The Dismal Science

The real increase in infrastructure

Donal Curtin May 28, 2017

The government made a decent effort in the Budget to boost the spend on infrastructure, as it showed in this graph, taken from the ‘Capital at a Glance’ document handed out yesterday as part of the Budget material. But if you thought that we will have an extra $32.5 billion worth of shiny new infrastructure in four … Read More

Tipping in New Zealand

Eric Crampton May 25, 2017

New Zealand has an excellent non-tipping equilibrium, but there’s been some discussion of encouraging a shift to tipping. A lot of restaurants do kinda have it, mostly (I think) as a way of securing rents from foreign tourists who don’t know better. But most of the discussion around tipping has the base economics of the thing wrong. The main point … Read More

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More people means more emissions. So how about fewer people?

Michael Reddell May 24, 2017

I’ve never had that much interest in climate change.  Perhaps it comes from living in Wellington.   If average local temperatures were a couple of degrees warmer here most people would be quite happy.    And as successive earthquakes seem to have the South Island pushing under the North Island, raising the land levels around here –  you can … Read More

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New immigration data from Statistics New Zealand

Michael Reddell May 22, 2017

One can, and does, grizzle about the range and quality of New Zealand’s official statistics.  But last Friday saw a small but welcome step forward. On various occasions I’ve written about the limitations of the permanent and long-term migration data.  Those data are based on the self-reported intentions of travellers at the time they cross the New Zealand border, and … Read More

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What (e/im)migration data to use when

Michael Reddell May 02, 2017

I was having a conversation with someone the other day, trying to explain both what data there were on movements of people into (and out of) New Zealand, and which data was useful for what purpose.  Reflecting on that afterwards, it seemed that a post might be useful.  This follows on from my post last week on the Herald’s misleading … Read More