August 2008

Dancing in the Moonlight? MPs with Outside Interests Vote Less

In Britain (and many other democracies) Members of Parliament often have "Outside Interests" and draw extra income from paid directorships, consulting gigs, or journalistic work. There has been plenty of controversy about MPs having such outside interests ranging from possible ethical issues to concerns over possible impact on MPs' legislative behavior. One concern is that MPs may be less effective as a representative if they "moonlight" from their Westminster jobs.

Gans and Leigh on the "Baby Bump"

In Born on the First of July: An (Un)natural Experiment in Birth Timing, forthcoming at the Journal of Public Economics, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh examine "introduction effects" (the extent to which people change their behavior to respond to new policies) in the context of a baby bonus that was initiated in Australia in 2004. In May of that year, the government announced that families of babies born on or after July 1 would receive a $3000 cash bonus.