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Club Troppo

Economic, legal, political and social commentary

Last Build Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:08:40 +0000


Thought of the day: could there be an equilibrium of personality types?

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:03:12 +0000

Suppose you buy the idea popular in psychology that there are stable personality types largely formed in childhood and that the population has relatively stable proportions of these personality types. The Big5 personality types are agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness and … Continue reading

The Death of Australian Children’s Broadcast Television Programming: by Patricia Edgar

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 05:07:49 +0000

The Director-General of the BBC has now conceded there is a crisis, with young people spending more time viewing Netflix and YouTube than they do BBC programs.  In July 2017 he announced the broadcaster’s biggest investment in children’s services in a generation … Continue reading

Spanish Film Festival

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:59:35 +0000

Festival Website | Films | Schedule Top Picks Kiki, Love to Love (Opening Night) Through five stories, the movie addresses sex and love. Paco and Ana are a married couple looking for reactivate the passion of their sexual relations. Jose … Continue reading

Free digital goods promote wellbeing:SHOCK!!

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 12:54:49 +0000

Using Massive Online Choice Experiments to Measure Changes in Well-being by Erik Brynjolfsson, Felix Eggers, Avinash Gannamaneni – #24514 (EFG PR) Abstract: GDP and derived metrics (e.g., productivity) have been central to understanding economic progress and well-being. In principle, the … Continue reading

Sam Harris and Ezra Klein venture within nano-metres of the gaslighting event-horizon

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 02:21:53 +0000

As I tweeted: I was gripped by this 2 hour intellectual brawl Would Ezra articulate compelling reasons for Sam Harris to rise to self-reflection? Or would Sam keep him at bay with his magic “I’m just after timeless scientific truth … Continue reading

A Personal Comment on Syria

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 13:06:38 +0000

Setting aside the question of evidence, there’s a serious problem with the contention that Syria carried out the recent chemical attack in Douma. It requires us to accept not only that the Syrian government is evil but also that it’s … Continue reading

Beauty, Job Tasks, and Wages: A New Conclusion about Employer Taste-Based Discrimination

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 15:23:14 +0000

Beauty, Job Tasks, and Wages: A New Conclusion about Employer Taste-Based Discrimination by Todd R. Stinebrickner, Ralph Stinebrickner, Paul J. Sullivan [I’m sceptical that there’s no discrimination in jobs where beauty doesn’t generate a dividend for the employer, but what … Continue reading

Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 15:18:53 +0000

Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship, by Pierre Azoulay, Benjamin Jones, J. Daniel Kim, Javier Miranda – #24489 (PR) Abstract: Many observers, and many investors, believe that young people are especially likely to produce the most successful new firms. We use administrative … Continue reading

Why it’s worth stomping on Universal Basic Income

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 07:28:20 +0000

In my latest column for The CEO Magazine I take aim at the idea of universal basic income (UBI). The column uses the insights of the always terrific Peter Whiteford, of the ANU’s Crawford School, and Troppo’s own Don Arthur, … Continue reading

Central banking for all: the podcast

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 12:21:16 +0000

As some of you will have noticed, the Greens released today a policy that borrows heavily on my own proposal “Central banking for all: A modest proposal for radical reform” now available in a number of versions, though this is probably one … Continue reading

Media Files:

Plastic carry bags

Sat, 31 Mar 2018 04:27:49 +0000

After exhaustive discussion, I’ve been deputed to inform our readers of Troppo’s plastic bag policy. We’re in favour of single-use plastic bags. In fact, we’re making them compulsory. I was recently in Book Grocer and was refused a plastic bag, … Continue reading

Sam Harris, idolater of reason, outs himself

Sat, 31 Mar 2018 02:23:45 +0000

Too much wit outwits itself Folk saying quoted by Hegel 1 I stumbled upon this extraordinary exchange between Sam Harris and Ezra Klein, late the night before last and though, I was supposed to be going to sleep, I couldn’t stop till I’d … Continue reading

When big brother knows best

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 03:13:11 +0000

Saving Lives by Tying Hands: The Unexpected Effects of Constraining Health Care Providers Abstract: The emergency department (ED) is a complex node of healthcare delivery that is facing market and regulatory pressure across developed economies to reduce wait times. In … Continue reading

Jeremy Rivkin saves the world

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 05:39:12 +0000

A friend asked me on linked in for my comment on this grand lecture by Jeremy Rivkin. I reproduce my initial reaction and then a longer set of comments I offered after having listened to the lecture. I can’t see much new in … Continue reading

Independent fiscal councils (probably) improve forecasting and adherence to fiscal rules SHOCK!

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 05:58:08 +0000

Countries increasingly rely on independent fiscal councils to constrain policymakers’ discretion and curb the bias towards excessive deficits and pro-cyclical policies. Since fiscal councils are often recent and heterogeneous across countries, assessing their impact is challenging. Using the latest (2016) … Continue reading

Several things you WON’T BELIEVE about Marijuana Legalization and Traffic Fatalities

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 11:04:14 +0000

From the moral panic division of ClubTroppo. Early Evidence on Recreational Marijuana Legalization and Traffic Fatalities Over the last few years, marijuana has become legally available for recreational use to roughly a quarter of Americans. Policy makers have long expressed … Continue reading

Cranks in the ranks: Central banking for all and the gatekeepers of micro-economic reform

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 01:39:50 +0000

Herewith a newspaper column on central banking for all, published in the Age and SMH today. Note: the bit in the brackets in the first paragraph is as submitted but Fairfax edited it out. They also headed the piece “One way to deal … Continue reading

Andrew Leigh’s excellent speech launching Randomistas

Sat, 10 Mar 2018 07:45:10 +0000

Robert Solow once referred to the law and economics scholar Richard Posner as writing books the way the rest of us breathe. Andrew Leigh seems to be in this category with his output apparently accelerating on top of his no doubt gruelling … Continue reading

Does Integration Change Gender Attitudes? The Effect of Randomly Assigning Women to Traditionally Male Teams

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 12:18:31 +0000

We examine whether exposure of men to women in a traditionally male-dominated environment can change attitudes about mixed-gender productivity, gender roles and gender identity. Our context is the military in Norway, where we randomly assigned female recruits to some squads … Continue reading

Brexit Scenarios and some Advice for Brexiteers

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:30:57 +0000

Brexit is the main political issue in the UK, competing with sex for the attention of the public. It is a daily gamble whether the news headline is about some politician fondling a knee 55 years ago or a row … Continue reading

Me on forecasting

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 05:41:15 +0000

Above is my presentation to CEDA’s Outlook conference in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago. I came after a McKinsey’s consultant talking about digital disruption which is always a fun thing to present or listen to because there are lots of … Continue reading

The French Film Festival: 2018

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 13:15:41 +0000

Festival Website | Films | Schedule Top Picks C’est La Vie! (Opening Night) Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Max Angély has enjoyed a celebrated career as a caterer and event organiser. Today, it’s all hands on deck … Continue reading

Our countries need us.

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 11:05:21 +0000

Humanity is at a high point. What our ancestors dreamed of is slowly becoming a reality: a world without hunger in which the vast majority of mankind live peaceful and long lives. We are not there yet, but in Europe, … Continue reading

Banks, money and bootstrapping capital adequacy

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 07:16:35 +0000

Below is an extract from a recent academic article setting out – rather laboriously I have to say – three ‘theories’ – I’d rather call them ‘ways of seeing’ what banks do in our financial system. One approach sees them as financial intermediators meeting the needs … Continue reading

Crikey! It’s that time of year again: Last call

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 07:49:28 +0000

If you’d like to be in this year’s submission to Crikey for a group submission, please email me on ngruen AT the domain formerly known as gmail (and still known as gmail). And please spread the news far and wide using all the … Continue reading