Bill Kaye-Blake

Five stages of workplaces - The Dismal Science

Aug 17, 2013

Another business book review. This time, it’s Tribal Leadership, by Logan, King, and Fischer-Wright. The book is, helpfully, available as a free audio book from the website. Overall rating: good. useful. pretty smart. Yes, there are the annoying traits of pop-culture business books. There are beautiful anecdotes about teams that overcome adversity to realise the […]

Work, dammit! - The Dismal Science

Aug 12, 2013

Over the weekend, I ended up at a review of The Invention of Capitalism. The book’s author is Michael Perelmen, an economist in California who has stirred up controversy over the years. Apparently, he doesn’t disappoint in this book. Disclaimer: I have no idea whether Perelmen is right in his history, or should I say ‘right’, as […]

They don’t like diet drinks - The Dismal Science

Aug 10, 2013

I have been discussing with colleagues a recent article in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Zhen, et al. on Predicting  the Effect of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes on Food and Beverage Demand in a Large Demand System. One issue we discussed was whether diet and sugar sodas were complements or substitutes. As a reminder, substitutes […]

Fat tax lax facts - The Dismal Science

Aug 02, 2013

Today’s fat tax news: A fat tax is being suggested as a possible way to improve the health of New Zealanders by encouraging people to replace some saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats. Some butter could be replaced with grapeseed or safflower oil, meat with omega-3 rich fish, and potato chips with nuts or seeds, while […]

Questioning quintiles - The Dismal Science

Aug 01, 2013

I’m in the middle of Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis. An issue that is bothering me is the use of quintiles for talking about inequality, income and opportunities. There are actually two parts to my problem — a measurement issue and a normative one. I’ll start with the measurement issue. Quintiles divide the sample into five […]

In praise of liberal arts - The Dismal Science

Jul 17, 2013

A working paper on private returns to tertiary education I co-authored has been published in the Treasury series (WP 13/10). I didn’t do all the fiddly bits, but did help with constructing the logic and the story behind what we think was going on. In a nutshell, NZ ranks poorly in the OECD research on returns to education. […]

West Side economics - The Dismal Science

Jul 02, 2013

I saw a stage production of West Side Story last night — Samuel Marsden Collegiate is putting it on this week (pdf — poster). I caught some dialogue I’ve missed in the past. The writers knew something about the ambiguity of economics. Here in the first scene, on the streets of New York, the Jets are […]