Category Archives: Indigenous Policy

Radical Hope: A Response

In October, Noel Pearson wrote a Quarterly Essay on Indigenous education titled “Radical Hope: Education and Equality in Australia”. In the December issue, I have a letter published in response. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Economics of Education, Indigenous Policy, Randomisation | 2 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

Falling Behind

A couple of years ago, I read a paper by Roland Fryer and Steve Levitt (non-technical version here), which found that the black-white test score gap in the US widened after children hit school.* With my colleague Xiaodong Gong, we decided … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Indigenous Policy

Cash 4 Class in Colombia

I’ve been arguing recently that one idea which should be randomly trialled in Indigenous communities in Australia is a cash payment for attending school. Blog reader Brendan Duong points out that I should get some succor from the success of a … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous Policy, Trade & Development

The Hamiltonian Solution

On the topic of payments to encourage Indigenous children to stay in school, I received a fascinating email from Chris Cullinan, which he’s kindly allowed me to reprint. Greetings Andrew, Saw an article in the Melbourne Age which highlighted your belief … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Indigenous Policy

Cash or culture?

Farrah Tomazin has an interesting piece in today’s Age on strategies to improve the performance of Indigenous children in Victorian schools, identifying a divide between those who say ‘change the school culture’ and those who say ‘spend more money’.

Posted in Indigenous Policy | 8 Comments

Sport as Social Policy?

In the context of Indigenous disadvantage, Francis Xavier Holden floats an idea I’ve never heard before. I’ve thought for a long time that one simple big idea that would contribute to Aboriginal wellbeing would be to locate one AFL team … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous Policy, Sport | 15 Comments