the press release: In a federal electorate with 100,000 voters, this means that a woman running for office would receive 600 fewer votes than a man representing … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Media | 5 Comments

Sex & Politics

I had an opinion piece in yesterday’s AFR, looking at three aspects of sex and voting: candidate gender, voter gender, and child gender. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Australian Politics | 4 Comments

Betting Markets vs Polls: It's On

On Tuesday, I wrote: OK, now here’s a challenge for the betting agencies: why don’t one of you run a betting market on the two-party preferred vote? That would give us a direct head-to-head way of comparing polls and markets. … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 9 Comments

Does Candidate Gender Matter?

Amy King and I have a new paper out today, looking at how candidates’ gender affects their share of the vote. Here’s our abstract: Bias at the Ballot Box? Testing Whether Candidates’ Gender Affects Their Vote We examine the relationship … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 3 Comments

Wise man sends card

It’s coming up to Christmas card time again, and I can’t resist sharing the most apt card I’ve ever received. At the end of 2006, a couple of months after writing this paper with Ian Davidoff, the card below landed in … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 1 Comment

TQ in MR

I have an article in this month’s Melbourne Review, entitled How Can We Improve Teacher Quality? (Incidentally, the Ozeconblogosphere is well represented in the magazine. Gans and Quiggin also have a piece on emissions trading.)

Posted in Economics of Education | 18 Comments

Labor swims ahead in the pooled poll

Over recent weeks, several betting houses have been pooling several polls into one, in an attempt to reduce their standard errors. Now Simon Jackman (who wrote a paper after the 2004 election called “pooling the polls”) has crunched the data … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 6 Comments

Xenophon: You can bet on him

Philip Clarke, a colleague of mine, naughtily points out that you can place a bet on anti-gambling campaigner Nick Xenophon winning a Senate seat. According to Portlandbet, the odds on him (or another minor party) winning a South Australian Senate … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 3 Comments

Good news, you're in the control group

I like to think I’m as much a fan of randomised trials as anyone. But I’m not sure that even I would go so far as suggesting randomisation when it comes to working out the deterrent effects of the death … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Randomisation | 9 Comments

How will the parties' policies affect the poverty rate?

A commonly used yardstick by welfare groups in Australia (such as ACOSS or the Brotherhood of St Lawrence) is relative poverty. This is typically defined as the share of people living in households whose post-tax incomes put them below half … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Inequality | 15 Comments

Books I can recommend

From Sebastian’s shelf: Penguin, by Polly Dunbar (purchased with Nicholas Gruen’s 50% off voucher, valid until 22 Nov) Moo, Baa, La La La, Sandra Boynton Alphabet, Alison Jay That’s Not my Lion, Watt & Wells But not the Hippopotamus, Sandra … Continue reading

Posted in What I'm Reading | 6 Comments

How much is that pack of cigarettes going to cost you?

Some new calculations suggest that the answer could be more than you think. The Mortality Cost to Smokers W. Kip Viscusi, Joni Hersch This article estimates the mortality cost of smoking based on the first labor market estimates of the … Continue reading

Posted in Health economics | 3 Comments

Gone SRFing

I found out last night that I’ve been promoted to what Australian academics call Level D (the scale starts at A, and runs to E, a Professor). In a regular teaching department, this would mean that I’d be an Associate Professor. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Still saving the forests, one leaflet at a time

Our ‘no junk mail’ sticker has again failed to stop leafleters from the ACT Greens.

Posted in Australian Politics | 6 Comments

In my wild erratic fancy, visions come to me of Clancy

Do you think that rural Australians are more likely to trust one another? I did. But a new experiment from the CSIRO suggests otherwise. An experimental approach to comparing trust in pastoral and non-pastoral Australia McAllister RRJ, Reeson AF It … Continue reading

Posted in Social Capital | 6 Comments

Blogosphere experts respond

Andrew Norton on Labor’s higher education announcements. Joshua Gans on Labor’s broadband-to-schools policy. Update: Adrian Pagan guestposts at JQ on WorkChoices research (is this the first time we’ve seen a current or past member of the RBA board in the … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 6 Comments

Bringing Home the Bacon

In mid-2006, I released a paper on the distribution of electoral pork during the 2001-04 cycle. Now, some digging by SMH journalist Mark Metherell has unearthed some more recent programs that seem to have a strong political skew. Although 59% … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 3 Comments

Can we reconcile the betting odds from the headline race and the marginals markets?

Several friends and journalists have been asking me lately about the fact that the headline betting odds have Labor a 70% chance to win, while the seat-by-seat markets have Labor as favourite in 77 out of 150 seats (see Simon Jackman’s site for current … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 24 Comments

Young (Progressive) Writers Competition

The Australian Fabians are running a young writers’ competition, for those aged 18-28. First prize is a trip to London, to work in the thinktank Demos for a month. Second prize is the chance to intern at Demos Australia (aka … Continue reading

Posted in Thinktanks | 7 Comments