Economic Reforms: Index

Sequencing (December 1983)
Freeze and Thaw
(July 1984)
Ssh …It’s the Big ‘‘D’’ (August 1984)
Confidentially Yours (August 1984)
Devaluation!: Five Turbulent Days in 1984 and Then … (July 1985)

Economic Liberalisation: Where Do People Fit In?
(May 1987)
From Run to Float: the Making of the Rogernomics Exchange Rate Policy (September 1989)
Liberalization Sequencing: The New Zealand Case (December 1989)
Towards A Political Economy of New Zealand: the Tectonics of History (October 1994)
The Wild Bunch?: An Inquiry is Needed to Restore Treasury’s Integrity (August 1996)
The Great Diversification: Ch 9 of Globalization and a Welfare State (December 1997)
The State Steps In: Michael Bassett Makes A Case for Intervention. (August 1999)
Remaking New Zealand and Australian Economic Policy by Shaun Goldfinch (August 2001)
The Treasury and the Nationbuilding State (December 2001)

New Zealand’s Economic Performance This is an Index
Economic and Other Ideas Behind the New Zealand Reforms
(October 1994)
For Whom the Deal Tolls (Of Dogma and Dealers) (August 1996)
The Economic Impact of the Employment Contracts Act (October 1997)
Microeconomic Reform: The New Zealand Experience (February 1998)
Some Macroeconomics of the Employment Contracts Act (November 1998)
View From Abroad: What Do We Know about Economic Growth? (May 1999)
The Model Economist: Bryan Philpott (1921-2000) (August 2000)
Comparison with Australia: New Zealand’s Post-war Economic Growth Performance (August 2002)

The Debate
Waist Deep in the Big Muddy? (February 1991)
Friends in High Places: Rogernomic Policies Have Powerful Allies in Australia (April 1994)
Systemic Failure (December 1995)
Ignoring the Critics (February 1997)
A Permanent Revolution? (March 1997)
In the Dark: The State of Research Into the Economy is An Embarrassment (June 1997)
The New Zealand Experiment: A Model for World Structural Adjustment? (Review) (July 1997)
Out of Tune: Even the Officials Admit the Health Reforms Were Fatally Flawed. (December 1997)
Money for Jams: the Government Response to Roading Reforms is Commercialisation. (January 1998)
Reforms, Risks, and Rogernomics (March 1999)
The London Economist and the New Zealand Economy (December 2000)
Locked Out: of Free Press and Free Economics (May 2001)
A Surplus of Imitation (June 2001)
Government Spending and Growth Rates: A Methodological Debate (January-May 2002)
From Pavlova Paradise Revisited by Austin Mitchell (July 2002)
Manure and the Modern Economy: Has Economic Policy Hardly Changed? (September 2002)
From is This As Good As it Gets? (December 2002)
1999 and All That (January 2004)

The Commercialisation of New Zealand (1997)
In Stormy Seas: the Post-war New Zealand Economy (Chapters 15-16) (1997)
The Whimpering of the State: Policy After MMP (1999)

Footnote for Listener 14 March, 1998.


Rogernomes complacently tell the story of going to Karl Popper, one of the century’s most eminent philosophers, and being told that if the New Zealand reforms increased liberty that was good. Contrast the crassness of the Rogernomes with the subtlety of Popper. He would have said exactly the same thing to Hitler or Stalin.

Did the reforms increase liberty? Some Rogernomes have a special definition of “liberty”, strange to commonsense, which makes the proposition tautologically true. But so would have Hitler and Stalin.

What would Popper have said if he had had the facts in New Zealand? In the commonsense meaning there have been increases in liberty of some people. The rich pay lower taxes and have better access to consumer products. But others have lower incomes, are jobless, and have lost (or losing) their entitlements. They have less social and economic freedom than in the past.

Popper, who lived in New Zealand during the War, wrote in his biography, Unending Quest, “I had the impression [then] that New Zealand was the best-governed in the world.” We are steadily moving away from that era.

Footnote for Listener 11 September, 1999.

Don’t Fix it
My The Commercialisation of New Zealand gives the policy rule “if it aint broke, dont fix it,” rejecting reforms driven by concerns that the institution did not conform to the ideologue’s dogma: Employment Contracts Act, competition policy, ACC …. As the tide turns we find past ideologues using the slogan to shore up changes which have benefited them but not the economy: ECA, competitions policy, ACC …. My comments were not against all reforms, but against those required for doctrinal reasons. To the next reformers, I repeat: be clear about the problem before you impose the policy.

A priceless contribution comes from Douglas Myers, ex-chairman of the Roundtable. “If government subsidies and tax breaks for business were the route to economic salvation, New Zealand would have been a star performer in the past.” In the late 1930s and 1940s New Zealand may have been the world’s star economic performer. There was heavy intervention, but it does not follow that was the cause of the boom. Wrong on history and analysis, Mr Myers.