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Nepal visit

Posting will probably be intermittent for a while as I am visiting the Asian Institute of Technology and Management in Katmandu Nepal. Its a fascinating visit that I am thoroughly enjoying.


Byron Bay & happiness

I am attending an Economics of Happiness Conference in Byron Bay NSW. It’s the first time I’ve been here in Byron Bay in more than 30 years. It is an attractive coastal town whose white settler history began when James Cook anchored here in 1770 – he named the town after the grandfather of the […]

Southern and central Italy: In convent & castle

I am holidaying in southern-central Italy. My main lasting impression from this visit will be of the good-natured and gracious people of Italy – for example, strangers greet you in the street, are helpful and decent. Of course Italy has many natural/cultural and artistic assets – and a deep sense of history – that similarly […]

Athens visit

I have made my first ever visit to Greece by attending an economics conference in Athens over the past 5 days. It’s been a whirlwind visit but my impressions thus far have been, in the main, pleasant. Like every first-time tourist visitor to Greece I made an immediate B-line to the Acropolis the first morning. […]

Qantas & China

Can anyone explain to me why Qantas operates only a single daily flight to China, namely to Shanghai? Why don’t they operate direct flights to cities such as Beijing? China is Australia’s fourth largest source of tourists – in 2009 366,000 tourists came from China – and many Australians are now visiting Chinas for business […]


I am in Paris staying at (what is to me) an expensive hotel with rooms that would leave the proverbial door-mouse feeling cramped. Taking a break from blogging.


Car speed & death

Again a retrieved post – thanks Christina.


Auckland & its traffic

I am visiting Auckland New Zealand for the 27th Economic Theory Workshop at Massey University. The weather is humid and warm and the coastal scenery is attractive – after the dry year in Melbourne I even enjoyed walking around in light rain. I am surprised to find that Auckland has almost the same latitude as Sydney […]

Sending the right carbon signals

Earlier this year I listened to a teleconferenced talk on climate change by Professor David Suzuki. David has been a regular visitor to Australia over the years so I wondered why he teleconferenced. He explained that he was concerned about the carbon emissions associated with his travel. I applauded his lack of hypocrisy and thought […]

Urban carbon management in LDC cities

I am spending a few days at my former home at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. From 1979-1987 I taught microeconomics and even econometrics to engineering students there in a position funded by the then ADAB (now AUSAID). AIT is a postgraduate, engineering institution about 42 km north of Bangkok.

AIT was […]

Flying & jetlag bleg

I flew back to Australia from Italy in a one hop, skip and jump. I am fairly knocked out after 31 hours from source to destination. The travel time was stretched by two 4 hour stopovers and delays.

I have never been particularly good at sleeping on planes but, in recent years I have greatly […]

In Venice on election day morning

Having run out of museums and art galleries I took the train from Trieste to Venice today. The 2 hour trip winds down the steeply-sloped coastline through some industrial towns and then out onto some flat countryside and back to the coast at Venice. The autumn colours in the trees, the sombre grey skies and […]


I am in Trieste (pronounced Tree-est-a) in Italy. Amidst recovering from jetlag I am doing the tourist bit – I spent 30 hours in planes and sitting in airports getting here. My local (Italian) petrol supplier (Eva) in Australia tells me that the residents up here are not ‘real Italians’ – they are […]

Pricing rejected – Melbourne’s congestion will worsen

The Victorian Government in their response to the VCEC Final Report , Making the Right Choices: Options for Managing Transport Congestion, have come down decisively against moves to implement (or even think about implementing) road congestion pricing. I made a submission to VCEC supporting pricing so I am disappointed but not terribly so. I half […]

Combating domestic terrorism

The Age editorializes that the system of placing air marshals on planes to combat terrorism is an expensive failure. In 4 years the scheme has cost the government $106 million – about $26 million per year. The actual ticket cost of travelling – the marshal’s fly business class – is absorbed by the airlines and […]


Staying in Lorne, Victoria for a couple of days. Lorne is a coastal resort about 140 kms south of Melbourne. Its a work-related visit but hopefully can visit the Otway National Park and have a swim at the Lorne beach. If I do swim it will be my first at a Victorian beach for quite […]

Google maps Australia

Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh have got into it and (ever the late adopter) I had to give it a try. Google Maps Australia is a useful, fun way of looking at Australia and for devising travel routes.

Update: A useful help site is here while a site for reprting problems is here.


Chicago and the AEA meetings

I am leaving for North America today. I’ll spend about a week in Chicago attending the American Economic Association meetings there.Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States with population of 7 million and one of my favorite US cities – I first spent six months living in Illinois in 1982 while visiting the […]

Open skies

In the cover page of the AFR today (subscription required) there are renewed calls by foreign carriers for a liberalisation of Australia’s ‘air service agreements’ (ASAs) particularly on the lucrative trans-Pacific routes. Over the years I have followed the same issue on the Australia-Japan link.

The call by Singapore Airlines (and other Qantas competitors) […]

Summer holls

Today travelling to the south coast of NSW – to Ulladulla – to do some bird-watching, swimming (I used to say, go surfing) and generally to enjoy life. I’ve got a couple of bottles of 1990 Wendouree cabernet to ease the burden of my transport discomfits. Also have some trashy sex-violence-crime novels for the more […]