Working Papers

Site Changes

The various glitches you may have noticed in recent weeks follow an upgrade to the backend of the site and a server migration that did not go as smoothly as usual, but have since been bedded down. A few cosmetic changes have also been made, including the introduction of “share” icons (thanks to Brendan Underwood for implementing these).

I’m increasingly using Twitter as a more efficient way of linking to things of interest that do not require any additional comment or elaboration from me. You can follow me on Twitter and be confident there will be no tweets about what I had for breakfast, just the good stuff.

Let me know if you encounter any problems with the site. Self-registration for comments is permanently closed for security reasons, but you can email me and I will register you for comments.

posted on 01 February 2011 by skirchner in Misc

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Frank Gehry Designs Me a New Office

The new UTS Business School building. Here’s Gehry selling us on his design:

Mr Gehry says it is inevitable that any new building draws some criticism, but he hopes that ultimately Australia will embrace the project.

“A lot of junk is built in cities around the world and nobody really complains,” he said. “This is a small building. I don’t think it is going to destroy the town, I promise.”

posted on 16 December 2010 by skirchner in Misc

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The Shorter Institutional Economics

Your favourite blog in 140 characters or less.

posted on 09 December 2010 by skirchner in Misc

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John Birmingham’s After America

I attended the Sydney launch for John Birmingham’s new novel, After America, part of a planned trilogy that follows from Without Warning. In the first instalment, the bulk of the continental US is destroyed on the eve of the Iraq war and the novel speculates about the likely implications for the rest world. Birmingham said that the idea for the first book came from an anti-American rant by a fellow student radical when he was at university. The book is a cautionary tale about what happens when the rest of the world finally gets what it wished for.

Birmingham’s talk did clear up one mystery for me: why he kills off some of his more likeable characters. He randomly pulls names out of a hat to determine who will die. As Birmingham notes, it adds an extra element of unpredictability to the action.

I’m a fan of the speculative fiction genre. As the economist Simon Kuznets once observed,  science fiction is a much better guide to the future than the writing of most economists, who consistently sell the future short. Birmingham’s ‘axis of time’ trilogy, first published in 2004, features the ‘flexipad’, effectively anticipating the iPad of 2010. We didn’t need to wait until 2021 for that one.

Birmingham blogs here.

posted on 07 July 2010 by skirchner in Misc

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Mid-Week Linkfest

1. Roubini wrong again and again.

2. Cash for Corfu.

3. Axel Weber and Philipp Hildebrand versus Olivier Blanchard.  See also Phil Lowe for further Blanchard repudiation.

4. Bill Emmott and Wolfgang Munchau as bumptious prats.

5. Hayek’s lessons for Kevin Rudd.

posted on 09 March 2010 by skirchner in Economics, Misc

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Mid-Week Linkfest

Peter Wallison on why financial sector reform is stalled.

Electronic Frontiers Australia on Facebook police.

The documentary that asks why parents aren’t rioting in the streets.

posted on 02 March 2010 by skirchner in Misc

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Cameron Frye’s House for Sale

Ferrari not included.

posted on 27 May 2009 by skirchner in Misc

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Political Identity Survey

Andrew Norton is running an on-line survey on political identity, which may produce some interesting results.  Click here to participate.

posted on 29 March 2009 by skirchner in Misc

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Software Update

The software that runs Institutional Economics has been updated.  Please let me know if you experience any problems: info at institutional-economics.com.  This site is powered by ExpressionEngine.

posted on 15 November 2008 by skirchner in Misc

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posted on 31 January 2008 by skirchner in Culture & Society, Economics, Financial Markets, Foreign Affairs & Defence, Higher Education, Misc, Politics

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Carlton’s Lone Classical Liberal

Andrew Norton now has his own blog.

posted on 13 September 2006 by skirchner in Misc

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Guest Blogger: Andrew Norton

Andrew Norton will be guest posting temporarily at Institutional Economics.  Andrew will already be known to most of you.  He is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies and an acting editor of its journal Policy.  Andrew is a political theorist by training rather than an economist.  This is something we actually have in common.  I started out as a political scientist before re-training an economist, so we are both refugees from academic political science.  His first post is below this one.

This is a good time to remind people about procedures for commenting at Institutional Economics. Access to comments requires completion of a one-time registration and log-in process (click here to register).  You must use a valid email address to register, but this need not be displayed in comments.  If you access this site from more than one computer, you may need to log-in again to comment (if you are asked to enter an alpha-numeric character string with your comment, it means you are not logged on.  Click ‘log-in’ in the black bar at the top right hand side of this page to log-in again.  Andrew will be responsible for editorial decisions in relation to comments on his posts.

posted on 05 September 2006 by skirchner in Misc

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Blog Admin

There will be no posts over the next three weeks while I take a break.  Comments will be closed and new member/comment registrations queued for approval at a later date.  I will not be responding to email.

posted on 03 April 2006 by skirchner in Misc

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BlogAds Political Blog Reader Demographics Survey

BlogAds is conducting a survey of political blog readers.  BlogAds will break-out the results obtained from this blog and pass them on to me (make sure you mention Institutional Economics in question 23).  If the sample is large enough, I will post the results, which will give you a better picture of your fellow Institutional Economics readers.

You might wonder why this blog is being included in the survey, even though it is not mainly concerned with politics.  This is due to the fact that I classified the blog as ‘libertarian’ when I signed-up for BlogAds.  While my own politics should be fairly obvious to regular readers, it has never been my intention to run an overtly political blog.  The most successful blogs in terms of traffic are strongly partisan, but these sites serve mainly to confirm rather than challenge readers’ views.  I have always aimed to appeal to a more diverse readership and I’m hoping this is reflected in the survey results.

posted on 01 March 2006 by skirchner in Misc

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In Brief

• Jeffrey Sachs as underpants gnome.

Fever-swamp milliners: tin foil lining optional extra.

Milton Friedman on the dangers of Austrian business cycle theory.

• Marxism in China: not dead yet.

posted on 20 January 2006 by skirchner in Misc

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