- Publication - Nathan Kettlewell
We live in a culture that values 'experiences'. These are often promoted in the media, and by those selling them, as vital to enhancing our well-being. We all know big life events like marriage, parenthood, job loss and the death of loved one can affect our well-being. But by how much and for how long? In this article published in The Conversation, a new study led by Nathan Kettlewell, researchers have compared the differing impacts of 18 major life events on the happiness and life satisfaction of 14,000 Australians, and how long the impact lasts. Marriage and money help but don’t lead to long-lasting happiness.
- Publication - Lionel Page
New data has offered a snapshot of life in lockdown revealing what isolating Sydneysiders are doing behind closed doors. In a little over six weeks, as public health orders and restrictions have taken hold, the habits of Sydneysiders have become largely unrecognisable: seeking knowledge, adaptation to change, customer cravings and artistic pursuits are some of the new behaviours discovered for the majority of people in lockdown. ‘Charting a new course under lockdown in Sydney’, in this article Lionel Page says that new habits such as online shopping and working from home may persist but ‘the old normal’ will return.
‘What should we do with one billion hours of time? Australia’s COVID-19 opportunity’, this article by Emil Temnyalov and Peter Siminski has already attracted some media attention by the ABC News. This article originally appeared on The Conversation. It also was published as an international version in the Opinions section of the IZA World of Labor. The article argues that Covid- 19 will bring opportunities not just for family connections, but also for investment in human capital. Based on the assumption that the economy will shed one million jobs, we will gain about one billion hours of available time over the next six months. The article argues that this free time will provide us with great opportunities to prepare for the labour market of the future, which will be impacted by increased automation, trade liberalization and other shocks.
- Publication - Gordon Menzies
‘It is necessary to worry about health, but pessimism about the economy will hurt us’, this article by Gordon Menzies was published in The Conversation. He argues that while the health crisis is of extreme concern, extreme pessimism about the economy by those who are in a position to continue spending may make the inevitable downturn even bigger.
- Publication - Isa Hafalir
Most big cities in Australia mainly use 'catchment areas' for assigning students to public schools. This system effectively limits public school enrolment to where people can afford to live. Schools in disadvantaged areas often suffer poor resourcing or other issues. This entrenches disadvantage and makes it more difficult for families to break out of the cycle of poverty. Under a school choice system, a centralised authority, such as an education department, would use admission rules that assign students to schools based on specific policy goals, such as increasing diversity and enhancing student welfare. This article was published in The Conversation recently where Isa Hafalir discusses a more regulated and carefully balanced exchange process could address this problem and avoid exacerbating inequalities. Isa Hafalir and his colleagues, Professor Fuhito Kojima from Stanford University and Associate Professor M. Bumin Yenmez from Boston College, have developed a new system for school transfers that would improve the ability for students to transfer across catchment areas.
Publication - Nathan Kettlewell
Every year, private health insurers raise premiums and every year Australians rue the hit to their hip pocket. This time the Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, has managed to keep average premium growth to 2.92% – the lowest in 19 years. While the government celebrates this apparently modest price rise, consumers are right to point out that premium growth continues to outstrip inflation and wage growth. Nathan Kettlewell published this article in The Conversation where he analyses how insurers justify this move. Premium growth has closely tracked growth in benefits paid out by insurers and has generally acted to keep profit margins stable, rather than extend them. Growth in benefits is mostly due to people accessing more health services rather than increases in the cost per service. Some common medical expenses, like prosthesis, have actually become cheaper per service in the last few years. Adding to insurers’ cost pressures are an ageing insurance pool and an exodus of young people from private cover. Coupled with increasing medical expenses, this will continue to put upward pressure on premiums into the future.
- Publications & ABS Listen app - Anastasia Klimova
Research currently undertaken by Anastasia Klimova which examines the effects of public housing on property prices, has already attracted some media attention including online stories written by the ABC News, The Canberra Times, Allhomes and Your Investment Property as well as an interview with the ABC featured in the episode of The Money and is available on the ABC Listen app and program website. Her study looks into the effects of a sudden and unanticipated disclosure of the location of the new public housing complex in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on the 15th March 2017 which allows a quasi- experimental setting to examine the impact of the announcement. An initial investigation revealed that due to a purely information effect, property prices in suburbs selected for new public housing complexes in the ACT have fallen by 4.7%. It was also found that high-priced properties suffer more losses than those of the low-priced properties.
- Podcast Radio Interview – Jingjing Zhang
Jingjing Zhang was recently interviewed on the episode of Think Business Futures about alternative ways to make the voting system better. Her research ‘One man, one bid’, joint work with Jacob Goeree, which was published in Games and Economic Behavior in 2017, proposes providing politicians with a better way to gauge not only the public’s view but also how strongly they feel by testing a new system of voting. Rather than one vote per person, the system uses a bidding mechanism where, if you care strongly about an issue, you can buy extra votes. The catch is that the cost goes up quadratically – so the first vote is $1, the second $4, the third $9, with 100 votes costing $10,000. Another feature of the system is that all voters receive a cash rebate equal to the average of the other voters’ payments. In this way, the system redistributes money from those who gain from the outcome to those who lose. Jingjing and Jacob compared the bidding mechanism and simple majority voting in an experiment and the laboratory data provide empirical proof that the proposed bidding mechanism is not just of theoretical interest but are simple enough to work in practice. UTS Business News also published an article on this research.
- Publication - Peter Siminski
In the lead-up to the federal election, Peter Siminski and Deborah Ann Cobb-Clark (The University of Sydney) published an article in ‘The Conversation’ about Labor’s proposal for an Evaluator General which could cut wasteful spending and oversee high-quality evaluations of government programs in cooperation with other agencies. The article highlights that Australia is a long way off from having a strong evaluation culture. Too often governments hope, pray, and shoot policy into the wind. As Labor did not win the election, the proposal will not immediately go ahead. But it would have been a small step in the right direction. The article has been read over 5,700 times so far.
- Publication - Antonio Rosato
Research by Antonio Rosato and Agnieszka Tymula (University of Sydney) received significant media attention in April with coverage in the news.com.au, The Daily Mail, and realestate.com. Their experimental study ‘Loss aversion and competition in Vickrey auctions: Money ain't no good’, published in the latest issue of Games and Economic Behavior and looks at how competition affects bidding in auctions and has implications for real-life bidding situations, including property auctions. Their findings suggest that the more bidders are in an auction, the lower each individual bidder perceives their probability to win, which has a demotivating effect on their willingness to bid in the auction. Media coverage of this research has reached the highest online audience (total unique audience per outlet) among all media mentions of the UTS Business School in April 2019 and has had the advertising space rate of $90,000. Antonio also spoke to SBS Radio Italia about this study.
- Podcast Radio Interview – Peter Siminski
The UTS Radio Channel recently released a podcast with Peter Siminski. Peter discussed the topic of Intergenerational Income Mobility, the importance of family background as a determinant of economic outcomes in Australia, and the role of Education. He has been working in this area in recent years with academic collaborators and research students, with funding from the NSW Department of Education.
- Publication - Gordon Menzies
After his recent appearance on The Minefield (National Radio – the ABC) talking about the Royal Commission into Banking, he published the following article 'Does working with money make us worse people?' in The Guardian.
- Podcast Radio Interview – Gordon Menzies
Gordon Menzies appeared on Radio National (the ABC) on The Minefield to talk about the Royal Commission into Banking: 'Bad Banks: can financial services be ethical'. Hosts were Scott Stephens (ABC) and Waleed Aly (The Project). The Minefield (especially the podcast) has a national and international following.