Posts Posts by: "Joshua Gans"

The other day, I seem to have upset lots of people by claiming that fairness is a poor grounds for debate unlike  productivity. My evidence for that was the question over whether the Coalition’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme was fair — Labor says it isn’t, the Coalition (and Peter Martin) says it is and…(Read More)

Fairness is an awful word to use in debates. Scott Adams once called it the word that allows morons to participate in arguments. Children learn that one pretty early. But Labor started it by calling the Coalition’s Paid Parent Leave (PPL) scheme unfair. That scheme places a tax on business to pay for six…(Read More)

Over at the Freakonomics blog, I have a short essay arguing that the AEA should consider providing more information about candidates for its officer elections. It may be of some interest to readers of this blog…(Read More)

Last week I joined a Roundtable on Australian innovation policy organised by the Grattan Institute. It was Chatham House rules but that won’t prevent me from talking about what I said. My theme was how to make a case for innovation policy. For decades many people, myself well and truly included, have argued that…(Read More)

Just a pointer to Quandl, a start-up that aims to provide searchable and easy to manipulate data. They have recently put up an Australia-specific section. As you can see, it is really great for bloggers. Just a couple of clicks and you can embed relevant graphs. Here is net migration…(Read More)

Well, one in particular that I regard as unforgivable. Andrew Leigh, my friend, co-author and up until yesterday the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister has been dropped from that role entirely with no reasonable substitute offered. From the signal it sends to the economics community in Australia, it is no less than the…(Read More)

[Mostly based on this editorial in The Age] It is time for Andrew Holden to stand aside as editor of The Saturday Age, so that vigorous, policy-driven democratic debate can flourish once again. Mr Holden should do so in the interests of the Fairfax organisation, in the interests of the nation and, most importantly…(Read More)

In the comments on my post last week about the baby bonus removal implementation, Sven Feldmann writes: The easy solution—which in fact is not ruled out by the quoted policy announcement—would be for all existing baby bonus payments to stop on March 1, 2014. Rather than creating a payment cliff of $3,000…(Read More)

Sigh. Heavy sigh. Sometimes you have to wonder whether anyone is listening. The baby bonus will finally be scrapped with the $5000 payment (already changed to means tested and paid over time) being replaced essentially by its predecessor. The 10 year policy is over. But when will it be over? “Outlining a plan to deliver…(Read More)

Over at ABC’s The Drum today, I write about the Coalition’s parental leave plan. Abbott’s leave scheme is a step backwards for women Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme is widely regarded as a boon for women. But will it do anything to address the larger problem of gender discrimination in…(Read More)

There is a new site doing the rounds on Facebook: It comes the ALP and Coalition’s NBN plans and surprise-surprise, the ALP’s one is much faster. So here are the activities that are compared: uploading wedding photos to Facebook Downloading Game of Thrones Uploading a new puppy video to…(Read More)

I just did an interview for ABC radio on the Coalition’s maternity leave plans. Yes, maternity, not parental leave. You can’t call something parental leave unless it involves both parents and two weeks token leave for Daddy doesn’t cut it. For those who haven’t been following it, this plan which harks…(Read More)

The ANU’s Glenn Withers has a plan to securitise HECS debt. Professor Withers told the HES the main advantage would be that the government “gets the money now”. Rather than waiting for graduates to pay off some $26 billion in HECS debt — with the proceeds conservatively estimated at about $15bn, once forgone interest and…(Read More)

My PhD advisor turns 65 today and here, at Stanford, we are having a conference in his honor. I made some remarks that I thought I’d post here. I am here to talk about Paul’s contributions to applied theory. While Susan and Yeon-Koo have talked about theoretical contributions that so many in…(Read More)

From The Age, the NBN will be getting to 1Gbps. That’s good but … “The average person who does regular internet activities is probably not going to notice much difference today,” Professor Tucker said. ”Where I think it will make a difference is in small businesses.” Independent telecommunications analyst Paul Budde said right now only…(Read More)

ABC Online has shut down comments on my broadband post before I could comment. As usual, there is so much mess there that I need to clarify things. So I’ll do it here. I am a Labor voter and will be so in the current election. I can do that because I am an…(Read More)

[This post was published on ABC Online on 12th April 2013]. With the Coalition’s alternative national broadband plan, Australia is finally focusing on a real issue – that there cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ approach and that competition has a role, writes Joshua Gans. This week I will be speaking at a conference…(Read More)

In the Financial Times, there was a feature piece interviewing Larry Zicklin who wants to eliminate research funding and promotions for academics in business schools. Naturally, I disagree. I wasn’t the only one. UTS’s Timothy Devinney published a comment on that post that he gave me permission to reproduce here. Comment by Professor…(Read More)

Top Posts of 2012


Each year I list the top posts from this blog. Here is 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. For the ambitious, prospective PhD Student: A Guide (Rachael Meager) Healthcare, taxation and education in the land of Oz (a Fairy Tale) (Stephen King) The Crisis of the University of Sydney (Rabee Tourky) Spence’s “Sydney Sackings…(Read More)

Our former blogger, now Labor MP, Andrew Leigh’s research along with our current but silent recently blogger Christine Neil had their research quoted by none other than Bill O’Reilly. Just watch. This significant on many levels. First of all, O’Reilly is using the research to argue for tighter gun controls. And he…(Read More)

Like everyone else, it has taken me some days to even begin to process the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. There is a part of me that wonders if we ever will but then again, evil things have happened before and somehow life goes on. In thinking about this, I…(Read More)

There is much discussion these days about the future of scholarly publishing. Much of this surrounds the value of traditional publishers. When challenged those publishers point to the value and potential value they create. Here is Elsevier responding to a recent boycott led by mathematician Tim Gowers: And we invest a lot in infrastructure, the…(Read More)

It is hard to predict what happens in markets and contests. But last night, I tweeted that I thought the Nobel prize for economics would be awarded for the field of practical market design. And, that is indeed what the Nobel committee announced today. I got that right and named Al Roth as one of…(Read More)

I have a new book out. Here is a post originally published by HBR blogs on 8th October 2012 that describes a little what it is about. When the band, the xx, wanted to promote their latest album they chose a unique marketing strategy. Consistent with many artists today they released their album as an…(Read More)

Shame Australia Shame


I must admit that I haven’t been following the gay marriage debate that closely. I had read some excellent stuff from small ‘r’ right-wing politician, Malcolm Turnbull (that small ‘r’ is right as in correct) but he was clearly constrained by affiliation with a party not confident in their members to let them…(Read More)

When the new iPad came out, Apple was slammed by the ACCC for advertising a version with 4G when it wasn’t available within Australia. Fines exceeded several millions of dollars for misleading consumers although I, for one, could not imagine that such harm had come from this given Apple had, from the start, offered…(Read More)

The ACCC has made a short movie about cartels and whistle blowing. I have to admit, my expectations were not high, but this was quite excellent. Sure, you could watch The Informant and get a Hollywood version of a similar story but this one, despite actually being fictitious had a more realistic aura about it…(Read More)

Server migration


The Core Economics site was migrated to a new server today at Hopefully, all is working smoothly but if you commented on something in the last 24 hours that may not have migrated.&nbsp…(Read More)

I read with interest this piece in the Sydney Morning Herald about green consumers of ActewAGL who appear to be charged for the carbon tax on their bills despite being told that their electricity emissions were zero. The reason for the confusion is that green energy has never been about actually purchasing green energy. Instead…(Read More)

Last year when I travelled back to Australia I had nothing but praise for Qantas and the Australian aviation system in general. I wrote about it at Harvard Business Review. This time around they lost much of that goodwill. This was not because things had changed with respect to quality that I wrote about. Instead…(Read More)