Category Archives: Index

Writings on Earthquakes (Index)

This index, first compiled in January 2013 and subsequently updated, is a list of article on the website which have a substantial content about earthquakes and other natural calamities. They were not a focus until the Canterbury Earthquakes, which I began writing about as “Listener” columns to illustrate general issues. However, they are acquiring a…
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Thinking About China (index)

This series of “Listener” columns were an occasional series that arose out of a trip funded by the 2009 NZIER-NBR Economist of the Year Award. Keywords: Globalisation & Trade; Political Economy & History; Engaging China: (26 June 2010) Will China Rule the World? (24 July, 2010) China or Bust: (7 August, 2010)…
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The Global Financial Crisis Ii (index)

In early 2009 I published a summary of my writings on the Global Financial Crisis from August 2007 to March 2009: (itself following an early note on what I called the Millennium Depression: This index updates the earlier summary and its prologue remains relevant here. The summary is to trace my thinking on…
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Gambling Economics (Index)

Keywords:  Health; Time and Money Spent Gambling and the Relationship with Quality-of-life Measures: A National Study of New Zealanders (July 2010) Journal of Gambling Issues Measuring the Impact of Gambling (February 2009)  Paper to Wellington Statistical Group Assessment of the Social Impacts of Gambling in New Zealand (January 2009) Report to the Mnistry…
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The Exchange Rate (index)

Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money;

A correspondent, R.B. Chrystal, to The Listener asked

Why do we have a floating currency and what advantage is it to the country in general? To me it seems that all it does is allow another tier of parasites, ie currency speculators, into the system as well as create more uncertainty for our exporters. The strength or weakness of our dollar seems to bear very little relationship to the strength or weakness of our economy, as was touted when it was floated.

My answer, published in The Listener of 1 August 2003 is given below. Go to Brian Easton’s response I asked another economist to look at my reply. He thought it fine but also offered his account, which does not address the respondent’s question directly, but gives greater insight into official thinking. Go to another economist’s response <

Energy (Index)

In Stormy Seas: The Post-War New Zealand Economy Chapter 11: Industry and Energy (1997)
Capital and Technological Change: Some International Comparisons From In Stormy Seas Chapter 14 (1997)

The Maori Geothermal Claim: A Pakeha Economist’s Perspective (September 1993)
Future Shocks (November 1996)
Risking Dialogue: Electricity Outages Show How Consumers are Powerless (August 1998)
Electric Rhetoric: Sneering Instead of Thinking (July 1999)
Air Force: An Answer to Our Power Needs May Be Blowing in the Wind (March 2003)
Power Games: The Electricity Crisis is the Result of Bad Economics (May 2003)

Postcard from Arabia (April 2000)
Rhetoric and Iraq: Arab Brothers and Oil Sisters (October 2002)
New World Disorder (April 2003)
A Note on Iraq, Oil and the US Dollar (April 2003)

Economics Of Socialism (Index)

Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy;

The Left and Economics: Are They Today’s Conservatives? (May 2002)
What Might A Left Wing Economic Policy Begin to Like? Some Notes (April 2002)
New Zealand in a Globalised World (September 2001)

The Third Way
Road to Damascus: What is the Third Way? And What Were the First Two? (December 1999)
At the Crossroads: Three Essays by Jane Kelsey (June 2002)

Bruce Jesson
His Purpose is Clear: Reflecting a Life of Thought and Experience (February 1999)
Global Warning: What would have Bruce Jesson have said about APEC (September 1999)
Nationbuilding and the Textured Society (Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture, October 2001)
The Nationbuilders Envoy (November 2001)

Karl Marx
Marks of Change (May 1990)
A Pantheon of Seven …. (March 2000)

Regional Economics (Index)

Local Government
Low Politics: Local Government and Globalisation (October 2001)
That ‘D’ word. What are we voting for this Week? (October 1998)
A Tale of Two Cities (September 1996)

Regions and Globalisation
Auckland in A Globalised World (September 2001)
Innovation and Growth in Nelson (June 2002)
Canterbury and Globalisation (March 2002)

See also The Globalisation Index

Maori studies which involve region al analysis are:
The Far North (June 1993)
Ninety Mile Beach (March 1991)
Western Bay of Plenty (October 1995)
The Chatham Islands (September 1993)

Competition and Monopoly: Index

Highly Concentrated (February 1981)
The Stock and Station Agent Industry (November 1995, but originally written in 1986)
The Public Interest in Competition Policy (October 1989)
Risking Dialogue: Electricity Outages Show How Consumers Are Powerless (August 1998)
Electric Rhetoric: Sneering Instead of Thinking (July 1999)
The Air New Zealand-QANTAS Merger: An Application in the Public Interest? (December 2002 )
Waccy Economics: Are there clear rules governing government investment? (September 2003)
Footnote for Listener 13 March 1999

It was Watties

Twenty-five years ago a colleague, Tony Rayner (now, alas, dead), received a letter from a large New Zealand corporation complaining that he had described them as a “monopoly” in a first year economics lecture. We were not concerned by the reporting – lectures are public events, although students must distinguish between the presentation of an argument and the presenter’s views. We were aghast because surely Watties was a monopolist.

About the same time, Watties took on a young accountant, David Irving, who eventually rose to chief executive, retired, and has just written (with Kerr Inkson) a book about his time with the firm. The book, It Must Be Watties, reports Irving’s view that the company was indeed a national monopoly then. It goes on to describes the travails that the firm went through, as the economy opened up and firms became subject to the pressures of competition, here and in its new export markets. Eventually, intensely nationalist Watties was taken over by the giant transnational Heinz, which previously had been its main competitor. For those interested in the impact of market liberalisation, this business history is a must-read.