The Dismal Science

Auckland voter turn-out mapped

James Zuccollo Oct 12, 2016

I had a bit of a play around with mapping the voter return data from the 2016 Auckland local body elections (raw data available here).  I looked at it two ways: What areas had the highest/lowest turnout? (i.e. where is participation high/low) What areas had the highest raw number of votes? (“who elects the mayor”) Maps addressing these two … Read More

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Education – private and public benefits

Eric Crampton Oct 11, 2016

Massey University’s Professor Giselle Byrnes, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research, Academic and Enterprise), writes on the public benefits of tertiary education in this past week’s NBR. She makes a good case for the existence of public benefits; the main thrust of the piece is that the Productivity Commission’s report on tertiary pays insufficient heed to the public benefits while focusing on … Read More

New Zealand – envy of the world, or middling at best?

Michael Reddell Oct 05, 2016

Over the last couple of months I’ve lost track of the number of comments I’ve seen, from outlets that really should no better, about New Zealand’s economy at present being the envy of the world.  Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint seems a particularly egregious offender, but that might just be because I often have it on while I’m making dinner.  … Read More

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How computer automation affects occupations: technology, jobs, and skills

Paul Walker Sep 22, 2016

A common argument you see with regard to computers and employment is that computer automation leads to major job losses. James Bessen deals with this issue in a new column at VoxEU.org. A modern version of the Luddite story. Bessen argues that this line of argument, however, ignores the dynamic economic responses that involve both changing … Read More

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TVNZ on immigration: Hard Stuff or MBIE puff piece?

Michael Reddell Sep 13, 2016

According to TVNZ,  “The Hard Stuff sees Nigel Latta tackling the key issues facing NZers”, funded with taxpayer’s money through NZ On Air. I don’t think I’d watched any of Latta’s programmes previously, but when I heard a couple of years ago that he was planning to tackle immigration I suppose I welcomed the notion that a mainstream broadcaster … Read More

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Pharmacy only access for e-cigarette nicotine

Eric Crampton Sep 09, 2016

The folks over at the public health blog argue that access to nicotine for vaping should only be through pharmacies, or maybe through some licensed registered shops. One thing is obviously missing from their tallying of the relative costs and benefits of pharmacy-only access. I’ll copy their table below. A brief summary table Attribute/issue Pharmacies Vape stores Product array … Read More

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