Monthly Archives: January 2008

What I've been reading

So much good stuff I feel spoiled. Paul Collier’s The Bottom Billion is a splendid data-driven romp through development economics, and what we can do to make a difference, particularly when it comes to thorny topics of corruption and conflict (HT: … Continue reading

Posted in What I'm Reading | 4 Comments

More Men, More Crime

From looking at the jail population, we know that blokes in most countries commit at least 4 out of 5 major crimes. But now it looks as though the same is also true in aggregate. More Men, More Crime: Evidence … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 9 Comments

Open thread

I haven’t offered an open thread for a while, so here’s one – to discuss Kevin Rudd’s first 50 days in office, whether Australia Day should be scrapped, the state of academia today, or any other topic you please.

Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Econ Jobs

The School of Economics at ANU is looking to hire an associate professor. Job ad over the fold, with a closing date of 22 Feb.

Posted in Jobs | 6 Comments

Out to pasture

Much as I enjoy new media, I do find it sad when the old stuff goes. So yesterday’s passing of the Bulletin magazine – after 128 years – is sad indeed. As Laurie Oakes said on PM last night, Time … Continue reading

Posted in Media | 2 Comments

There's a bear in there

My oped today is on bulls, bears and efficient markets. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Economics Generally | Comments Off on There's a bear in there

Who cares about inequality?

The Maxwell School has released its latest poll on Americans’ attitudes to inequality. As Norberto Bobbio once wrote, attitudes to inequality are the best way of gauging a person’s position on the left/right spectrum, and their poll strongly reinforces that.

Posted in Inequality, US Politics | 3 Comments

Careful, that research might tell you zip

According to The Age, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry chaired by Geoff Howard is currently looking into the question of whether certain postcodes are underrepresented at university. Separating neighbourhood effects from family background effects is a potentially important exercise, but the article … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Universities | 5 Comments

Teach for Oz

Noel Pearson’s Cape York Institute has gotten some media attention recently for its proposal to establish a ‘Teach for Australia’ program, under which talented university graduates would work in disadvantaged schools for a couple of years, before going on to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Indigenous Policy | 16 Comments

How far does the apple fall from the tree?

Australian sociologists have a long history of work on intergenerational mobility, but economists have come late to the party. Nonetheless, we have our own particular toolkit, which considers the questions somewhat differently from sociologists. I’ve just had a paper published in … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality | 9 Comments

It's your number

Joshua Gans has recently proposed that bank account numbers should be portable, just like mobile phone numbers. I was initially sceptical, but his FAQ neatly addressed most of the concerns that I had. (See also a writeup in the Canberra … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 6 Comments

The Short-Run and Long-Run Effects of Violent Movies

I blogged last year on a paper by Gordon Dahl and Stefano DellaVigna, looking at the impact of movie releases on violent crime. To jog your memory, here’s the abstract: Does Movie Violence Increase Violent Crime? Gordon Dahl & Stefano DellaVigna … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Media | 1 Comment

Fair Merit Pay Schemes, Part VII

Today’s Australian carries an article headed “Teachers back merit-based pay”. This surprised me, but having read the DEST report on which it’s based, it doesn’t seem to be oversell. Here are the key questions: To what extent do you agree … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 15 Comments

Freeman on Colbert

My former labour economics professor Richard Freeman appeared on the Colbert Report recently, to talk about unions. Tis enjoyable viewing, particularly if you know Richard.

Posted in Low Wage Work | 2 Comments

Do selective schools add value, or skim the cream?

In Australia, the selective schools debate has so far been pretty much fact-free. By definition, selective schools get more academically talented kids, so the fact that they also do well in final exams doesn’t tell us whether these schools are … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 14 Comments

Store Eschews Cruise Views: Ruse?

According to a report in today’s paper, a couple of major Australian booksellers are refusing to sell a new Tom Cruise biography that is critical of Scientology. Book retailer Dymocks says it will not sell the biography. “We take all … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 10 Comments

'08 Odds Updated

The ’08 race is changing so fast, I’m having trouble keeping up. Here’s the Iowa Electronic Markets’ estimates on the probability of various nominees on both sides. Democratic: Clinton 54%, Obama 45%, Edwards 2%, Rest 1% Republican: McCain 45%, Giuliani … Continue reading

Posted in US Politics | Comments Off on '08 Odds Updated

More School

In today’s Australian, Justine Ferrari writes up my paper with Chris Ryan (forthcoming in the Economics of Education Review), in which we find that forcing students to stay in school for an additional year raises their earnings by around 10% … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | Comments Off on More School

More Contingent Presidential Markets

I mentioned recently Robin Hanson’s discussion of the contingent Presidential nomination prediction markets. Now Robin draws our attention to some new markets. Wow.  Under “politics,” next to the “US Pres. Decisions” section I announced Friday, now has an “Impact … Continue reading

Posted in US Politics | Comments Off on More Contingent Presidential Markets

Coming Conferences

I’m co-organising four conferences at ANU in 2008. For two of them, the speaking list will be by invitation: 11th Australasian Labour Econometrics Workshop, 25-26 April 2008  Happiness Research, 2 June 2008 For the other two, we’re issuing an open call … Continue reading

Posted in Coming Events | Comments Off on Coming Conferences

If it leads, it pleads

My AFR oped today is on the impact of the news media on disaster relief. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Media, Trade & Development | Comments Off on If it leads, it pleads

You can bet your Goobles on it

Bo Cowgill, Justin Wolfers and Eric Zitzewitz have a new paper out, looking at Google’s internal prediction markets. NYT report here. Paper here. (HT: Chris Masse)

Posted in Economics Generally | Comments Off on You can bet your Goobles on it

Update '08

According to the Iowa Electronic Markets, Obama is now a 58% chance of winning the Democratic nomination, and Clinton a 38% chance. Between them, John Edwards, Bill Richardson and the rest of the field are a 4% chance. And if … Continue reading

Posted in US Politics | 4 Comments

The Market for Street Prostitution

I’m presently at the American Economics Association’s annual meetings in New Orleans, enjoying listening to research on peer effects, teacher labour markets, the economics of the media, and field experiments. But the most entertaining is Steven Levitt’s latest paper, which … Continue reading

Posted in From the Frontiers, Law | 7 Comments


Seen in New Orleans: several economists walking down Bourbon Street, still wearing their AEA nametags around their necks as they innocently weave their way between the packs of drunk football fans, the men and women with strings of beads around … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 2 Comments

Economics Blogger Survey

Aaron Schiff has conducted the first major survey of economics bloggers, garnering 107 responses, of which I’m one. His discussion of the results (and the data for download) are here.

Posted in Blogging | 1 Comment

Markets '08

Justin Wolfers is writing a series of columns on prediction markets for WSJ Online. Here’s his first.

Posted in US Politics | 1 Comment