The Dismal Science

Breaking the pharmacy cartel

Eric Crampton Feb 15, 2019

I wish that government spent even half as much time looking at how its existing regulatory structures create cartels as it did in the rest of its antitrust enforcement. The Herald reports that a new entrant has finally started shaking things up in pharmacy, reducing costs to consumers. They get the framing entirely backwards, focusing on reduced earnings among … Read More

Good character?

Eric Crampton Jan 14, 2019

National wishes to impose a ‘fit and proper persons’ test for those supplying legal medicinal cannabis. National’s associate health spokesman Shane Reti said medicinal cannabis manufacturers and employees should be “fit and proper persons”. National has proposed clean slate legislation requiring no terms of imprisonment and no convictions for seven years for employees, and even tougher standards for licence … Read More

Material progress: how very recent

Michael Reddell Jan 14, 2019

There was a news story a few years ago in which some academics were reported as suggesting that pretty much everyone of West European descent alive today was descended from Charlemagne, first Holy Roman Emperor.   That he had 18 children, legitimate and otherwise, only increased those probabilities. 35 generations back we each have about 34 billion notional ancestors … Read More

Bias toward action?

Eric Crampton Nov 15, 2018

Kiwis so-inclined can petition their Parliament for legislative change. But they cannot petition Parliament to maintain the status quo. Victoria University’s Chris Eichbaum wants the government to ban private fireworks displays. This is just phenomenal. With this level of support we now have an opportunity to get them issues in front of law makers and to push for … Read More

Doing less good than we could – carbon edition

Eric Crampton Oct 09, 2018

New Zealand has an emissions trading scheme. It isn’t perfect. But for the sectors covered by the ETS, including transport, best policy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions is fairly simple: buy and retire credits.  The government simply cannot know whether the cheapest way of reducing CO2 emissions is by getting the least efficient cars off the road; having people switch … Read More

Five dollar prize

Eric Crampton Oct 03, 2018

I’ve been absolutely loving Tyler Mahan Coe’s podcast series on the history of country music and the country music business. Every story is fascinating. A lot of the stories aren’t good for the kids. But I played the one about the Louvin Brothers (nee Loudermilk) for the kids. I paused it after this bit too see if they could … Read More

Carbon emissions and the Taranaki ban

Eric Crampton Sep 28, 2018

MBIE’s advice on Labour’s ban on Taranaki oil and gas exploration suggested that global emissions could go up. Could that happen? It depends on what you think’s going on in the rest of the world. Suppose that the whole world were under a binding emissions cap under a global cap and trade regime. If New Zealand produced less natural … Read More

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