Tuesday 27 October 2015

Condliffe Lecture 2015

Dr Terry L. Anderson
Condliffe Lecture 2015
Environmental Markets:
Lessons from and for Fisheries Management

The Department of Economics and Finance is pleased to invite you to the 2015 Condliffe Lecture.

Dr Terry Anderson will discuss Free Market Environmentalism and the approach of using property rights and markets to address environmental problems, focusing on lessons from and for fisheries management in New Zealand.

Tuesday 17 November 2015
6pm –7pm
LAWS 108 Lecture Theatre (Google map link)
By 5pm, Wednesday 11 November to meredith.henderson@canterbury.ac.nz

Increased demand for environmental amenities and competition for scarce natural resources require rethinking how we manage our natural environment. The dominant management institutions have focused on top-down command-and-control regulations. Though some of these regulations have been successful in picking low hanging environmental fruit – especially in reducing air and water emissions – they have not harnessed private initiative by using property rights and markets. This approach under the banner of “free market environmentalism” shows remarkable promise for dealing with a variety of environmental problems. Fisheries management in New Zealand illustrates the potential for this approach if the necessary market institutions can be buttressed and improved. In short, environmental markets offer a promising alternative for the next generation of environmentalism.

About the speaker
Terry L. Anderson is the William A. Dunn Distinguished Senior Fellow at PERC—the Property and Environment Research Center, in Bozeman, Montana, and the John and Jean DeNault Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author or editor of 38 books, including most recently, Free Market Environmentalism for the Next Generation (2015 with Donald Leal) andEnvironmental Markets: A Property Rights Approach (2014 with Gary Libecap). He has published widely in professional journals and the popular press, including frequent editorials in the Wall Street Journal.

Dr Anderson has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University, Basel University, Clemson University, and Cornell as well as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Canterbury.

In March 2011, he received the Liberalni Institute’s (Prague, CZ) Annual Award for his ideas promoting freedom and prosperity. Previous recipients of this award include Nobel laureates Milton Friedman, Gary Becker, and Vernon Smith. In 2015, Anderson received the “Gary Walton Award for Excellence in Economic Education” from the Foundation for Teaching Economics.

Dr Anderson received his BS degree from the University of Montana in 1968 and his MA and PhD degrees in economics from the University of Washington in 1972, after which he began his 25-year teaching career at Montana State University. There he has won several teaching awards and is now Professor Emeritus.

Terry is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fly fishing, hiking, skiing, horseback riding, and archery hunting.

Venue and Car Parking
The lecture venue is LAWS 108 lecture theatre on main campus (Google map link) and there is no charge for parking after 5:00pm. The available car parking areas are the Science car parkLaw car park or Clyde car park.

For more information
Department of Economics and Finance
Phone: +64 3 364 2631

EconTalk this week

Cesar Hidalgo of MIT and the author of Why Information Grows talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the growth of knowledge and know-how in the modern economy. Hidalgo emphasizes the importance of networks among innovators and creators and the role of trust in sustaining those networks.

A direct link to the audio is available here.

Monday 26 October 2015

TEC Lectureship on Europe and the World 2015

Here are two lectures given by Joel Mokyr, the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History at Northwestern University.

The first is "Culture of Gowth: Origins of the Modern Economy"

The second is "Long-Term Economic Change in China and Europe: The Needham Paradox Revisited"

Sunday 25 October 2015

EconTalk last week

Yuval Harari of Hebrew University and author of Sapiens talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history of humanity. Topics discussed include the move from hunting and gathering to agriculture, the role of fiction in sustaining imagination, the nature of money, the impact of empires and the synergies between empires and science.

A direct link to the audio is available here.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Catching cheating students

There is a new NBER working paper out on Catching Cheating Students by Steven D. Levitt and Ming-Jen Lin. The abstract reads,
We develop a simple algorithm for detecting exam cheating between students who copy off one another’s exam. When this algorithm is applied to exams in a general science course at a top university, we find strong evidence of cheating by at least 10 percent of the students. Students studying together cannot explain our findings. Matching incorrect answers prove to be a stronger indicator of cheating than matching correct answers. When seating locations are randomly assigned, and monitoring is increased, cheating virtually disappears.
Econ exams at Canterbury, at least, are well monitored with random seat allocation, and have been so for a number of years. I wonder what the amount of cheating is.

EconTalk for three weeks

When Lewis and Clark crossed through Montana, they encountered an extraordinary cornucopia of wildlife. Most of that ecosystem and the animals that once thrived there are gone. But a non-profit wants to bring it all back. Pete Geddes, Managing Director of the American Prairie Reserve talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about creating the Serengeti of the Americas--a 3.3 million acre prairie that would allow bison, pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs and their friends to inhabit a Wildlife Reserve in Montana, the size of Connecticut. Geddes discusses the goals of the American Prairie Reserve and how they're using a for-profit company, Wild Sky Beef, to gather support and help from local ranchers for the project.

A direct link to the audio is available here.

Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his career in technology and media and the challenges facing low-wage workers as technology advances. Topics include the early days of the Internet, the efficacy of regulation to protect workers, and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop.

A direct link to the audio is available here.

Pete Boettke of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the political and economic lessons he has learned as program director of research in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In this wide-ranging conversation, Boettke discusses the role of civil society, the barriers to recovery that have hampered New Orleans and what worked well as people and institutions responded to tragedy and devastation.

A direct link to the audio is available here.

2015 Nobel Prize in economics

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2015 to

Angus Deaton
Princeton University, NJ, USA

"for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare".

Angus Deaton, UK and US citizen. Born 1945 in Edinburgh, UK. Ph.D. 1974 from University of Cambridge, UK. Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Princeton University, NJ, USA, since 1983.

The work for which Deaton is now being honoured revolves around three central questions:

How do consumers distribute their spending among different goods? Answering this question is not only necessary for explaining and forecasting actual consumption patterns, but also crucial in evaluating how policy reforms, like changes in consumption taxes, affect the welfare of different groups. In his early work around 1980, Deaton developed the Almost Ideal Demand System – a flexible, yet simple, way of estimating how the demand for each good depends on the prices of all goods and on individual incomes. His approach and its later modifications are now standard tools, both in academia and in practical policy evaluation.

How much of society's income is spent and how much is saved? To explain capital formation and the magnitudes of business cycles, it is necessary to understand the interplay between income and consumption over time. In a few papers around 1990, Deaton showed that the prevailing consumption theory could not explain the actual relationships if the starting point was aggregate income and consumption. Instead, one should sum up how individuals adapt their own consumption to their individual income, which fluctuates in a very different way to aggregate income. This research clearly demonstrated why the analysis of individual data is key to untangling the patterns we see in aggregate data, an approach that has since become widely adopted in modern macroeconomics.

How do we best measure and analyse welfare and poverty? In his more recent research, Deaton highlights how reliable measures of individual household consumption levels can be used to discern mechanisms behind economic development. His research has uncovered important pitfalls when comparing the extent of poverty across time and place. It has also exemplified how the clever use of household data may shed light on such issues as the relationships between income and calorie intake, and the extent of gender discrimination within the family. Deaton's focus on household surveys has helped transform development economics from a theoretical field based on aggregate data to an empirical field based on detailed individual data.

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