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Open access economic theory

While digging up material for the following post on a paper by Ariel Rubinstein I came across Theoretical Economics: An open-access journal in economic theory (ed. Rubinstein) which is worth looking at if you are interested in economic theory and enjoy freebies.Its first issue’s contents are:

A model of choice from lists Abstract PRINT VIEW […]

Economists & social conscience

Does studying economics damage your social conscience? Is the damage greater if you mathematise social reality?

Ariel Rubinstein’s, A Sceptic’s Comment on the Study of Economics, looks at whether economics students respond more ‘toughly’ to a firm’s difficulties when the economy is experiencing high unemployment, by sacking workers, than would four groups of students from […]

Transparency in monetary policy

My colleague Jan Libich has written an interesting piece on transparency in monetary policy (here, paper # 5). It suggests improvements in RBA’s procedures that should enhance public understanding of monetary policy, improve RBA credibility and hence economic outcomes.

A university dirty secret

The Australian today pre-publicises a forthcoming article in People and Place that blows the cover on one of the Australian university system’s worst-kept ‘dirty secrets’. Many of the foreign students purchasing education services in Australia are in fact purchasing Australian resident immigration status not education. While we brag about our success in exporting education services […]

Smart blonde joke

A guy gets on a plane and finds himself seated next to a cute blonde. He immediately turns to her and makes his move.“You know,” he says,”I’ve heard that flights will go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger. So let’s talk.”

The blonde, who had just opened her book, closes […]

Dirt Cheap CDs

CD retailers have taken a battering from the rapid rise of MP3 players and music downloads. Established businesses are also threatened by the growth of factory suppliers and websites that sell CDs for $15 or less about half the regular retail price. Illegally copied CDs purchased in Australia or overseas are a further source of […]

Pro Hart 1928-2006

I was saddened to read of the death yesterday of Pro Hart. I have visited his gallery in Broken Hill and always enjoyed his visions of outback Australia and dragonflies. His carpet cleaning ads were a memorable part of commercial television history in Australia. Australia’s most popular artist did not have his paintings displayed in […]

Mid week review

I had a hectic week trying to balance pervasive, creeping administrative duties – that I am not handling dutifully – with my research. I have mainly been blogging in the evening while the rest of the family are studying for exams or watching TV.The Bill is hard to break (despite my annoyance that it has […]

Women’s problems

A shocking video from the New York Times (now subscription only, story here) shows a woman in Pakistan threatened by judicially-justified death unless she leaves her husband to return to continue her forced work in a brothel.

Ms. Mukhtar Mai in 2002, ordered by village elders in Pakistan because her 12 year old brother walked […]

Did liberalising abortion reduce US crime?

In relation to the post immediately following, Rabee Touky provides a link to C.L. Foote and C.F. Goetz ‘ Testing Economic Hypotheses with Stateā€Level Data: A Comment on Donohue and Levitt (2001)’ here which critiques the conclusions of J.J. Donohue and S. D. Levitt ‘The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, […]

Lower crime in Australia

The recent Australian Crime, Facts and Figures 2005 showed a widespread reduction in crime across Australia over the past decade:

Homicides were lower in 2004 than since 1996 and have fallen each year since 1999. Robberies are at their lowest since 1997 and have fallen each year since 2001. Motor thefts have fallen continuously […]

Big bucks from dope

The leaked UK Birt Report on illicit drugs mentioned in The Australian about a month ago, is available online here at The Guardian website . This report on drugs in the UK emphasises supply-side issues. It discusses the Australian 2001 heroin drought episode as a natural experiment where supply-side restrictions have been seen as effective.


Free public transport in Melbourne….again

The Sunday Age’s piece by William Birnbauer ‘From Clear Roads to Gridlock: What’s the lesson, Mr Bracks’, argues that the low road traffic congestion experienced during the 11 days of free public transport during the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne gives a ‘real world experiment for the future’ supporting proposals to make public transport free. In […]


It took me a day or so to recover from a virus that gave me, and the rest of my family, sore throats. I recovered quickly so I spent most of Saturday swimming with my son. It was a perfect Melbourne day – not too hot, clear skies and great in the water.

My desktop […]

Baby Jesus and mum

My spirituality has been reawakened by this snap.

AWB follies

The Government is copping flack over this and deserves to. Please pass on.

Thanks to Bernd.

IR productivity gains?

The Australian today reports remarkable comments from a Commonwealth Treasury officer, Graeme Davis, that the Government’s proposed industrial relations reforms , namely:

Forming a national industrial system to replace separate state and federal systems; Establishing the “Australian Fair Pay Commission” to replace National Wage Cases at the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC); Stream-lining of Certified […]

Loudy Tourky

Loudy Tourky (and here) snatched a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal in her last dive in the women’s 10 metre platform diving on Thursday. She had already won a Gold Medal on Wednesday in the 10 metre synchronised platform diving with Chantelle Newbery.

Loudy is sister of Rabee Tourky who is a Professor of Economics at […]

Happy disaster day to you

The Washington Post’s cheery doomsday feature:

If bird flu don’t get us and we don’t contract mad cow disease, then global warming will. Or getting the former will save us from the latter. The war in Iraq and the sustained rise in international terrorism as signs of the apocalypse?

“I haven’t really thought of it […]

Invading Iraq versus Containment

Was the decision by the Coalition to invade Iraq in 2001 unwise? Many will say it was because of the difficult situation the allied military forces have subsequently encountered. They will also argue that WMD, a prime reason for intervention, have not in fact been discovered. Finally, there is growing recognition of the huge financial […]