Monthly Archives: September 2009

The Size of Nations

My Wryside Economics talk on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters program tomorrow is on “The Size of Nations”, a terrific book by Alberto Alesina and Enrico Spolaore, which posits that country size is a tradeoff between the economic benefits of … Continue reading

Posted in Coming Events, Economics of Elections, Trade & Development | 4 Comments

Paul Frijters

QUT’s Professor Paul Frijters has received the 2009 Young Economist Award from the Economic Society of Australia. It’s a biennial award, with the first receipient (in 2007) being Joshua Gans. Paul’s award is richly deserved. He works on a vast … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 1 Comment

Intergenerational Mobility

On the Inside Story website, Peter Browne has a terrific piece on social mobility in Australia, the US, and the rest of the developed world (a shorter version appeared in the Canberra Times last week). On the same topic, I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Randomised political trials, drugs and crime

Two interesting new economics papers from the latest NBER batch. Party Affiliation, Partisanship, and Political Beliefs: A Field Experiment (ungated unstable link) Alan S. Gerber, Gregory A. Huber & Ebonya Washington Political partisanship is strongly correlated with attitudes and behavior, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Elections, Law, Randomisation | 1 Comment

A Letter to Gerard Henderson

I sent the following letter to Gerard Henderson today. Mr Gerard Henderson The Sydney Institute 24 September 2009 Dear Mr Henderson, I am writing to you regarding Issue 28 of your Media Watch Dog newsletter, and your discussion of Joshua … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

What Tax Researchers Can Learn from Psychology

A splendid new paper sums up some of the interesting developments in the field known as behavioral public finance (I wrote about this in my AFR column recently). The abstract is below, and some choice snippets are over the fold. … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | Comments Off on What Tax Researchers Can Learn from Psychology

Some shows don’t have cheap seats

My friend Michael Fullilove argues in The Australian that the PM is doing the right thing in seeking a UN Security Council seat. He point out that the cost of a campaign is likely to be around $35 million. This … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues, Trade & Development | 1 Comment

The economics of love, flossing, and altruism

Tim Harford is answering readers’ questions at the Freakonomics blog. If you like economics, I expect this will be the funniest thing you’ll read this week.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Do Household Handouts Help?

My op-ed today is on the touchy topic of stimulus spending. Full text over the fold (with the usual hyperlinks for anyone interested in reading the original research).

Posted in Australian Politics, Macroeconomics | 1 Comment

Can you help ONA do a better job?

I attended a fascinating roundtable last week on ‘open-source intelligence’ at the Office of National Assessments (ONA), a body whose mandate to ‘provide all-source assessments on international political, strategic and economic developments to the Prime Minister’.  As a recent US … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Inquiring minds

I’m giving evidence at 10.45am tomorrow to the Senate inquiry into the government’s economic stimulus initiatives.* If you’ve read my paper on the topic, you’ll know everything I intend to say. * Oddly, mine is presently the only submission on … Continue reading

Posted in Coming Events, Macroeconomics | Comments Off on Inquiring minds

Time to take your daughter to the casino

My colleague Alison Booth has an article in VoxEU on gender, risk and competition (I blogged on part of this research agenda recently). Some snippets. Gender differences in risk aversion and competition, it is sometimes argued, may help explain some … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family, Labour Economics | 1 Comment

I’m not sure if he’s an economist, but he does play one on radio

My Wryside Economics talk this morning is on the economics of complexity, with possible references to taxation, mobile phone plans, and jam choice. It should be on at about 9.15am on ABC Radio National. Update: Audio here.

Posted in Coming Events, Economics Generally | Comments Off on I’m not sure if he’s an economist, but he does play one on radio


The first round of 200 Future Fellowships has been announced (full list here), for funding starting in 2009. One thing that struck me was the paucity of economists, with just two making the cut (congratulations to health economist Anthony Scott … Continue reading

Posted in Universities | 2 Comments

Fair Merit Pay Schemes, Part IX

(xposted @ Core) One of the most rigorous studies of teacher merit pay has just reported its two-year results. The findings look pretty convincing, and the researchers don’t seem to have found much support for the kinds of perverse impacts … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 2 Comments


My wife, a landscape architect, has been writing regular critiques of Australian projects for Landscape Architecture Magazine, the journal of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Her latest focus is on the SIEV-X memorial in Canberra. Since people are typically … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Economics of Leadership

Ed Lazear, who does personnel economics (and happens to be one of the best communicators in the profession) is speaking at ANU on 1 October. Details below, flyer here.

Posted in Coming Events, Labour Economics | Comments Off on The Economics of Leadership

The Economics of Sex Work

My oped today is on the economics of sex work. For the most part, researching the piece involved reading other people’s work. But there did come a point when I realised that while the Australian Bureau of Statistics has an … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of the Family, Labour Economics, Law | 9 Comments

Don’t choke on that cheque

Household stimulus payments can be too stimulating, it seems. The Short-Term Mortality Consequences of Income Receipt (gated stable link, ungated unstable link) William Evans & Timothy Moore Many studies find that households increase their consumption after the receipt of expected … Continue reading

Posted in Macroeconomics | 1 Comment

Did Howard cut poverty? Absolutely (but not relatively)

Peter Siminski (who is coming to ANU for part of his sabbatical next year) has coauthored an interesting paper in the latest issue of the Australian Economic Review. Changes in Poverty Rates during the Howard Era (gated, alas) Joan R. … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Inequality, Low Wage Work | 1 Comment

Wryside on Coin-Tossing

My Wryside Economics talk on Life Matters this morning is about randomised trials. Here’s a recent paper on the topic that caught my eye (to get the full thing, click on the title). Cairo Evaluation Clinic: Thoughts on Randomized Trials … Continue reading

Posted in Coming Events, Randomisation | 1 Comment

Stimulating Stuff

One of the reasons that I wrote a paper using survey evidence to estimate the fiscal impact of the household stimulus package is that I don’t much like using aggregate time series data. But nonetheless, it shouldn’t be ignored, and … Continue reading

Posted in Macroeconomics | Comments Off on Stimulating Stuff

Estimating Media Slant in Australia

Joshua Gans and I have a new paper out today on media slant. Here’s the abstract (click the title to see the full paper). How Partisan is the Press? Multiple Measures of Media Slant Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh … Continue reading

Posted in Media | 11 Comments