Bill Kaye-Blake

New book on inequality - The Dismal Science

Jul 02, 2013

I went to the launch last night of a new book on inequality in New Zealand. I bought the book at the launch, so no review of it, yet. Here are a few thoughts coming out of the evening’s talks, however. The first is that inequality is complex. Jonathan Boston makes the point in a […]

Reuse, recycle - The Dismal Science

Jun 19, 2013

Yeah, I saw the news about the latest manufacturers’ lobby report (pdf). I wasn’t going to bother with it, but then I got an email and tweets and … must … comment… I like Brennan McDonald’s assessment, explaining the report in terms of four biases of non-economists. Worth a read. My reaction, well, there were two. […]

Imposing preferences, politico-religious edition - The Dismal Science

Jun 12, 2013

I mentioned my Turkish colleague before. Today, he is sputtering about the new law restricting alcohol. Like many, he makes the link between the legal rules around alcohol sale and consumption, and the push for religious restrictions. This new law indicates that Turkey’s government is moving closer to the religious powers, rather than focusing on keeping […]

A tasty morsel on fat taxes - The Dismal Science

May 28, 2013

Denmark placed the first-ever tax on saturated fat in 2011, and then abandoned it fifteen months later. It was supposed to be a real-world example of a ‘nudge’ — a little governmental push in the ‘right’ direction for all the fatty-fatty-two-by-fours healthy people struggling to emerge from their unhealthy bodies. Those ungrateful little sods actual […]

Preferences for avoiding death - The Dismal Science

Apr 30, 2013

Slate blogger Matthew Yglesias has been getting flak for his post that appeared quickly after news of the factory collapse in Bangladesh. In it, he explained that economics was all about diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks: Bangladesh may or may not need tougher workplace safety rules, but it’s entirely appropriate for Bangladesh to have different—and, indeed, […]