Tagged: politics

Reading Creedy: Sugar tax report - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Mar 01, 2017

John Creedy is really good at using complicated maths to make simple points. I’ll summarise the simple points in Creedy’s working paper on sugar taxes, issued earlier this month. Section 2.1 shows that, whenever people enjoy a bundle of goods of various healthiness, and whenever people are likely to shift from one good to another if prices change, any … Read More

De-extinction dilemma: Bring back the moa or save the kiwi? - News

John Kerr Feb 28, 2017

Adding previously-extinct species to our conservation checklist will strain already tight conservation budgets, say a team of New Zealand and Australian scientists. Little Bush Moa, Anomalopteryx didiformis. © Te Papa. De-extinction – resurrecting extinct species with the help of modern technology – has been largely confined to the realms of sci-fi. But now technology is catching up with the fantasy. Read More

Picking zones and picking winners - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Feb 22, 2017

The push for more localist approaches to policy problems in New Zealand continues to gather steam. Earlier this month, the McGuinness Institute argued for what they’re calling Demarcation Zones for policy trials. Their formulation differs a bit from what we at the Initiative proposed in 2015, but the core idea is similar: let local communities take on additional … Read More

Are experts really being ignored? - The Dismal Science

Michael Reddell Feb 20, 2017

A few months ago, I wrote a post on the role of “experts”, responding to a British journalist and author’s lament for the apparent willlingness of voters/societies to downplay, or even dismiss, the role of experts when it comes to making significant public policy decisions. In his column in yesterday’s Sunday Star-Times, local economist Shamubeel Eaqub returns to … Read More

Book review: The Conversation Yearbook 2016 - Scibooks

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Jan 20, 2017

Toward the end of the year there can be a glut of ‘best of’ publications, but The Conversation Yearbook 2016 stands out as an enjoyable, wide-ranging collection of essays. The Conversation has been running in Australia since 2011, collating news and views from the academic and research community on hot topics of the day or longer-burning issues. My main … Read More

Brexit, Trump and all that - The Dismal Science

Michael Reddell Dec 14, 2016

Last week, The Treasury hosted a guest lecture featuring two visiting academics under the heading Brexit, Trump & Economics: Where did we go wrong.  One of the visitors –  Samuel Bowles, now a professor at the Santa Fe Insitute -had been around long enough that in his youth he had served as an economic adviser in Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign,  … Read More

How to check if you’re in a news echo chamber – and what to do about it - Guest Work

Guest Work Dec 14, 2016

By Tom Stafford, University of Sheffield If you were surprised by the result of the Brexit vote in the UK or by the Trump victory in the US, you might live in an echo chamber – a self-reinforcing world of people who share the same opinions as you. Echo chambers are a problem, and not just because it means … Read More

Key’s legacy – an economist’s view - The Dismal Science

Michael Reddell Dec 06, 2016

Perhaps nothing became John Key more than the manner of his departure.  Tired –  “nothing left in the tank” –  and admirably unwilling to go into an election year and lie about his willingness to serve another full term, or to just struggle on, he chose to walk away instead. It is rare for political leaders to leave voluntarily when they are well, … Read More

Prime Minister English? - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Dec 06, 2016

If outgoing Prime Minister John Key has any influence over the choices, and if Bill English wants the job, I expect English will succeed Key as Prime Minister and Steven Joyce will move to the Finance portfolio. More than anybody else in government, as best I’ve been able to tell, Bill English thinks in terms of incentives and institutions. He … Read More

Lies! Damned lies and statistics: why reporters must handle data with care - Guest Work

Guest Work Nov 29, 2016

By Stephen Cushion, Cardiff University and Justin Lewis, Cardiff University During the 2016 EU referendum campaign, both sides used statistics pretty freely to back their arguments. Understandably, UK broadcasters felt compelled to balance competing perspectives, giving audiences the opportunity to hear the relative merits of leaving or remaining in the EU. In doing so, however, the truth … Read More