The Dismal Science

A good idea finally gets the nod

Donal Curtin Aug 29, 2015

First, the good news. On Thursday Paul Goldsmith, the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, announced a welcome change to New Zealand’s anti-dumping regime. In future, the plan is, domestic producers won’t be able to have cheap peaches or tomatoes or building materials shut out of the New Zealand market unless they can show that the damage to them … Read More

Some simple maths of organ donation

Eric Crampton Aug 28, 2015

We this week released Elisabeth Prasad’s report running some of the numbers on whether compensating live kidney donors makes sense. She finds that the typical kidney transplant saves the Ministry of Health on net about $125,000 over the longer term: dialysis is expensive. Chris Bishop’s Member’s bill passed first reading and is off to committee. It increases compensation to … Read More

Special Licences and the Rugby World Cup

Eric Crampton Aug 27, 2015

So, what’s the deal with special licences then? The Greens’ minority view on legislation enabling extended bar hours during the Rugby World Cup noted that special licences can do the job that the legislation is meant to do, and that the committee heard no evidence of special licence applications being refused and no submissions from licensees dissatisfied with the process. Read More


Lifestyles: our beliefs and behaviours

Donal Curtin Aug 26, 2015

Bryce Edwards’ Twitter feed pointed me towards an interesting new piece of research from the Lifestyles Research Group at the University of Otago – ‘Change, Challenge and Choice: A New Zealand Consumer Lifestyles Study’. It’s an interesting insight into our collective beliefs and behaviours, and rings true, sometimes almost archetypically: I was amused to see that one of … Read More

Drowning children

Eric Crampton Aug 26, 2015

Jason Brennan says Singer’s standard requires too much. Recall that, in Singer’s thought experiment, if you’d be willing to ruin your $500 iPhone by jumping into a pool to save a drowning child, you should also be willing to spend $500 to save a child’s life. Since there are plenty of charities in the third world that can save … Read More

In praise of accidental entrepreneurs and permissionless innovation

Eric Crampton Aug 25, 2015

There’s a difference between those who jump into entrepreneurship and those getting there through government grants. The former is the better bet. Here’s RIWI’s Neil Seeman in the Globe and Mail: Around the world, accidental entrepreneurs create hundreds of thousands of jobs and the necessary prosperity that fuels government coffers to pay for public health care and public education. But … Read More

Birthplaces of our net PLT migrants

Michael Reddell Aug 24, 2015

The chart below shows the birth countries for the net permanent and long-term (self-identified) migrants for the 14 years ending March 2002 to 2015 (Statistics New Zealand has a break in the series prior to that).  SNZ don’t break out all the countries, but these are the ones they separately identify.  “Net” is emphasised by the large negative number for the New Zealand-born. Read More

TVNZ’s Q&A on immigration

Michael Reddell Aug 24, 2015

As most New Zealand readers will now know, TVNZ’s Q&A programme yesterday featured a debate around the economics of immigration. Unfortunately, the programme got prominence not for anything of substance that was said by the participants, but for a vulgar outburst by Shamubeel Eaqub. It was pretty unfortunate, but then this was the guy who only a few … Read More

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