The Dismal Science

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

Eric Crampton on the sugar tax and Otago’s response

Eric Crampton Apr 06, 2018

Otago’s public health people, perhaps unsurprisingly, didn’t like NZIER’s take on sugar taxes. They’ve blogged on it here, but they seem to have missed a few important points. A Report commissioned by the Ministry of Health, written by NZIER, has recently been getting air-time as an argument against taxing sugary drinks.  However, the Report seems to us to be … Read More

Opinion: Eric Crampton on the Psychoactive Substances Amendment Bill

Eric Crampton Mar 23, 2018

Legal markets for marijuana and ecstasy and the safer party pills, where products were subject to the Consumer Guarantees Act and where producers adulterating products would be punished, would stop Fentanyl-laced drugs at concerts and would be far more effective than ramping up punishments for producers of synthetic drugs. National pushing for increased penalties on this one is … Read More

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The deregulated interregnum

Eric Crampton Mar 16, 2018

E-cigarettes in New Zealand are in a really interesting spot right now. Last year, the then National-government signalled that a new legal regime for vaping was on its way. At the time, importation of nicotine-containing vaping liquids for personal consumption was allowed, but retail sale within New Zealand was not. That wasn’t to say it didn’t happen, but you kinda … Read More

Rational addiction and Naloxone

Eric Crampton Mar 12, 2018

Suppose for a moment that addicts are rational and that we’re really in a Becker-Murphy world. What happens in that world if a new technology makes it safer to consume an addictive product? If you’re overdosing on opioids, Naloxone can save your life. The easier is access to Naloxone, the less likely addicts are to die if they have an … Read More

Sweet Relief: Eric Crampton on the Sugar Tax

Eric Crampton Mar 08, 2018

For the past several years, public health lobbyists have pretended that all opposition to sugar taxes is ideologically motivated or dishonest. They have argued that the only thing stopping the government from implementing their beneficent proposals has been the actions of nefarious interest groups. And so it is interesting to read what the Ministry of Health’s officials actually thought about … Read More