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They smell worse when they burn

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: Mom dad and the two kids shift housing and set up digs in the countryside. Dad’s job? He runs a concentration camp and his son gets to talk to a dirty, starving Jewish kid whom he befriends, betrays and then reunites with. Both end […]

Lovelock & Lomberg on climate change

I have just read James Lovelock’s The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning. It surprised me that Lovelock is so hopelessly pessimistic about the abilities of climate science to forecast climate but still remains a strong proponent of the view that AGW will profoundly alter the way the […]

Roads, broadband & Kevin Rudd

The implementation plan for Kevin Rudd’s $43b already-announced broadband plan is now to begin. This is to now determine how the project will be built, financed and operated. I guess better-late-than-never. Ziggy Switkowski is rumored to be a candidate for the chief honcho position. I assume Ziggy’s enthusiastic endorsement of […]


I dont have anything to add to my earlier posts (here, here) about this most important day. It is a day of national pride and of reflection for those lost.

But this article in today’s Australian touched me. Beautifully written and accurate.

Emerging markets & free trade in carcinogens

I posted earlier this year on the strong growth in cigarette carcinogen sales despite the financial crisis. The world’s largest carcinogen producer, Altria, had earnings per share growth of 10% in 2008 and was increasingly moving into the ethyl alcohol market. Altria also split into two businesses in March 2008 […]

Plimer a confident gadfly

Professor Ian Plimer does indeed have an impressive looking CV in his area of geology and mineralogy. But looking through it, current to 2007, I could not see a single published article on climate change. Of course he has a brain – apparently a good one – and the ability […]

Banning factory farms in California

This issue of animal rights just will not go away. The author Nicholas Kristof is referring to:

‘… the stunning passage in California, by nearly a 2-to-1 majority, of an animal rights ballot initiative that will ban factory farms from keeping calves, pregnant hogs or egg-laying hens in tiny pens or cages in which they […]

Economic Papers

One of the interesting things I have done over the past six months is to take over the editorship of Economic Papers: a journal of applied economics and policy – the current issue can be viewed online at this link.

EP is one of the two journals published by the Economic Society of Australia – […]

Spam, abuse & inadvertent comment deletion

Two points:

1. I won’t tolerate abusive comments on this blog. I will delete such comments ASAP and will permanently ban people posting such comments. I will not revise this view on the basis of claims of my own allegedly past bad behaviour. Life is too short to waste on such discussants. Critical comments are […]

The irrelevance of excise taxes

I thought I might try a few posts on academic economics. The issues are things that interest me rather than being new theories. This post is motivated by my (partial) reading of the book by Kaplow (2008) on tax theory. Comments welcome.


Autumn in Melbourne

I played golf on Sunday and it was so delightful that I did the same this afternoon. What is it about autumn in Melbourne? Well simple really – moderate temperatures (23oC), clear skies, gentle breezes and vegetation colourful and lush everywhere. It is in my view the best time […]

Congestion & efficient markets for parking spots

Much traffic congestion in urban areas is caused by cruising for a parking spot. Shoup (2005) suggested charging market-clearing prices for parking and leaving 15 per cent of parking spots vacant so that people can always park if they pay the requisite fee.


Road damage externalities

I have posted recently on congestion externalities and traffic accident externalities. I want to finish this series of posts with some comments on externalities associated with doing damage to roads. They are among the most interesting transport externalities […]

Propaganda & scepticism toward climate science

I subscribe to The Australian – I like its business sections and detest the low journalistic standards at Melbourne’s Pravda, its main Melbourne-based competitor. But I feel more than irritation at The Australian’s ongoing war against climate science. This is an organised campaign that I have remarked on before. The […]

Accident damages from large & small vehicles

Tim Lambert at Deltoid discusses the idea of taxing heavy vehicles more (or giving light vehicles a tax concession) on the grounds that they do more (less) damage in collisions. I support the sentiment of this proposal although drawing on my earlier post on accident externalities the taxes should ideally […]

Illegal migration demands surge with Rudd Government policy failure

There is no doubt that Labor policy ending the Pacific Solution on queue-jumping migrants has encouraged illegal migration to Australia. Labor is seen as ‘softer’ on border control than was the previous Howard Government despite the stench of hypocrisy amid talk of ‘toughness’ from the Labor faithful. Whatever people may […]

Thailand & arguments for being a constitutional democrat

I am deeply saddened by the disasterous turn of events in Thailand. Ex Prime Minister Thaksin may have been corrupt or ineffective – I do not make any judgement – but the way to get rid of him (and his successor Mr Somchai) if this was sought was via the ballot box not by forcing […]

Radially-directed roads on borders of congested cities a silly idea

The bypass around Frankston will be toll free and will cost taxpayers $750 million. It will go ahead as a public-private partnership even if the Commonwealth Government gives not a cent towards its funding. To Premier John Brumby it is another instance of Kevin Rudd’s ‘nation-building’. Quote: ‘..quite frankly, the […]

Anthony Kim

I have been watching the 2009 Masters Tournament at Augusta the last couple of nights on Foxtel. Augusta is an challenging golf course of great length, complexity and with lightning-fast bent grass greens. The player who impressed me most so far in the tournament is the youthful Anthony Kim a […]


This software – Posterous – is useful if you wish to put a presentation online quickly and easily. You can email pictures, text, powerpoint presentations – indeed anything – to the Posterous website and it is automatically posted for you on a blogsite.

As an example I attach two recent Powerpoint presentations I gave […]