Author Archives: Brian Easton

Housing Prices Relative to Consumer Prices: An Analysis

This report was published by the AUT Policy Observatory. It’s abstract is This is an update of a note I wrote in April 2007. It uses a longer housing price series that starts in 1962 (instead of 1980) and finishes in 2016 (instead of 2007). It shows that while historically housing prices have risen a little faster than consumer prices, the…
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UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Paper to the Fabian Society, 12 October, 2016   While we continue to chew over the carcass of the Fourth Labour Government – the Lange-Douglas one – we pay little attention to the subsequent Fifth Labour Government. Yet the Clark-Cullen one is greatly shaping the current Labour Opposition and the current National Government. It will,…
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THE NOTORIOUS CAPTAIN HAYES by Joan Druett

For launch at Ekor Bookshop and Café, Wellington; 25 August 2016.   I have just received the following email. It is from William Henry Hayes. The email address is ‘underworld’. I tried to reply but the lines are clogged by politicians getting advice. It reads   Another buccaneer by the name of Voltaire – I…
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WITH OR WITHOUT BRITAIN

The EU remains central to New Zealand’s destiny   Pundit: 23 December, 2014.   Keywords: Globalisation & Trade; Political Economy & History;   Suppose Britain exited the European Union of 28 countries. I am not recommending it; they would probably be worse off economically. Nor am I predicting it, although sometimes politics produces odd outcomes….
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DOES INEQUALITY AFFECT ECONOMIC GROWTH?

The OECD says yes; how do we respond? Pundit: 15 December, 2014. Keywords: Distributional Economics; Growth & Innovation; A recently released OECD report concludes that economic inequality hurts economic growth, and has particularly done so for New Zealand. Some of our responses were plain bizarre. Either the non-economic commentators had not understood the issue or…
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Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds Admit Impediments How much should the state be involved in determining who are in a marriage relationship?   Pundit: 12 December, 2014.   Keywords: Social Policy;   The recently released Child Poverty Action Group’s (CPAG) report on the Complexities of Relationship in the Welfare System and…
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OUR PETER JACKSON OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE?

How New Zealand businesses succeed internationally.   Pundit: 30 November, 2014.   Keywords: Growth & Innovation; Literature and Culture;   One of life’s pleasure is sitting with a child on one’s lap reading a book to them: attractive – sometimes mysterious – illustrations, humorous – even mischievous – plots, rhythmic sentences and just enough eccentric…
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PROLONGATION OF LIFE AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE.

How economists think about valuing life when allocating resources for healthcare purposes. Pundit: 28 November, 2014 Keywords: Health; A couple of comments to an earlier column asked questions about the quality of life versus the prolongation of life. It might be useful to set out an economic perspective on the broad issue, while acknowledging the…
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ARE NEW ZEALAND ECONOMISTS GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?

The Secretary of the Treasury appears to have doubts.   Pundit: 24 November, 2014.   Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy;   In a speech to economics teachers  earlier this month, the Secretary of the Treasury, Gabriel Makhlouf, argued for a different approach to economics from the one which dominates the profession in New…
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IS NEW ZEALAND’S INNOVATION POLICY TOO ELITIST?

We should focus more on introducing and adapting the world’s innovations using a skilled workforce.   Pundit: 17 November, 2014   Keywords: Growth & Innovation; Labour Studies;   Our so called ‘innovation policy’, which is at the heart of the government’s growth strategy – insofar as it has one – seems to be fundamentally flawed….
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