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The ALP Plays Around: Boot camp, Unemployment and the dole

With the announcement for a proposed ‘boot camp’ for unemployed youth coming out of the Education and Employment Government ministries this week, youth unemployment policy looks set to be a major election issue this September.
Yet the ‘boot camp’ initiative has been overshadowed by a report published on Wednesday by Andrew Baker at the Centre of Independent Studies that accuses the Government of manipulating unemployment figures for political gain with serious macroeconomic consequences.

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Are We Pure or Impure Altruists?

In economics, altruism is traditionally taught as an exception to the rational traits of the Economic Man, homo economicus. And while altruism rarely receives a tribute in the textbooks because of its apparent non-belonging in classic economics, it has strikingly important implications for public economic policy.
I have previously discussed the topic of nonprofits and the effects of changes in fundraising on charitable individuals. This week, I want to delve into a discussion of the phenomenon of ‘crowding-out’, community diversity, and touch on the differentiation of altruism between ‘pure’ and ‘impure’.

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Why People Donate: A Story of Markets

Why do you donate? Christine Li looks into our responsiveness when faced by different fundraising patterns and the challenges that non-profits face in the world today, in balancing their fundraising practices with such volatile potential givers in the market. How can one maximise their net revenue derived from donations?

Why we sometimes have to rob Peter to pay Paul

Critics have called it “incoherent” and “schizophrenic” [1].
It sounds alarming on its own, but the Federal Government’s $2.3bn proposed cuts to funding for tertiary education is not the be-all and end-all to signing off David Gonski’s school funding deal. And while less spending money is never a good thing, opponents of the funding cuts are sounding the alarmist gong too soon.

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A Game of Theory: Economics in Television

In our study of economics, it’s not usually too hard to find real life examples of the theories found in textbooks. No other time was I so gleefully reminded of this than when I sat back to watch the third season premiere of the HBO series Game of Thrones this week.
For the economics minded, some questions are open for thought: is the Realm in equilibrium? Are the characters always rational? Should they cooperate or ‘defect’? For everyone else, this might be a fun (read: nerdy) way to think about the economics concepts lurking in our favourite medieval setting.
More than anything, Game of Thrones is a multiplex system of game theory – especially in the secretive chambers of King’s Landing – where we see a series of strategic games or scenarios played out by almost all of the characters.
In fact, each of the four main Houses has their own economics dilemmas to face.
Spoiler alert: Do not proceed if you haven’t seen Season One and Two and still want to. 

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The economics of charity: should beggars be choosers?

In microeconomic theory, consumers and producers make up two halves of a productive economy. In such a model, even traditionally marginalised groups can be categorised as consumers or producers, or both.
Specifically, the homeless, who typically have very limited economic productivity and hence income flow, should be thought of as consumers with their own preferences and utilities. This perspective is essential for communities and NGOs when determining financial strategies to minimise homelessness. Using basic consumer theory, I will compare the results of cash and in-kind transfers given to the homeless.

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