Oz Blog News Commentary

Articles from Harry Clarke

Empathy & sound ethics

October 16, 2014 - 09:40 -- Admin

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.

Near irrelevance of university lectures

September 17, 2014 - 12:17 -- Admin

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”.

An economist views asylum seeker policies

September 16, 2014 - 15:09 -- Admin

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.

Good monetary policy

September 8, 2014 - 16:45 -- Admin

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.