October 2012
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Archive: The Dismal Science October 2012

Water pricing and bottling plants

Eric Crampton Mar 27, 2017

And here we go for another edition of “Because you’ve misspecified the problem, your proposed solution might make things worse.” The past couple of weeks have had renewed anger about water bottling plants. If you buy land with water drawing rights attached to it, you don’t get charged for drawing that water. The value of the water is baked into … Read More

What does the OECD really have to offer us?

Michael Reddell Mar 24, 2017

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is often loosely described as “the rich countries club”.  It isn’t an entirely accurate description –  there are several high income oil exporting countries who don’t belong (as well as places like Singapore and Taiwan), and some countries that are members (notably Mexico and Turkey) aren’t particularly high income.     But it … Read More

Marriage, kids, and the wage gap

Paul Walker Mar 11, 2017

The career dynamics of the gender gap for graduates of the Chicago Business School, as studied by Bertrand, Goldin, and Katz (2010), illustrate a common pattern. While women and men start their careers with similar earnings, a substantial gap arises over time, and the arrival of children is a major concurrent factor in the rising earnings gap. At least in … Read More

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Govt requests NGO client data – Why do they need this?

Eric Crampton Mar 04, 2017

I’m a big fan of letting NGOs benchmark their effectiveness using government data. But I don’t quite get why the government needs NGOs to collect some of this information on their behalf. Here goes. The government holds a huge amount of linked administrative data on all of us in the Integrated Data Infrastructure. All kinds of stuff can be linked … Read More

Picking zones and picking winners

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?

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

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