October 2012
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Archive: The Dismal Science October 2012

The Herald’s wrongheaded call for an ever-bigger population

Michael Reddell May 28, 2016

The Herald’s editorial on Saturday was headed “Population growth is powering NZ economy”.  It isn’t just a statement of the rather obvious, that a rapid growth in the population –  particularly unexpectedly rapid growth – boosts total GDP.    When there are more people, they all need to consume stuff, and they need houses, schools, shops, roads, offices etc.  And … Read More

Budget 2016: No drama – and that’s fine

Donal Curtin May 26, 2016

First thing I’d say about yesterday’s Budget is that I hope the central economic forecasts work out as expected. If we do indeed get annual economic growth of close to 3% a year, low inflation, and the unemployment rate gradually falling to 4.6% by 2019, we’ll be doing quite nicely, thank you. The growth numbers aren’t as hot if you … Read More

Diversity dividends? Maybe not

Michael Reddell Apr 30, 2016

The belief that “diversity is good”, and probably “and more diversity is better” pervades our public debate.  Sometimes people just mean intellectual diversity, sometimes diversity of managerial style, sometime gender diversity, sometimes ethnic diversity, sometimes diversity of nationalities.  But too often is all lumped together in some amorphous mass.  Who, after all, would argue that diversity might not always be … Read More

Housing: what can be done

Michael Reddell Apr 19, 2016

In the seemingly-endless housing supply debate, there is often a divide between those favouring greater intensification, and those favouring a larger physical footprint for growing cities.  My own policy view is squarely in the “it should be a matter of individual choice, provided the infrastructure etc costs of development are appropriately internalized, and the rights of existing property owners … Read More

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Painting features as bugs: NZ’s carbon emissions trading scheme

Eric Crampton Apr 18, 2016

I hadn’t quite understood New Zealand’s carbon emissions trading scheme before I moved to Wellington. The thing seemed a little dodgy with a fair bit of reliance on dubious foreign credits. But then the genius of the thing was explained to me. I’ve not looked at it properly myself, but the story is interesting, and seems plausible. It goes something … Read More

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