Income-contingent loans and the Productivity Commission

I have been working my way through the Productivity Commission’s report on Paid Parental Leave. In it, they consider the Chapman-Higgins-Lin proposal for income-contingent loans (ICL) as a supplement to government provided paid maternity leave and dismiss it; despite its ‘conceptual elegance.’ Their argument is surprisingly weak and timid. Lets start at the top. The … Continue reading “Income-contingent loans and the Productivity Commission”

Comments on the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation, and Financial Services Industry

October 26, 2018 The following remarks are informed by discussions during a by-invitation-only roundtable on October 19 that was organized by the UNSW Business School research networks on Cyber Security and Data Governance and Behavioural Insights for Business and Policy. It was attended by a judicious mix of 14 legal academics and (behavioural, experimental, and … Continue reading “Comments on the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation, and Financial Services Industry”

Ethical failures: Where they come from and how to address them

A review of Gentilin, Dennis. The Origins of Ethical Failures. Lessons for Leaders. A Gower Book. Routledge (2016). ISBN: 978-1-138-69051-6 Ethical failures were in the press big-time in 2017. Prominently, creeps like Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Bill Cosby, Larry Nassar, etc. were accused of sexual transgressions of various sorts (and in some cases admitted them … Continue reading “Ethical failures: Where they come from and how to address them”

I already left Australia because of continual idiotic debates like parallel imports

Magda Szubanksi said she would consider leaving Australia if the Productivity Commission’s recommendations regarding parallel importing of books were to come into place. Leaving aside the notion that leaving Australia would make absolutely no positive difference to her income with or without Australia’s current laws — her core market is still Australians — this is … Continue reading “I already left Australia because of continual idiotic debates like parallel imports”

Reading notes: Submissions to the ACNC Senate Inquiry

I previously commented on the batch of submissions (all 16 of them) that were available during the weekend following the May 2, 2014 deadline for submissions. In the following week, 132 submissions were added for a total of 148 (one being a duplicate entry it seems: 16, 146). I have read through about two thirds of … Continue reading “Reading notes: Submissions to the ACNC Senate Inquiry”

Should the Government keep the ACNC? And if not, what should it put in its stead?

In the run-up to the election, Tony Abbott made it clear that a government led by him would abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) and thus undo one of the Gillard Government’s signature projects.  Apparently that is about to happen in at least a couple of ways. In a recent speech to directors … Continue reading “Should the Government keep the ACNC? And if not, what should it put in its stead?”

Privilege in Australia, Part II

In part I the question was posed to the readers which privileges bothered them most about Australia and what they thought could be done to reduce them. In this part I want to start to consider the barriers by talking about the ‘face’ of any privilege and how this creates particular difficulties in tackling them. … Continue reading “Privilege in Australia, Part II”

Reducing privilege in Australia, part I

A question for you: how to combat privilege? As economists well know, we are all rent seekers who try to secure more and more privileges for ourselves and our families, be it monopoly rights (such as currently legally given to medical specialists or local pharmacies), over-pricing for our goods (such as many of the medicines … Continue reading “Reducing privilege in Australia, part I”

University reform, part III: so what can be done?

In part II, the barriers to reform in the university sector were discussed. It became clear that neither the governance structure nor the basic funding model was up for grabs. Also, one should not count on market forces, the unions, or the academics to be all that much help. None of the current reforms on … Continue reading “University reform, part III: so what can be done?”

How much human capital does Australia get via visas?

The Australian visa point-system is the envy of the world as it has ensured that Australia gets a large influx of well-educated, healthy, English-speaking migrants. How large is the free gift that comes walking into our doors this way? Conservatively, I would say 50 billion dollars per year, probably more. Let us go over the … Continue reading “How much human capital does Australia get via visas?”