Author Archives: Nicholas Gruen

Is it the social scientists job (or anyone else’s) to make models of reality? (Hint: no).

There is still, I think, not enough recognition by teachers of the fact that the desire to think – which is fundamentally a moral problem – must be induced before the power is developed. Most people, whether men or women, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Methodology, Philosophy, Political theory | 5 Comments

How Good are Refugees? This year’s MUST ATTEND dinner with Santo Cilauro. 12th Sept, Melb.

If these kinds of things existed in my country, I wouldn’t need to be running for President to fix everything up. Elizabeth Warren The only thing that didn’t leave a nasty taste in my mouth last year was the food. … Continue reading

Posted in Blegs, Films and TV, Humour, Media | 4 Comments

There’s no such thing as a free launch: Launching John Quiggin’s Economics in Two Lessons.

Delivered at Melbourne University, Friday 19th July, 2019 and cross posted at The Mandarin. Welcome to the launch of another book by Australia’s most overachieving economist. A global authority on decision theory, he also publishes in the daily press, in … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Education, History, Humour | 1 Comment

Market – what market? The catch 22 that stops ‘scaling’ innovation in government in its tracks

Cross posted from the Mandarin There is a huge catch 22 driving impact measurement in human services. A lot of the evaluation is done because governments seek it, but then it goes nowhere – and for good reason. NGOs and … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Innovation | 7 Comments

Comparing the Census to alternative data or information: What is the right counterfactual?

By Matt Balmford; Gene Tunny; and Nicholas Gruen Our inaugural blog post for the Valuing the Census project provided an overview of our strategy for estimating the benefits of the Census to the Australian community. From here, we’ll be blogging about various issues … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy | 6 Comments

If your problem is darkness, it’s better to light one quarter of a candle than to light any more of a candle (apparently)

Here’s Phil Lowe reporting on the RBA’s failure to meet its performance targets and refusal to do anything about it: This decision [to cut rates by 0.25%] was not in response to a deterioration in the economic outlook since the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy | 3 Comments

Blogging another inquiry: Valuing the Australian Census

Lateral Economics has been commissioned by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to estimate the value of the Australian Census to the Australian community. As part of that exercise we’ve got the go-ahead from ABS to do something that, it seems to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, IT and Internet, Metablogging, Public and Private Goods, Web and Government 2.0 | 25 Comments