Monthly Archives: November 2007

Studying is good, drugs are bad, and the Surge isn't working

Economics is very concerned with causal inference. Here’s three recent examples of papers whose identification strategies are more interesting than their (unsurprising) results. This is not to say that we shouldn’t keep honing the methodological toolkit – good evidence for … Continue reading

Posted in From the Frontiers | 4 Comments


The Howard Government today announced the beginning of its ‘KnotChoices’ campaign, aimed at getting all Australians to wear a tie to work. Launching the television advertisements, Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey said “the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest data figures … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 4 Comments

How's your 'hood?

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research – definitely the best state or territory crime body in the country – is planning to provide people with precise details on where crimes occur (report here, data here). It looks like the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Law | 3 Comments

Whoops, they did it again

Regular blog readers might recall that in June last year, Joshua Gans and I released a paper (copy here) on the impact that the sudden introduction of the $3000 Baby Bonus had on births. Because a baby born on 1 … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 22 Comments

And all the boards did shrink

Every now and then, some crazy economist will come along and argue that if we really want to limit water use, we should scrap quantity controls, put up the price, and compensate low-income households. Of course, this only works if … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Economics | 13 Comments

Randomised Trials (again)

According to the NYT, the US army is carrying out randomised experiments on trauma treatments. Their rationale is that with a lot of soldiers dying in Iraq, it’s worth running experiments now to save lives in the future.  A similar ethical … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Iraq | 9 Comments

Portrait of the Economist as a Young Man

In the Australian today, Bernard Lane profiles my coauthor, Joshua Gans — recent winner of the Economic Society of Australia’s inaugural young economist award. My favourite bit: Any time for hobbies? “I pride myself on spending more than the typical amount … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family | 3 Comments

Is six hours enough?

In the latest Democratic Presidential candidates debate, the candidates were asked whether they supported a longer school day. Ed Sector parses their answers.

Posted in Economics of Education, US Politics | 2 Comments

One of the more entertaining things you'll read this election…

…is the Liberty and Democracy Party’s response to a questionnaire from the Australian Christian Lobby.

Posted in Australian Politics | 18 Comments

Open Agenda

The ANU’s economics policy journal, Agenda, has recently gone open-access. The latest issue includes Boyd Hunter on Indigenous policy, and a three-way discussion on global warming (complete with three-way rebuttal) between Warwick McKibbin, John Quiggin, and Alex Robson.

Posted in Environmental Economics, Indigenous Policy | 1 Comment

Of Horses and Men

Thinking about placing a bet on the Melbourne Cup tomorrow? If so, you can expect to lose money. But if you want to lose less (in a probabalistic sense), then you should bet on short-odds horses rather than longshots. According … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | Comments Off on Of Horses and Men

Weekend Bleg

When I was a kid, every bicycle store and department store used to sell AM/FM radios that could be mounted on bicycle handlebars. Since I have a half-hour cycle to and fro work each day, I’d rather like to be … Continue reading

Posted in Sport | 11 Comments

Child Care and Early Intervention (Redux)

I somehow neglected to write a post on Jennifer Buckingham’s new CIS childcare report when it came out last week.* The report surveys the evidence on child care, and concludes that we have very little high-quality evidence on whether formal … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family | 10 Comments

Of Eureka and Underdogs

My oped in today’s AFR is on targeted welfare. This is a topic on which I’ve learned a lot from the blogosophere over the last couple of years, so thanks to those who’ve helped shape my thinking on it. (And … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Inequality, Tax | 38 Comments