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30 Sep 2015

When America sneezes, Australian state governments catch a cold. And when the weather turns bad, guess who’s held responsible?

“Last time I checked, the Tasmanian government had very little influence over the unemployment rate in the United States. Yet it might want to...

Audio interview

25 Nov 2014

It’s the love child of economics and psychology – behavioural economics. It tries to explain people’s rational, or better irrational, behaviour when it comes to financial decision-making and consumption patterns. On Big Ideas, two experts outline the main lessons of behavioural economics and discuss the...



13 Aug 2014

John Howard’s gun buyback scheme had more than one benefit

Did the buyback save lives? As someone with a connection to two of Australia’s worst gun massacres, I’ve always been interested in finding out. But the public debate seemed frustratingly simplistic. Some anti-gun...



7 May 2014

A new study finds social status rippling across the centuries

IF YOU WANT to know who made up Australia’s elite in the nineteenth century, a useful place to look is the Australian Dictionary of Biography. In its many volumes, you’ll find business leaders,...

15 Jul 2013

To see whether you care about inequality, take this simple test. Would you prefer to be born into a society in which the bottom fifth of households had 1 per cent and the top fifth had 62 per cent of the wealth? Or a society...

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2 Mar 2010

Should we care about the earnings gap between city professionals and the men and women who clean their offices, or is it enough to know that both groups are steadily getting richer, asks Andrew Leigh

Australian economic policymakers have a zippy self-confidence these days....

23 Sep 2009

HOW EFFECTIVE are household handouts in kickstarting a flagging economy? Are they a fast and effective means of boosting demand? Or are stimulus payments like taking a bucket of water from the deep end of a pool and dumping it into the shallow end (as...

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