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Analysis and Comment (8)

Costco is looking to expand its US petrol business to its Australian stores. Costco is looking to expand its US petrol business to its Australian stores. lokeswari/Flickr

Costco’s entry into petrol is unlikely to help most consumers

In a new twist in the long-running Australian petrol wars, Costco is preparing to join the discount petrol market. Sydney’s second Costco outlet, scheduled to open later this year, will reportedly sell…
It’s your absolute right to seek advice and to be in charge of what happens to your body. It’s your absolute right to seek advice and to be in charge of what happens to your body. Image from shutterstock.com

A guide to a second medical opinion

How many dealers did you visit before you last bought a car? Were you happy with the first quote you got for a painting job or kitchen renovation? When it comes to your finances, your house and your belongings…
“Dolphin friendly” can be an empty promise: labels should tell us the entire impact of a tuna fishery. “Dolphin friendly” can be an empty promise: labels should tell us the entire impact of a tuna fishery. Leeds Museums & Galleries

Dolphin-friendly tuna: we’re worrying about the wrong species

Seafood is increasingly marketed as the clean, healthy choice for consumers – full of good oils and proteins and low in fat – with canned tuna a favourite cheap source of healthy protein. But science provides…
It is not currently possible to find the energy source sold by any of the licensed electricity retailers in Australia. It is not currently possible to find the energy source sold by any of the licensed electricity retailers in Australia. Flickr/dereckGavey

Do you know how clean your electricity is?

In Europe and America, electricity retailers let their customers know whether their electricity is coming from renewable energy or fossil fuels. In Australia, your retailer has no such obligation. The…
There’s a gap between what people with private health insurance think they’re paying for and what they’re getting. There’s a gap between what people with private health insurance think they’re paying for and what they’re getting. mvcaf/Flickr

Private health insurance and the illusion of choice

The number of people with health insurance plummeted in the 1990s, but almost half the Australian population now has private hospital insurance and over half have ancillary or extras cover. But our research…
Battle of the smartphones: the Apple iPhone IV and the Samsung Galaxy II . Battle of the smartphones: the Apple iPhone IV and the Samsung Galaxy II . AAP

Spot the difference: brand power and the rise of the copycats

Don’t worry — you’re not seeing double. Everything looks the same … well, certainly in mass market products such as consumer electronics. The high profile litigation between Apple and Samsung is just one…
Health-care budgets are far from infinite, so how do we decide what’s funded and what’s not? Health-care budgets are far from infinite, so how do we decide what’s funded and what’s not? stumayhew

Who deserves more health-care funding? Let’s hear from Australians themselves

Health-care reform in industrialised countries is usually motivated by ageing populations, shaky economic conditions and shifting demographics. Health budgets are finite, so decisions must be made about…
Carbon double-take: shoppers will turn to eco-friendly groceries, mainly when they’re cheap. Carbon double-take: shoppers will turn to eco-friendly groceries, mainly when they’re cheap. Flickr/Bruce A Stockwell

Do carbon labels change shopping behaviour?

If everyday items were labelled according to the carbon emissions embodied in them, would shoppers change what they buy? And if they did, would it make a difference in the grand scheme of things? Voluntary…

Research Briefs (2)

Crisp, new notes encourage saving

We’re more likely to spend worn bills than crisp, new notes according to a joint study from The University of Winnipe and…