Author Archives: andrewleigh

Leaders as Readers

Macgregor Duncan and I have a piece out today in the Australian Literary Review, looking at what Australian politicians should and do read. Full text here, and results from our survey of federal politicians here. We had a lot of … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 4 Comments

Do Redistributive State Taxes Reduce Inequality?

A few years ago, I did some work on the impact of progressive taxes at the state level (in the US). There’s a theory around that high-income workers flee progressive taxes, and therefore that they have no effect on post-tax … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality, Tax | 3 Comments

Mind the Gap?

My AFR op-ed today is on the economics and philosophy of inequality. Full text over the fold. I’ve hyperlinked the cited studies. Two others that I can also heartily recommend are a paper by Gary Burtless & Christopher Jencks, and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Inequality, Low Wage Work | 8 Comments

’Grist and the Guys in the Gong

On 20 April, Peter Siminski (University of Wollongong) is hosting a workshop on ‘Frontiers in Human Capital Research’ on 20th of April, featuring Josh Angrist (MIT) as the keynote speaker. Here’s the program.

Posted in Coming Events | Comments Off on ’Grist and the Guys in the Gong

Leaders as Readers (prequel)

Macgregor Duncan and I have written a piece on politicians’ reading habits, which will be out in the Australian Literary Review on Wednesday (at which point I’ll post the full spreadsheet of results on my academic website). In the meantime, … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | Comments Off on Leaders as Readers (prequel)

Wryside on Gender and Competition

My ABC Radio National ‘Wryside Economics’ segment tomorrow (Tue 23rd) will be on gender and competition, riffing off my AFR op-ed on this topic. Jane Caro is standing in for Richard Aedy (who has the flu this week), so you’ll … Continue reading

Posted in Coming Events | Comments Off on Wryside on Gender and Competition

Death and Taxes

In politics, death is a remarkably potent card to play. But its rhetorical power needs to be matched by a bit of substance. Every year, about 130,000 Australians die. Each of these deaths are tragic (I’m not saying this lightly … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics | 12 Comments

The Ideas of March

On 20-21 March, the folks at ANU’s Manning Clark House are running the closest thing that Canberra has to a Festival of Ideas: a weekend event titled ‘Fair suck of the sauce bottle: a celebration of Australian language’. Teaser on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Ideas of March

Gender and Competition

My AFR op-ed today is on gender and competition, writing up a series of recent research papers. It would’ve been too cumbersome to mention all the authors, but you’ll find the studies hyperlinked if you’d like to read the original … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | 2 Comments

Another interesting Joyce of words

From BusinessWeek: Greek government bonds fell after Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said his country is in a “terrible mess” and compared fixing the nation’s deficit to changing “the course of the Titanic.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Another interesting Joyce of words

Permanent Income Inequality

I have a paper out, looking at income mobility from year to year, and how it affects estimates of inequality. One reason for writing the paper was to address the critique “sure, the US is unequal if you just use … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality | 3 Comments

We’ll always have (the wrong number in) Paris

I blogged last year on the difficulty I’ve been having in getting the OECD to correctly quote a paper that I wrote on intergenerational mobility. Apparently my friendly ‘oops, you did it again’ emails don’t seem to have any impact. … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality | Comments Off on We’ll always have (the wrong number in) Paris

What’s the impact of raising the drinking age to 21?

I’m distracted by other things today, but couldn’t resist the PM’s call for evidence on the costs and benefits of raising the Australian minimum drinking age from 18 to 21. Here are 3 possibly relevant economics papers. Does the Minimum … Continue reading

Posted in Health economics | 1 Comment

Life Matters, and so does suicide bombing

My Wryside economics segment on Life Matters this morning discussed Eli Berman’s work on the economics of terrorism. If you’d like to listen to it, you can find it here.

Posted in Economics Generally | Comments Off on Life Matters, and so does suicide bombing

New econ-talks

The 2010 Research School of Economics Seminar Series kicks off with two seminars that are slightly out of sync with our regular time slots. Prof Robert Haveman, University of Wisconsin – Madison Friday 12 February, 3:30-5:00pm  Seminar Room E, Coombs … Continue reading

Posted in Coming Events | 1 Comment

A randomised trial of mentoring programs for female faculty

A new US randomised trial suggests that mentoring programs can have surprisingly large effects: Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors? Interim Results from a Randomized Trial (unstable ungated link, stable gated link) Francine D. Blau, Janet M. Currie, Rachel T.A. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Universities | 1 Comment

Miscellaneous links

Alison Booth and I have written up our gender discrimination paper for Vox EU. The Kaufman Foundation has released its econ-blogger survey (I’m one of the many datapoints) From a recent article about journal ranking in economics: Nearly every ranking … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Alt-worthy, or an epic fail?

The ANU Commonwealth Bank has a billboard outside, advertising ‘Student options is heaps good’. Should I be worried?

Posted in Universities | 1 Comment

The Size of Nations

Ever wondered why there are so many countries in the world? My AFR op-ed today attempts to provide an answer. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Global issues, Trade & Development | 5 Comments

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 | Comments Off on Now there’s an idea people should copy

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

SimpleTax

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

ANU Economics Jobs

The new ANU Research School of Economics is now recruiting. Here’s the formal spiel. Applications are invited for research intensive positions, from Lecturer to Professor. In an exciting new development, the Australian National University has announced the establishment of a … Continue reading

Posted in Jobs | Comments Off on ANU Economics Jobs

The Economics of Terrorism

My AFR op-ed today is on the economics of terrorism, discussing a new book by Eli Berman. He’s not the first empirical social scientist to tackle the topic (Robert Pape and Alan Krueger both have extensive treatments of the topic), … Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Development | 2 Comments

People should use as much math as me, and no more

New Yorker writer John Cassidy has posted on his website a 1996 interview with the late Paul Samuelson. My favourite snippet concerns the use of mathematics in economics. I asked Samuelson whether mathematics was now too important in economics. Rather … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally | Comments Off on People should use as much math as me, and no more

Supply in Saigon, Heterogeneity in Hanoi, Demand in Danang

My colleagues Brian McCaig and Ha Nguyen are running ANU’s second “Vietnam Economics Workshop”. Their call for papers is over the fold.

Posted in Coming Events, Trade & Development | Comments Off on Supply in Saigon, Heterogeneity in Hanoi, Demand in Danang