Book launch: The economics of just about everything, by Andrew Leigh

Did you know that another 10cm of height boosts your income by thousands of dollars per year? Or that a boy born in January is nearly twice as likely to play first grade rugby league as a boy born in December? Or that natural disasters attract more foreign aid if they happen on a slow news day? And that a perfectly clean desk can be as inefficient as a messy one?

Drawing on examples and data from across Australia, Andrew Leigh shows how economics can be used to illuminate what happens on the sporting field, in the stockmarket, and at work. Economics has things to say about AC/DC and Arthur Boyd, dating and dieting, Grange and Geelong, murder and poverty. Incentives matter, often in surprising ways and seemingly simple everyday activities can have unexpected outcomes. Insights from behavioural economics can also help us make better decisions.

Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fraser in the ACT. Prior to being elected in 2010, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. Andrew holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Law and Arts. He has previously worked as a lawyer and as a principal adviser to the Australian Treasury. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, the only parliamentarian to be a fellow of one of the four national academies. His other books include Disconnected (2010), Battlers and Billionaires (2013).

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Presented by the Research School of Economics, ANU College of Business and Economics