I have been thinking about empathy and reading the psychologist Paul Bloom on this. Empathy is a type of bias – it evokes compassion for those close to us and to a lessor extent to those we can see but who need not be at all close to us in terms of actual ties – e.g. asylum seekers. It leaves unconsidered those facing peril in other countries (or awaiting resettlement in refugee camps in other countries) even though these people may face greater peril than asylum seekers.
Articles from Harry Clarke
I am doing the Professor Paul Bloom course “Moralities of Everyday Life” for credit from Coursera. This is an approach to ethics based on psychology. Paul is a very talented lecturer (and author) based at Yale. Weekly assignments are online and students are identified from their typing style and using photographic imaging.
I am speaking on “Australian Asylum Seeker Policy: An Economist View” at an Amnesty International meeting 8th October, 2014 at John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University 6-00pm. This is an earlier paper I drafted on this issue. Comments welcome.
The Harper Competition Review has again raised the case for road pricing. It is frustrating to me that after 20 years of working in this area many economists don’t get the economic basis for road pricing right.
This measure – discussed in today’s AFR – is (apart from its cost-recovery role*) is effectively an export tax on housing. As such it will diminish the gains from international trade in Australian property markets. It will however (in accord with the standard theory of export taxes) reduce the price of property to Australian consumers.
Lectures at my university almost by obligation need to be presented in Powerpoint format* and almost all are aurally recorded. In a few cases a video is taken and that distinction seems to be the fairly arbitrary dividing line used by administrators in classifying courses as being presented in “face-to-face” format or “online”.
A snippet that interests me. The Ray White Group (one of Australia’s largest real estate brokers) is to move into the financial planning industry. They earn commissions on real estate transactions and I assume they will earn commissions on the advice they give. They seek ASIC approval and expect to get it.
Deriving sound asylum seeker policies is partly a moral issue. It is also a concern that analytical disciplines like economics can throw light on. I have been asked to provide views on asylum seeker policies as an economist. The views below are preliminary and I welcome polite comment. What I want to do is to think about are what most people would agree are reasonable objectives for policy and then use economics to think about how these objectives might be met.
I have been reading my favourite work on investment – the most recent edition (2011) of Burton Malkiel’s “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” – for some advice on managing wealth in retirement. I first read Malkiel in the mid-1970s and find him to be a perceptive and balanced advisor on investment strategies.
There are competing claims about the current stance of Australian monetary policy and attempts by the Reserve Bank to balance the desire for a lower Australian dollar by lowering interest rates against the problems that would be created by creating an asset price bubble.