The Dismal Science

Opinion: Economic growth within Environmental limits

Michael Reddell Apr 20, 2018

That was the title of a speech David Parker gave a couple of weeks ago.  Parker is, as you will recall, a man wearing many hats: Minister for the Environment, Associate Minister of Finance, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Attorney-General.  Since he was speaking to a seminar organised by the Resource Management Law Association, this speech looked … Read More

Visiting economists opine on NZ

Michael Reddell Apr 19, 2018

Lots of people, even abroad, look at New Zealand’s economy.   For example, there are ratings agencies selling a commercial product to clients, and there are investment funds putting their own and clients’ money at risk.   And then there are the government agencies; notably the IMF and the OECD. Every year or so, a small team of IMF … Read More

Choice of baseline matters

Eric Crampton Apr 17, 2018

Looks like folks are back to arguing about whether there’s a J-curve in alcohol consumption. The J-curve plots out the relationship between all-cause mortality and drinking. Non-drinkers are at the left-hand upwards tip of the J, light-to-moderate drinkers are in the dip, then heavy drinkers are in the upwards tilt at the right hand side. And the ballpark numbers I … Read More

Population size and GDP per capita: US states

Michael Reddell Apr 16, 2018

There have been a few posts here (here, here, and here) in the last week or so around the issue of population size and GDP per capita –  not because my prior is that there is any such relationship but (a) because I think there isn’t, and it is worth occasionally illustrating that across countries, and (b) … Read More

Is Vaping Legal? Eric Crampton on the SmokeFree Environments Act

Eric Crampton Apr 16, 2018

The Fairfax papers have a good summary out today of what’s going on in vaping – as of a month ago. They write: When British public health experts first said vaping (using e-cigarettes) poses only a fraction of the health risk of tobacco smoking, the trend surged in popularity around the world, including in New Zealand. But it remains illegal … Read More

Small size simply isn’t the issue …

Michael Reddell Apr 12, 2018

Just yesterday I wrote, in response to a comment that My point simply was that there is no obvious correlation, in the cross section, between population size and GDP per capita (or productivity). I’m not aware of any serious observer arguing otherwise At the level of very simple correlations, I’d illustrated this lack of relationship –  whether for all … Read More

The 10-Year baby window that is the key to the women’s pay gap

Paul Walker Apr 11, 2018

An interesting new twist on the effects of children on the pay gap between men and women. It has long been argued that having kids is one reason for the gap in pay between men and women but now a new study suggests that women who have their first child before 25 or after 35 eventually close the salary divide … Read More

More on population and per capita GDP

Michael Reddell Apr 10, 2018

My quick post on Saturday, in response to someone’s comment, was designed simply to illustrate what should have been quite an obvious point: looking across countries in any particular year, countries with large populations don’t tend to be richer (per capita GDP) than countries with small populations.  Just among the very big countries, the United States is towards … Read More

Early gender gaps among university graduates

Paul Walker Apr 10, 2018

In a recent article at VoxEU.org Marco Francesconi and Matthias Parey write on Early gender gaps among university graduates. A summary of their column reads Women earning substantially less than men in all advanced economies, despite the considerable progress women have made in labour markets worldwide. This column explores the recent experience of university … Read More

Population and real GDP per capita

Michael Reddell Apr 09, 2018

I noticed a few comments to another of my posts about possible links between population size and economic performance. My working assumption is that, on average, across all countries, there isn’t any such relationship. Apart from anything else, if there were a positive relationship –  that was more than chance –  it would suggest that two countries … Read More