Properly Assessing Income Adequacy in New Zealand

New Zealand Economic Papers, August 1995, p.89-101.(1)

Kewords: Distributional Economics;

Abstract: This paper is a response to “Assessing Income Adequacy in New Zealand”, by Edith Brashares. Despite the paper’s claim to involve “empirical” assessment, her methods rely primarily on not very plausible assumptions. This paper reviews them, reaffirms the main New Zealand development of the assessment of income adequacy which the original paper all but ignored, and concludes with a brief discussion on the role of introspective analysis in economic science and social policy.

Market Incomes: Their Capacity to Deliver a Living Wage

A paper for the New Zealand Planning Council conference, “The Distribution of Income and Wealth in New Zealand”, by Brian Easton*   Keywords: Distributional Economics; Social Policy;   Probably the first text I ever read as an economics undergraduate was Tjalling Koopmans’ “Three Essays on the State of Economic Science” (1957). The book contains an…
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What Happened to Egalitarian New Zealand?

Bob Scott Lecture Series on Inequality, 25 June 2019. (See also Have We Abandoned the Egalitarian Society?) What I want to do this evening is examine egalitarianism. In particular, New Zealand is a less egalitarian society today than it was when I was growing up in the 1950s. Why? How? The structure of the paper…
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The Macroeconomic Implications of the Public Finance Act

Presentation to the Symposium: ‘Wellbeing’, Budget Responsibility Rules, and the Public Finance Act (15 April, 2019, Victoria University of Wellington) [1] Macroeconomic analysis, research, policy and forecasting is based upon two major data bases. One, provided by Statistics New Zealand, is centred on the National Accounts, but there are many additional elements. The other, which…
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BEING A HEALTH ECONOMIST

Wellington School of Medicine Summer School  22 February, 2019. But, first, you may well ask, why should anyone – especially a health practitioner – care about health economics? When I was teaching health economics to sixth-year medical students, I wrote on the board so that it was there during the entire session: EITHER HEALTH PROFESSIONALS…
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Poverty and the Statistician

Presentation to the Wellington Statistics Group, 10 December, 2018 This year’s Child Poverty Reduction Act (CPRA) marks a major innovation in social policy. Politicians – here and overseas – have promised to eliminate child poverty at some date in the future. They never have and by the time the target date is reached the promisers…
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Maori have been trapped in a poverty cycle

Dale Husband | May 15, 2018 This was published in e-tangata. Brian Easton is a 75-year-old economist, statistician, academic, historian, columnist, and author. For much of his career, he’s made a specialty of explaining to New Zealanders what’s going right and what’s going wrong in our economy. In his latest book, Heke Tangata, which was commissioned…
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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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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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BLOWING BUBBLES

If New Zealand is heading for a housing market implosion, watch what you borrow.   Listener: 24 June, 2014.   Keywords: Business & Finance; Macroeconomics & Money; Regulation & Taxation;   When commentator Jesse Colombo in business journal Forbes said New Zealand had a housing and credit bubble, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce shot the…
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IS NEW ZEALAND A BUBBLE ECONOMY?

Wellington branch, NZ Shareholders Association, 10 June 2014 Keywords: Business & Finance; Macroeconomics & Money; My topic tonight is New Zealand as a bubble economy. But I need to start with a listener warning. I am an economist, not a financial adviser – registered or unregistered. Economic theory tells us something about the context of…
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Chips with Everything

Chips with Everything It is a fallacy to claim the poor just need financial advice to improve their lot.   Listener: 10 April, 2014.   Keywords: Distributional Economics; Social Policy;   I was working on a standard-of-living case and was shown figures prepared by an approved budget advisory service for Meg and her daughter Stacey…
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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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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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Economic Inequality in New Zealand: a User’s Guide: Key Points

Extracted from the full report published in The New Zealand Journal of Sociology, Vol 28, Issue 3, 2013, pages 9-66. (http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/2013/12/economic-inequality-in-new-zealand-a-users-guide-summary/)   Keywords: Distributional Economics; Statistics;   Key Messages   Section 1: Why is Economic Inequality Important?   1. The section identifies four main issues as to why inequality may be important – equity –…
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Economic Inequality in New Zealand: a User’s Guide

Published in The New Zealand Journal of Sociology , Vol 28, Issue 3, 2013, pages 9-66.  http://ndhadeliver.natlib.govt.nz/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE18625730&dps_custom_att_1=ilsdb Keywords: Distributional Economics; Statistics; “When inequality is the common law of a society, the greatest inequalities do not call attention to themselves.” Democracy in America, A. de Tocqueville.   B. Perry (2103) Household Incomes in New Zealand: Trends…
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The Economy of the Great War – and After

Rethinking War: A Stout Research Centre Conference: 28-30 November 2013.   Keywords: Political Economy & History; Introduction [2]   The conference title invites us to ‘rethink war’, to shift away from traditional approaches to war history. There is a tendency to think of the war as about events which occur during it. That too, but…
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