The Dismal Science

Border Costs

Eric Crampton Mar 02, 2021

Cecile Meier walks us through some of the costs of a border system that has neither been able to safely scale up to meet need, nor able to find any reasonable way of prioritising entry into those scarce MIQ spaces. When Zane Gillbee hugged his family goodbye in South Africa before moving to Wellington, his daughter Lyla was still … Read More

Blessed are they that have not seen the model, and yet have believed

Eric Crampton Mar 02, 2021

The Climate Change Commission’s recommendations span the breadth of the economy. They are required to come up with sector-by-sector climate budgets consistent with getting New Zealand with net zero emissions under the Zero Carbon Act. The sector-by-sector budgets rest on underlying models. The models build predictions about what will happen as ETS prices rise, and what will happen when some … Read More

For a bigger carbon dividend

Eric Crampton Mar 01, 2021

New Zealand has an excellent Emissions Trading Scheme covering everything except agriculture – a non-trivial exclusion, but we can come back to that later. The ETS has a cap. Net emissions from the covered sector cannot exceed the cap. So any other regulations that affect sectors covered by the cap only shift things around within the cap and affect the … Read More

Forests and intertemporal equilibrium

Eric Crampton Feb 17, 2021

I’m a bit of an ETS-absolutist. Or at least a carbon-pricing absolutist, in a place the size of NZ. I think the Weitzman reasons for preferring a carbon tax to an ETS are second-order relative to political economy considerations, and any weight at all put on switching costs makes it ludicrous to want NZ to flip from an ETS to … Read More

Vaccines are cheap

Eric Crampton Jan 19, 2021

Israel chose to pay a bit over the odds for the Pfizer vaccine to get earlier access. Here’s The Times of Israel from 16 November. American government will be charged $39 for each two-shot dose, and the European bloc even less, but Jerusalem said to agree to pay $56. Israel has now vaccinated more than 80% of their elderly … Read More

Aristocracy of Pull continues

Eric Crampton Jan 18, 2021

RNZ reports on continued arbitrariness on decisions at the border.  British comedian Russell Howard is about to tour New Zealand and other acts allowed in through managed isolation this summer include drag queen RuPaul and musicians at Northern Bass in Mangawhai and the Bay Dreams festival. The vice-president of the Promoters Association, Gray Bartlett, said despite being an approved … Read More

Cleansing the Twitters

Eric Crampton Jan 13, 2021

I’m less than convinced by arguments that platforms like Twitter should be subject to common carrier regulation preventing them from being able to decide who to keep on as clients of their free services, and who they would not like to serve. It’s much easier to create competition for the network in this case than it was for Telecom in … Read More