The Dismal Science

Vaccines are cheap

Eric Crampton Jan 19, 2021

Israel chose to pay a bit over the odds for the Pfizer vaccine to get earlier access. Here’s The Times of Israel from 16 November. American government will be charged $39 for each two-shot dose, and the European bloc even less, but Jerusalem said to agree to pay $56. Israel has now vaccinated more than 80% of their elderly … Read More

Aristocracy of Pull continues

Eric Crampton Jan 18, 2021

RNZ reports on continued arbitrariness on decisions at the border.  British comedian Russell Howard is about to tour New Zealand and other acts allowed in through managed isolation this summer include drag queen RuPaul and musicians at Northern Bass in Mangawhai and the Bay Dreams festival. The vice-president of the Promoters Association, Gray Bartlett, said despite being an approved … Read More

Cleansing the Twitters

Eric Crampton Jan 13, 2021

I’m less than convinced by arguments that platforms like Twitter should be subject to common carrier regulation preventing them from being able to decide who to keep on as clients of their free services, and who they would not like to serve. It’s much easier to create competition for the network in this case than it was for Telecom in … Read More

RSE, MIQ, and WTF

Eric Crampton Dec 16, 2020

Late last month, the government announced it would allow 2000 seasonal workers into New Zealand’s Managed Isolation and Quarantine system on Recognised Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme, with workers to arrive from January to March 2021.  There’s just so much that’s backward in all of this. The RSE scheme is open to workers from the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, … Read More

Rationing scarce MIQ spaces

Eric Crampton Nov 13, 2020

Imagine yourself in the place of the MBIE boffin tasked with deciding which application for a scarce MIQ space is most deserving or most needed. The job isn’t easy. The government keeps a small number of spaces in MIQ for getting critical workers in. But somebody has to decide which workers are most critical. Applicants fill in forms to make … Read More

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