Category Archives: Social Policy

The Too Hard Basket

THE TOO HARD BASKET Listener: 19 January, 2012. Keywords: Environment & Resources; Distributional Economics;  Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History;  Regulation & Taxation;  Social Policy; Every government has issues it hopes will go away. They don’t. Here are some for our one. Our Emissions Trading Scheme is looking like a dog’s breakfast, and/or something…
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Treasury Improving

Listener: 23 November, 2011. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Social Policy; Economists always knew income was just one contributor to total well-being, but it was the only bit they could study. Later, as the databases became more comprehensive, new research enabled them to turn their minds to what else matters and to look…
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Nz Child Welfare a Disgrace

Listener: 28 October, 2011. Keywords: Social Policy; Is New Zealand the best place in the world to bring up children? A report from economist David Grimmond, The Effectiveness of Public Investment in New Zealand Children, suggests not. After combining 26 indicators of children’s welfare from 30 OECD countries – ranging from drunkenness, bullying and suicide…
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The Foundations Of Social Welfare in New Zealand

Paper to a Student Group from Carleton University, 10 February 2011. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History; Social Policy; Europeans were greatly puzzled by the American debate over President Obama’s health reforms, for almost everyone there assumes the public sector should actively promote universal health care. Clearly that is not…
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Public Spending and Home Health Services

New Zealand Home Health National Conference, 2 September, Auckland Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money;  Social Policy; I have been asked to present an account of the economic context in which the home health services industry will function. I am not going to talk about the rising demand for its services because of population shifts taking that…
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The Benefits and Costs Of Gambling: Some Policy Implications

Commissioned Report: April 2010 Keywords: Health; Regulation & Taxation; Social Policy; Executive Summary The following is not the usual executive summary. Rather it draws out the policy implications of the known costs and benefits of gambling, thereby summarising the main report, which consists of two parts. Appendix I is a general account about how economists…
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The Complete Package

Sue Bradford’s departure leaves a huge gap in the Greens, and Parliament. Listener: 12 December, 2009. Keywords: Regulation & Taxation; Social Policy; To work properly, the market must be “complete” – that is, all possible transactions must be able to be carried out. For example, those who invested in finance firms such as Bridgecorp should…
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New Insights into the Experienced Generations

Speech to Launch the Report “New Insights into the Experienced Generation” for the Hope Foundation, 30 July 2009   Keywords: Social Policy; Statistics;   This report represents a further step to our understanding of ourselves as a society. Only a few decades ago we treated all New Zealanders as the same, with the implicit assumption…
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Equity and the Tax System

Tax, Saving Welfare and Retirement: Have We Lost our Way? Symposium, Retirement Policy and Research Centre, University of Auckland, 16 July, 2009   Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Maynard Keynes   Keywords: Distributional Economics; History of Ideas, Methodology &…
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Understanding the Fiscal Imperatives

Paper for Towards a Value Driven Public Sector Summit, 15 July, 2009.   Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; Regulation & Taxation; Social Policy;   Before talking about the fiscal imperatives in the narrow sense, I want to make a couple of general remarks about the rhetoric of policy. .   The first is that the need…
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The Economic Crisis: Where Does Acc Fit In?

Paper to the summit “Reviewing New Zealand’s Accident Compensation System” Wellington, 29 June, 2009.     Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; Social Policy;    The world is facing a global financial crisis with the international system malfunctioning, as many banks – which provide the means of payment and facilitate investment – having to limit their lending…
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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 http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1396 . My role was a very small one dealing with the costs. Keywords: Health; Social Policy;…
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Incentives Matter: Incentive Design Matters More

Listener: 22 March, 2008. Keywords: Social Policy; Statistics; “Incentives matter” is a routine part of economists’ thinking. Tax a commodity, its price goes up and there is an incentive to reduce consumption. Reduce the tax, the price goes down and the incentive goes the other way. But many real-life circumstances are more complex, and the…
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