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Plain packaging & the lack of evidence that it works

Sinclair Davidson and Ashton de Silva argue in the current issue of Agenda (here) that there is no evidence that the plain packaging legislation works. They base this finding on an inspection and analysis of data from 2001 to quarter 1 2014. The legislation was introduced in December 2012 so there are 4 (or 5) […]

Auction clearance rates

For years I have struggled to understand the idea that clearance rates are a useful indicator of the demand dynamics of the home auction market – this is an example of this type of story. A house will be sold when the minimum acceptable price to the seller (vendor price) is exceeded by the maximum […]

History of violence

Enjoyed this article – and the video – by Steven Pinker on the history of violence both from ancient times through to the “Long Peace” after 1945. In almost every respect the world has grown less violent through history and the decline has been most marked after 1945. Conflicts and wars within countries, between countries, […]

Rock, Paper, Scissors

I enjoyed the piece on Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS) in today’s AFR (paywalled but it it was featured in the British press a while back). Recall the kid’s game – two parties simultaneously call “Rock”, “Paper” or “Scissors” with the mnemonic “Rock breaks Scissors, Scissors cuts Paper and Paper covers Rock” – so “Rock” beats […]