The Dismal Science

Alcohol access and harms in the military

Eric Crampton Jun 29, 2017

A large sample study of American enlisted soldiers, who turned 21 while enlisted, found large increases in alcohol consumption at the birthday but no increase in harms consequent to that consumption: no meaningful effect on suicidal tendencies, depression, tobacco use, physical fitness, psychological health, deployability, smoking, or job-related infractions.  Recall too that, following Boes & Stillman, the RDD … Read More

Higher education, big big numbers

Eric Crampton Jun 19, 2017

I don’t think we can blame the consultants for this one. Normally, big big numbers in economic impact reports are a black mark on the consultancy producing them. They don’t come with enough health warnings, and the misleading big big figures draw headlines too easily. Dave Guerin’s Ed Insider newsletter (essential reading for anybody following tertiary ed in New Zealand) covers the … Read More

Plain packaging – new regulations

Eric Crampton Jun 15, 2017

The New Zealand government finally got around to telling the tobacco companies what the rules will be under plain packaging. Plain packaging won’t be in effect for a while yet, but it takes a while to adjust production lines – it’s good that they finally got the rules out.  Fairfax’s Rob Stock called me asking for comment on plain … Read More

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Grow large with milk

Eric Crampton Jun 09, 2017

A new paper out in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows there’s an association between children drinking non-dairy milk, as opposed to cow’s milk, and lower heights.  It would be tempting to take these results and make a case for ending Canadian dairy supply management, but there are better reasons for ending Canadian supply management. The press … Read More

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For the birds – reflections on the PCE report

Eric Crampton Jun 08, 2017

There’s an important recommendation missing from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s list of things to help endangered birds. It hardly would work for all birds, but it is ridiculous that it is banned for those birds for which it would work. Let people farm them. Roger Beattie has demonstrated that he can successfully raise weka. There would be … Read More

Health costs and the Consumer Price Index

Eric Crampton May 30, 2017

So Labour and National are scrapping over whether National’s increased or decreased the health budget. There’s no question that health budgets are well up since National took office, whether in per capita terms, real terms, nominal terms, or real per capita terms. Population’s up about 10% since 2008; health budgets in CPI-adjusted terms are up about 29% since 2008. So … Read More

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