Bill Kaye-Blake

Food prices and public health - The Dismal Science

Oct 09, 2013

The University of Otago announced the results of some research in which I’ve been involved.  The relevant blog post is here. What I really like about the post is the moderate tone: In the first paper from the SPEND Project, we found that across 20-odd food groups, low-income people and Māori tended to change their consumption of foods […]

Again with Inequality - The Dismal Science

Oct 07, 2013

I have already written about Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, here on the introductory section and here in relation to evidence-based policies. Today, I’ll finish with it. I still don’t buy the idea that inequality is bad for everyone (p. 13): in less equal societies nearly everybody, not just the poor, is adversely affected. The […]

Judgement and cost-benefit analysis - The Dismal Science

Sep 16, 2013

The proposed changes to the Resource Management Act have the potential to increase the use of cost-benefit analysis in RMA applications and decisions. New Zealand uses the RMA to find a balance between economic claims on resources and other claims, especially environmental and social. The results are controversial. One area of controversy is the extent to […]

Parking is too cheap! - The Dismal Science

Sep 10, 2013

Now that I have your attention — it may be that we aren’t paying enough for parking in Wellington. This is NOT the message of the downtown retailers, of course, and the Dominion Post doesn’t explain the issues, but let’s run through the economics. Say you are the mayor of Harbourside City. Your city has […]

Inequality, mental models, and counterfactuals - The Dismal Science

Sep 09, 2013

In the recent book Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, Jonathan Boston has a really useful chapter. It probably should have started the book as a way of laying some intellectual groundwork, instead of being Chapter 5. It raises the same point as Matt Nolan does at TVHE, quoting Amartya Sen, but with more detail. Here’s Boston: […]

Mining pays - The Dismal Science

Sep 05, 2013

Lazy and uninspired on a Thursday, so I’ll point you to Pattrick Smellie. He reminds us that extractive industries are productive industries. These statistics tell a simple story: jobs in the mining, oil and gas sector are vastly more rewarding to New Zealand on a per job basis than jobs in the highest-value parts of […]

Science stumble with young students - The Dismal Science

Sep 02, 2013

The science sector in New Zealand wants to get more people — particular young people – interested in science. It believes that science careers get short shrift when students are planning their education. It also wants to encourage more girls into STEM subjects. Don’t take my word for it. There’s a 2008 Science Maniesto from the Royal […]