Author Archives: Nicholas Gruen

The poverty of voting

A post by John Burnheim. About ten months ago, John Burnheim wrote to me in terms I’ve reproduced on this blog previously. John was one of the early movers in academia exploring the limitations of electoral democracy with his book Is Democracy Possible … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Information, Philosophy, Political theory | 9 Comments

An Ancient Greek idea could foil Brexit’s democratic tragedy

From today’s column in the Guardian UK. There’s a chasm between the will of the British people as expressed in their 52 percent vote for Brexit and their considered will. Turns out ordinary Britons deliberating amongst their peers think things … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Fred Argy: RIP

I was rung yesterday by Ida Argy, wife of Fred Argy and she told me that Fred had recently had a stroke from which he did not recover. Fred was rather like my Dad Fred. A Jewish immigrant – Dad was from Austria … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, History | 7 Comments

Now is the time for complacency: RBA v Bank of England edition

Reposted from the Mandarin I In our contemporary lexicon ‘independence’ – for instance of a government body – is usually a Good Thing. 1 But if we’re thinking of independence as a good thing for an agency to have – for instance the Productivity … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy | 6 Comments

Do Black Politicians Matter?

Do black politicians matter Abstract: This paper exploits the history of Reconstruction after the American Civil War to estimate the causal effect of politician race on public finance. I overcome the endogeneity between electoral preferences and black representation using the … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics and public policy, Race and indigenous | Leave a comment

Evidence-based policy: why is progress so slow and what can be done about it

Here’s a presentation I gave at the anniversary of Australian Policy Online which has been cunningly rebranded under its old acronym as Analysis and Policy Observatory.  I gave a similar one at Kings College London a few weeks previously. Note that some of … Continue reading

Posted in Bullshit, Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Philosophy, Political theory, regulation | 10 Comments

More fully human

Well there’s been a frisson of excitement in the chess and AI world lately with the extraordinary performance of AlphaZero – essentially the computer that mastered the game Go – a game which proved, despite the relative simplicity of its rules, a … Continue reading

Posted in Chess, IT and Internet | 1 Comment