Monthly Archives: January 2010

Now there’s an idea people should copy

Most of the time, low-cost interventions have barely any impact. So it’s refreshing occasionally to read about small things that make big differences, particularly when the results come from a rigorous randomised trial. From the Dee-Jacob economics of education factory… … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

Value-Added NAPLANs?

On the eve of public reporting of NAPLAN tests throughout Australia, Ben Jensen (ex-OECD, now running the education program at the Grattan Institute) has a new report on the topic. His key argument is for value-added scores (which will be … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 1 Comment

Let It Rain

I have a new ANU working paper out, titled ‘Precipitation, Profits, and Pile-Ups’.* It arose from an ongoing debate with my wife. She loves it when it rains. I’m normally a bit grumpy about rain. So when she rejoiced about … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Economics | 2 Comments


I’ve been pushing for several years for a simplified tax filing system, in which the ATO would send all Australians a pre-filled return, with the option of choosing to accept it with a simple phonecall (though if a person wanted … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | 2 Comments

A randomised experiment to test for gender discrimination

Alison Booth and I have a new paper out, in which we test for gender discrimination in hiring by randomly sending fake CVs to apply for jobs in female-dominated occupations (waitstaff, data-entry, customer service, and sales). These occupations are about … Continue reading

Posted in Labour Economics | 8 Comments

Welcome to Qantas – could you please step on the scale?

Today, an anonymous guest post (from someone with an ANU connection) ponders airline pricing. A recent article in the SMH reports that from February 1, Air France and KLM will begin charging obese passengers 75% of the cost of a … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 14 Comments

A Form Guide for Universities

In today’s Oz, Philip Clarke and Nicholas Graves write about the ‘academenomics’ of forms. A snippet: since the internet reduces the cost of collecting information to almost nothing, administrators often collect much more than they need, even if it imposes … Continue reading

Posted in Universities | 2 Comments