False moon

In our search for unusual days, Andrew Leigh and I have found many that work. Here is one that doesn’t, full moons. Click here to read more.

Like, are they/we/you really happy?

[Book Review] When I picked up Stumbling on Happiness, a new book by Harvard psychology professor, Daniel Gilbert, all I could think about was Tim and Debbie. You may not recall them but they were the star attraction on Australia, You’re Standing in It (a TV skit show of the 1980s). I remembered (and this is going back 23 years so it has always stuck with me) a particular exchange on “whether the ‘haves’ were really ‘happy’.” Thanks to the wonders of the net and Ross Williams I have the exact exchange: Continue reading “Like, are they/we/you really happy?”

Death in the Economists’ Voice

The Economists’ Voice has just published an accessible write-up of my work with Andrew Leigh on the impact of the removal of estate taxes on deaths. As regular readers know, we found that the abolition of such taxes in Australia in 1979 lead to the delay in the death of about half of eligible payors. The new article is written with the coming abolition of such taxes in the US in 2010 in mind.

Click here to download “Toying with deaths and taxes: Lessons from Down Under.”

Aplia on the Baby Bonus

Brandon Fuller at the News for Econ Students blog has provided a thoughtful write-up about the baby bonus. He puts it in the context of policies designed to increase fertility and the demographic issues associated with fiscal management. Of course, in my opinion, the association is an extremely kind one for the Australian government. The baby bonus may be rationalised as some fertility drive although, as I have already noted, it is a dubious one relative to other options. Me thinks all this had much less to do with future demographics than a future election later in 2004.

Our Opinions

Andrew Leigh and I repeat our message about the baby bonus in our own words in a piece in the Australian newspaper.

The radio interviews I have been doing have now tried to solicit my opinion about the policy as a whole. I think my opinion is pretty clear as seen through the eyes of my daughter. But the Treasurer in Question Time yesterday was asked by someone from his own party to report on how effective the policy had been. He acknowledged the ‘press reports’ of some issues around 1st July, 2004, and then extolled the virtues of encouraging fertility and suggested that 2004 and 2005 were years with jumps in the birth rate. He then took credit for all of it!
Continue reading “Our Opinions”

Baby bonus personal stories

In what might be the first of many, Andrew was contacted this morning by a mother claimed that she was coerced into having a caesarian on the 30th June 2004. Here is the account: Continue reading “Baby bonus personal stories”

Baby bonus blogging

While it may have had some media attention in Australia, the baby bonus paper has also drawn the attention of bloggers. Continue reading “Baby bonus blogging”

Baby bonus press

First to the presses on the baby bonus story, AAP on The Australian website and Fairfax; just with the press release.

Also, a news report on ABC Television News Sunday night with Andrew Leigh on screen as well as lots of babies, accurate statistics and cautionary notes from the Australian Medical Association. Continue reading “Baby bonus press”

The most unusual day

As regular readers know, Andrew Leigh and I have been conducting a research program with the broad theme of ‘unusual days.’ Thus, far we have identified 1st July, 1979, 1st January, 2000, 1st April (every year) and 29th February (when it occurs). But the most unusual day we have found thusfar is 1st July, 2004; the day the Australian government started paying $3,000 for every baby born.

Continue reading “The most unusual day”

Bargaining Fools

The unusual days project with Andrew Leigh took a different twist today. Andrew and I completed our latest paper — “Bargaining over Labor: Do Patients have any Power?” By the way, the answer is ‘yes.’ However, this will require some explanation.

Continue reading “Bargaining Fools”