Category Archives: Health

Drinking and Self Assessed Welfare: a Statistical Analysis

This is the draft of a paper for 2009 Conference of the New Zealand Statistical Association, 3 September 2009. The presentation was a PowerPoint based on it. It is part of a study of the impact of drinking by associates undertaken by the  Centre for Social and Health Outcomes, Research and Evaluation (SHORE), Massey University….
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Reviewing the Sale Of Liquor Act: Tax and Pricing Consequences

Report prepared for the New Zealand Law Commission. Filed 30 June, 2009. Executive Summary Keywords: Health; : Health;1. The Policy Framework It is assumed that any review of the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 will continue the policy framework on which it was based. Previously, the implicit assumption was that almost all alcohol consumption was…
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Executive Summary Of Reviewing the Sale Of Liquor Act: Tax and Pricing Consequences

Report prepared for the New Zealand Law Commission. Filed 30 June, 2009. The Executive Summary was reproduced in the Law Commission’s report Alcohol in Our Lives, p.172-175.   The full report   Keywords: Health;   Conclusions             – on the whole, much alcohol consumption is benign or even socially beneficial, but some generates very great…
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Measuring the Impact Of Gambling

Paper to the Wellington Statistical Group, 2 February, 2009. (With Quan (Ryan) You Analyst, Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation (SHORE), of Massey University.)   Keywords: Health; Statistics;   In 2007 the Ministry of Health commissioned Massey University’s Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation (SHORE) and Te Ropu Whariki…
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Assessment Of the Social Impacts Of Gambling in New Zealand

Report to Ministry of Health by Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation & Te Ropu Whariki, Massey University.   Keywords: Health; Statistics;   “The report of the project Assessment of the Social Impacts of Gambling in New Zealand was primarily written by En-Yi (Judy) Lin and Sally  Casswell with analysis by Ru…
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Evidence to the Human Rights Review Tribunal

The case involved a number of parents of disabled adult children who claimed that the Ministry of Health discriminated against them, by not paying them for services for which it would pay outside carer. For more detail see . My role was a very small one dealing with the costs. Keywords: Health; Social Policy;…
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Civilised Drinking

Cheers to George Laking: 1912-2008. Listener: 23 February, 2008. Keywords: Health; Regulation & Taxation; Sir George Laking rendered many services to New Zealanders. Perhaps none was as important as his chairing the 1989 government committee that recommended today’s liquor licensing regime. The consumption of liquor has always been a problem, less so in the distant…
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Socioeconomic Impacts Of Gambling

Paper for Combined APSAD and Cutting Edge Addiction Conference 2007 (Aotea Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, 4-7 November 2007). This reports on a contract of SHORE (Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation) at Massey University.     Keywords: Health;    One area of addiction is gambling. Over the last year SHORE, the Centre for…
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Policy Convergence: Health Care

Chapter 16 of “Globalisation and the Wealth of Nations” Keywords: Health; While there is much policy convergence, both to best practice and where international trade is involved, this chapter argues that it is not necessary in many areas, such as health care. But even here, cross-boundary movements of goods and people compromise a country’s freedom…
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Research and Destroy

Studies of race relations are sometimes used to bolster prejudice, not reveal the truth.    Listener: 10 February, 2007.     Keywords: Health; Maori; Social Policy;    Don Brash’s January 2004 Orewa speech may have been a key event in New Zealand race relations. The earlier foreshore and seabed decisions had stirred a restlessness about…
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Economic Impacts Of Alcohol-related Problems

  Paper for the conference “Alcohol: Evidence-based Impacts and Interventions”, sponsored by the Center for Alcohol Studies, of the Health System Research Institute and the Department of Mental Health, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, held 13 -14 December, 2006 in Bangkok.   Keywords: Health;   This paper is dedicated, with affection and respect, to the…
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Is the New Zealand Health System Spending Enough on Pharmaceuticals?

New Zealand Future Medicines Policy Summit, 29-30 May, 2006, Wellington

Keywords: Health;

My task is to set out briefly the issues that this panel of economists has been asked to address: whether the New Zealand health system is spending enough on pharmaceuticals. I’ll divide the answer into two. Is New Zealand spending enough on health care? Is New Zealand spending enough on pharmaceuticals in the health budget?

Can We Improve the New Zealand Health System?

Keywords: Governance; Health;

Discussions on the effectiveness of the health system need to separate out the funding from the provision. The Labour Government has poured a lot of money into the public health system in recent years (the boost actually began earlier under the National-NZF coalition government in 1996), and it has been disappointed by the results. It has concluded that there is something wrong on the providing side.

Health Status and Income Inequality

This version was revised in March 2006.

Keywords: Distributional Economics; Health;

Introduction and Summary

This paper brings together some recent research about the relationship between health status and income inequality. It focuses upon a set of propositions which challenge the conventional wisdom. They are:

1. That in a rich country poverty – low material standard of living – probably does not directly impact on health, but does indirectly through stress which income differences generate.

2. The increase in household inequality in the period of the late 1980s and early 1990s was more due to changes in tax, benefit, and government spending policies than it was due to market liberalisation. However, the market liberalisation increased stress on New Zealanders.

3. There is some evidence that income inequality may be increasing, due to factors such as globalisation and technological change.

4. The most common poor New Zealand household is a couple with children who are of Pakeha ethnicity, who own their home (usually with a mortgage), and who depend upon wages for their main income. There are other groups who have higher incidence of poverty, but because they are smaller they do not involve as many people. This means that effective poverty eradication involves working on a broad front rather than targeting minority groups.

5. Illness does not correlate well with income, unless age is controlled for. The sick in New Zealand are the elderly, although the paper goes on to argue that policies aiming to reduce poor health in the long term need to target those with low incomes and low in the socioeconomic status hierarchy.

Alcohol – Socioeconomic Impacts (including Externalities)

Draft for “The Encyclopedia of Public Health”

Keywords: Health; Regulation & Taxation;

Depending on the cultural context and particular circumstances, the same drink of alcohol can generate a feeling of benign prosperity, or moroseness, or stupor. The immediate health benefits for the individual may also be benign (or even beneficial), or the drink may result in injury or death – in the short run from accident or in the long run from one of the diseases alcohol can precipitate. The consequences for others may also be benign or beneficial, or damaging or mortal from violence or collateral accident. Someone may be born as the result of intentional or unintentional impregnation. The loss of production due to poorer workplace productivity or non-attendance from drinking alcohol may cause financial loss to the drinker and possibly to others. Among the many sectors of the economy alcohol may, or may not, especially generate additional costs in the criminal system, in the health system, and in the transport system. The national budget probably gains from the specific tax it levies on alcoholic beverages, but these levies may, or may not, cover its costs from the consumption of alcohol.

New Zealand’s Pharmaceutical Policies: a Fresh Look

This report, commissioned by Pharmac, reviews the report by Castalia Strategic Advisers New Zealand Pharmaceutical Policies: Time to Take a Fresh Look.   Keywords: Health;   INTRODUCTION   In August 2005, Castalia Strategic Advisers, published a report New Zealand Pharmaceutical Policies: Time to Take a Fresh Look. The report was commissioned by Pfizer New Zealand…
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