Category Archives: Political Economy & History

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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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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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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AND THE WINNER IS …

In the economic contest between communist China. and democratic India what matters is people.   Listener: 9 August, 2014   Keywords: Growth & Innovation; Political Economy & History;   The debate in the 1950s was whether the Chinese economy would do better than the Indian one. Both countries had become independent in the late 1940s,…
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RISING TOP INCOMES

This was not published: 22 May, 2014.   Keywords: Distributional Economics; Political Economy & History;   Thomas Picketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century ‘has transformed our economic discourse; we’ll never talk about wealth and inequality the same way we used to’. So said Paul Krugman explicitly and ever so many other eminent economists implicitly…
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IS JOHN KEY FLAKY?

Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History;   In the Saturday 17 May 2014 issue of “The Dominion Post Weekend” Vernon small wrote an article. “English emerges smiling from global meltdown: Finance minister one of a string of highly competent money men, New Zealand has been ‘lucky to have’.” In it he quoted me….
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Launch of “But Is it Fair?”

But is it Fair? Faith Communities and Social Justice edited by Neil Darragh and published by Accent Publications (Launched at Connolly Hall, 6.00 4 April, 2014).   Keywords: Political Economy & History;  Social Policy;   I am not sure an economist should be launching this book. While economists are often treated as today’s secular theologians…
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Business of Office

It’s much easier to be environmentally pure in opposition than in government.   Listener: 27 March, 2014   Keywords: Environment & Resources; Political Economy & History;   Last year, a blogger argued that the Green Party did not need to engage with business interests while in opposition since whatever it did, it would win no…
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The Impact of the Great War on the New Zealand Economy

Paper to the Asia Pacific Economic and Business History Conference: 13-15 February, 2014.An earlier version is at http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/2013/11/the-economy-of-the-great-war-and-after/   Keywords: Political Economy & History;   Introduction and Reflection   Economic history sits in an uneasy position in the academy. It is, of course, a discipline in its own right but it is also an adjunct…
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Comparing the New Zealand and United States Economies

  Briefing to a Fulbright Orientation Panel: 7 February 2014 (Note there is a minor joke in this paper which New Zealanders may miss. Thomas Frank has written a widely discussed book about US politics entitled “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”.   Keywords: Political Economy & History;   Tena koutou katoa. Welcome to New Zealand.  …
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Growing Pains

As our main indicator of economic growth, GDP has major limitations.   Listener: 30 January, 2014.     Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History;   The expectation is for normal economic growth in the coming year. The economy peaked in September 2007 and stagnated (in per-capita terms) through to March…
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Hard Times

Literary classics from another era can tell us a lot about today’s economy.   Listener: 2 January, 2014.   Keywords: Literature and Culture; Political Economy & History;   This year I’ve been reading early 19th-century novels, partly for their literary quality and narrative, but also because they shed a fascinating light on English industrialisation and…
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Shock of the New

Oh for leaders who cushion us from economic blows and remain progressive.   Listener: 12 December, 2013   Keywords: Growth & Innovation; Political Economy & History;   We might pretend economic management is concerned with accelerating growth, but it is mainly about dealing with the myriad shocks that pepper the economy.   The market can…
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