Via a tweet from the Productivity Commission, I find a new NZ economics blog! I don’t know who Donal is, but he’s doing good work. I’m adding him* to Feedly.
Here he posts on the productivity symposium. Sectoral productivity in Oz is far ahead of us, it’s mostly down to multifactor productivity and higher capital intensity there.
Geoff Mason from the UK’s National Institute of Economics and Social Research, presented some highly detailed comparisons of sectoral productivity in New Zealand and Australia. For most industries, Australia is well ahead: on average we achieve only 62% of Australia’s labour productivity. Geoff’s been able to pinpoint how much is down to, broadly speaking, better ways of doing things in Australia (‘multi factor productivity’), which explains 58% of the difference; how much is down to Australians working with more capital equipment than we do (39%); and how much is down to higher skill levels in Australia (very little, as it happens, only 3%).
If our labour productivity is only 62% of that in Oz, achieving wage parity with Oz would be rather destructive for overall employment.
Here he notes an insanity of the Overseas Investment Act: a land swap for an Auckland golf club has to route via the OIO because Fletcher’s is majority foreign owned.
Here he excoriates the Greens’ moneyprinting dreams. As he independently came to the same conclusion that Matt and I had, I conclude that he is very insightful.
Here he wonders why supermarkets bar arbitrage in baby formula. My working hypothesis has been that Fonterra underprices for the domestic market to avoid political pressure on other fronts; this breaks down where consumers then just ship the baby formula off to China.
Here’s a wonderful anecdote about our GST.
Here he discusses firm pricing decisions in NZ. My take: maintaining parallel importing is especially important here!
Welcome to the NZ Econ Blogosphere, Donal, whoever you are! The full list, in case you’ve interested:
- Matt Nolan, James Zucollo and coauthors blog at The Visible Hand
- Seamus and I blog here at Offsetting
- Paul Walker blogs at Anti Dismal
- Bill Kaye-Blake blogs at Groping Towards Bethlehem
- Sam Richardson blogs at Fair Play and Forward Passes
- Aaron Schiff blogs at Aaron Schiff
- …and now Donal at EconomicsNZ