Monthly Archives: April 2008

The Gregory Thesis

One more pair of 100-word blurbs, these from Bob Gregory. Big idea: Should the Lowest Income Groups pay the Highest Marginal Employment Taxes? Low income groups pay the highest effective marginal income tax rates – 50-70 per cent – upon accepting … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 5 Comments

More summit statements

Here are Nicholas Gruen’s 2020 answers (you can discuss them here too if you prefer). 1. If you could do one thing in your stream area what would it be? What is it that you think would make the most … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 2 Comments

The Corro

The SMH today reports on an exchange of letters between Reverend Richard Lane and High Court Justice Michael Kirby. The rector of St Stephen’s Church in Bellevue Hill, the Reverend Richard Lane, denounced the judge for calling himself a Christian Anglican … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 2 Comments

Imagining Australia – Global Engagement

Following on from the Imagining Australia ideas on national identity, here are a few that relate to revamping our international engagement. We argue that freed from the constraints of the Cold War, enterprising middle powers-such as Australia-can take the lead in … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 1 Comment

Summiteers' Suggestions

My friends Bryan Gaensler and Macgregor Duncan have given me permission to post their 2020 ideas. Bryan is in the productivity stream; Mac is in the governance stream. Bryan Gaensler What is your idea for the Summit? Tens of thousands … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 8 Comments

Imagining Australia – National Identity

Four years ago, I coauthored Imagining Australia: Ideas for Our Future, with David Madden, Macgregor Duncan and Peter Tynan. One of the things we argued was that Australians should more often ask the question “what should the place look like … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 4 Comments

Summit Stuff

The Australia 2020 summit has asked participants for a big idea and an issue upon which they’ve changed their minds. On Monday, I posted big ideas and mindchanging experiences from Amy King and Joshua Gans. Here are mine. What’s your big idea? … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 3 Comments

Leisure Inequality

Economists spend a lot of time talking about money inequality, but here’s the flipside. The Increase in Leisure Inequality Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst This paper examines the changing allocation of time within the United States that has occurred between … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality, Low Wage Work | 1 Comment

The Kite Has Flown

Former Hawke-Keating minister John Button has just died. The Australian has a long obituary on their website. I met Button a few times, but the only substantive conversation we had was the first time, in the early-1990s, when I was writing … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 2 Comments

Does your favourite policy work? Toss a coin to find out

My AFR oped today is on randomised policy trials, with a particular discussion of what I think is the most fascinating randomised trial now in place in Australia – the Head Injury Retrieval Trial. I’m grateful to commenter Mark, who … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 4 Comments

Dreaming of inequality

Don Arthur at Club Troppo (the closest thing in Australia to a nineteenth-century debating salon) has a splendid post on inequality, shedding light on the simple but ferociously difficult question: how much is too much?

Posted in Inequality | 6 Comments

May 100 words bloom

[Update: I’ve added Amy’s mind-changer. Joshua’s is here.] My friend and coauthor Amy King is in the governance stream for the Australia 2020 summit, and has kindly allowed me to post her 100-word big idea (and 100-word mindchanging experience) for the … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 5 Comments

ACT 2020 Summit

On 19-20 April, I’m fortunate enough to be a participant in the national 2020 summit. I had a prequel of what it might be like via the ACT 2020 summit today. There were 300 participants, divided into 20 groups. Not … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 14 Comments

One for the discriminating seminar attendee

I’m giving a talk on Monday, presenting preliminary results from a couple of discrimination experiments. Details below. Are racial and ethnic minorities disadvantaged in Australia? Evidence from two randomized field experiments Alison Booth, Andrew Leigh, and Elena Varganova 12.30-2pm, Monday … Continue reading

Posted in Coming Events | Comments Off on One for the discriminating seminar attendee

The quick and the ed

Kim at Larvartus Prodeo kicks off a long comments thread talking about my education research, and the limitations of economic imperialism. Worth reading.

Posted in Economics of Education | 6 Comments


Another reason why fluoridation is good for you, and why women who grew up in Queensland might earn lower wages. The Economic Value of Teeth by Sherry Glied, Matthew Neidell Healthy teeth are a vital and visible component of general … Continue reading

Posted in Health economics | 2 Comments

Partisan Inequality?

Dani Rodrik recently posted a picture from Larry Bartels’ latest book – in which Bartels shows that in the US, inequality rises under Republicans, and falls under Democrats. Here’s the key graph: What’s curious about this is that it seems … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Birth Pangs

It seems to be my week for being in the firing line. Below the fold is an article from the Launceston Sunday Examiner by Fran Voss. Yet again, my coauthor (in this case, Joshua Gans) seemed to dodge the bullet.

Posted in Economics of the Family, Health economics | 6 Comments


At Crikey, Simon Chapman suggests an intriguing health policy idea: why not pay Indigenous Australians to quit smoking? At the very least, I think this one merits a randomised trial. The critics might say that it will induce start-quit cycles, … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous Policy | 11 Comments


Joshua Gans has a theory that I attract more critics than the average academic. Judging by today’s Age, he may be right. Monash University’s David Zyngier is very cross that I was invited to the 2020 summit, and critiques my … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Humour research (this is not a joke)

I blogged two April fool jokes this morning – from Joshua Gans and Google. Now that noon has passed, we can ask the question, was I wise to do so? Fortunately, new academic research on the topic sheds direct light … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging | Comments Off on Humour research (this is not a joke)

Gans on Girl Goofs

Joshua Gans reports on worrying new research about the effect of tax payments on the gender mix of children. More here. And in unrelated news, Google Sydney has just announced gDay with MATE. From the release: Using MATE’sâ„¢ machine learning … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments