Bill Kaye-Blake

Minister makes sense on alcohol minimum pricing - The Dismal Science

Apr 30, 2014

Note: Eric Crampton at Offsettingbehaviour is an expert on the economics of alcohol consumption in New Zealand, and has posted on this. I purposely wrote this post first (because I have looked at modelling of minimum pricing), then checked out his comments. This post is especially long — sorry. The Ministry of Justice released a report […]

Magic asterisks - The Dismal Science

Mar 27, 2014

I’ve been fighting magic asterisks lately. Unfortunately, I’ve been doing it secretly — anonymous reviewer, confidential client work — so I can’t share the details. I can’t even show you the costume. But I can rant a bit. The original Magic Asterisk (TM) was a Reagan-era budget device from David Stockman. To make the net […]

Details of economic perceptions in US - The Dismal Science

Mar 25, 2014

The Pew Research Centre reviewed some interesting results. They start off saying that there’s a puzzle: One of the biggest political puzzles of 2014 is why the public remains so bearish about the economy, and in turn critical of Barack Obama’s stewardship of it, given clear signs that economic indicators are improving. First, they have […]

Teaching vampire squid economics - The Dismal Science

Feb 26, 2014

I’ll be doing a little teaching this term. As those of you who teach know, there isn’t really anything that’s ‘a little’ teaching. With a new prep, there’s a lot of worrying and wondering and researching. And then Matt Taibbi (old place, new place) comes along and makes it even harder. I’m a little late […]

Correcting the Dom Post - The Dismal Science

Feb 24, 2014

The Dominion Post published an article on US/New Zealand tax negotiations. The US is trying to get New Zealand to have the IRD and banks release information about ‘US people’, whatever that means. The article was scare-mongering about poor Kiwis who will suddenly be targeted by big bad American tax agents. I wrote the following […]

Adjunctivitis — a choice, not a condition - The Dismal Science

Feb 12, 2014

Universities in the United States run on adjunct faculty. Adjuncts are part-time, temporary, untenured faculty paid per course to teach. They have little time for research or administrative duties, and they are finding it hard. Paid a few thousand dollars per course, they apparently now make up around half of US university faculty. There is […]

TPP — can’t get something for nothing - The Dismal Science

Feb 12, 2014

I have avoided discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, because it’s complex and secret and yet to be decided. But a statement from Tariana Turia, Associate Minister of Health, leads me to comment. Turia’s plain packaging for cigarettes bill just passed its first vote. The bill is intended to reduce the sale of cigarettes by making […]

Summary theories of the firm - The Dismal Science

Feb 11, 2014

Paul Walker over at antidismal mentioned that he has a new article in the Journal of Economic Surveys on theories of the firm. There’s a pre-publication version on his University of Canterbury website. It’s highly recommended reading if you have any interest in why firms exist and what they do. Titled ‘Contracts, entrepreneurs, market creation and judgement: […]