Author Archives: Brian Easton

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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PENALISING THE POOR

Sloppy analysis is dividing us into the deserving and undeserving   Pundit: 3 November, 2014.   Keywords: Distributional Economics; Social Policy;   Being no expert on domestic violence, I looked at the Glenn inquiry’s The People’s Report to see what it had to say about causes. I had expected a summary of the research literature…
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DOES PIKETTY MATTER?

Thomas Piketty says economic inequality has been getting greater in the world, and will get greater. What about New Zealand?   Pundit: 28 October, 2014   Keywords: Distributional Economics; History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy;   Paul Krugman has said “Thomas Piketty has transformed our economic discourse; we’ll never talk about wealth and inequality the…
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HOW SUSTAINABLE IS NEW ZEALAND?

One of the biggest issues missed during the election campaign was the sustainability of National’s economic, environmental and even social policies. So what do you do if the government’s not thinking long-term?   Pundit: 29 September, 2014.   Keywords: Environment & Resources;  Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History; Social Policy;   Behavioural economics is…
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LABOUR AND GREENS VOTERS ARE MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT

  If voters can see the commonality between Labour and the Greens, why can’t political analysts?   Pundit: 22 September, 2014   Keywords: Political Economy & History;   Most political analysis in New Zealand seems trapped in the two-party winner-takes-all world, or perhaps they are numerically challenged by the number which comes after two. Whichever,…
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THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR ‘ROCKSTAR ECONOMY’

A softening of the housing market, falling dairy prices and potential weakening of the Chinese economy do not bode well for New Zealand   Pundit: 22 September, 2014   Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money;   There were knowing smiles among economists when earlier this year John Key set the election date a couple of months early….
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Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy: A CPAG publication

Contribution to Wellington launch, 9 September, 2014.     Keywords: Social Policy;   This year is the fortieth anniversary of the recognition that by far the largest group of the poor in New Zealand are children and their parents (and guardians). Previously the conventional wisdom had thought it was beneficiaries who were the poor but…
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