The Dismal Science

Borders and Bubbles

Eric Crampton Aug 11, 2020

There’s no Covid on the Cook Islands. But isolation-free travel into New Zealand from the Cooks looks to be a long way off.  The Prime Minister confirmed on Monday that Cabinet had considered draft text being worked on via officials which will become the basis of an agreement for quarantine-free travel between the Cook Islands and New Zealand. “That draft … Read More

Safe arrivals

Eric Crampton Jul 29, 2020

If entry into New Zealand from abroad is safe, it should be allowed.  People arriving from places that are Covid-free, or no more risky than New Zealand, and who get here on flights that do not intersect with risky places, should return to normal travel arrangements. Currently, the Cook Islands, the rest of New Zealand’s Pacific Island realm, and Taiwan … Read More

Almost anything beats prohibition, including the draft cannabis legislation

Eric Crampton May 06, 2020

The draft cannabis legislation, as written, is better than prohibition. Even without amendment, those inclined to vote should vote for it. There’s still a lot in it that I don’t like though. The prohibition on growers also running retail operations, presumably intended to prevent large commercial grow operations with vertically integrated retailers, will also prevent anyone from running the kinds … Read More

Tourism and the ETS

Eric Crampton Dec 20, 2019

Eloise Gibson covers the carbon costs of tourism over at Newsroom: But in reality: “value-led tourism growth may actually worsen those pressures that are linked with consumption. Higher-value visitors, by definition, consume more goods and services, all of which have an associated greenhouse gas and solid waste footprint. To the extent that these goods and services are relatively energy … Read More

Participation rates

Michael Reddell Nov 12, 2019

A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the unemployment rate in 1986 averaged 4.2 per cent, exactly the … Read More

Illicit markets and Bali Booze

Eric Crampton Nov 11, 2019

The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail laced with methanol hidden in their drink. Without taste … Read More

Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders

Eric Crampton Nov 07, 2019

The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working for Families, but that appears more controversial. We can go … Read More

Public health, externality, and vaccination

Eric Crampton Oct 31, 2019

Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to in any sound Regulatory Impact Statement. In a place with … Read More