Author Archives: Brian Easton

What does the Budget mean for the health sector in the long term?

Kaitiaki Nursing New Zealand May 25, 2022 It was surprising that Finance Minister Grant Robertson, in a pre-Budget speech, said that he thought the current health system was “incredibly inefficient”. Of course there are some inefficiencies in health-care delivery, just as there are in private enterprise: mistakes happen, some treatments could have been managed better…
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David Ian Pool: The Father of Aotearoa New Zealand Demography: (22 November 1936 – 28 April 2022)

Waikato Times May 21 2022 The University of Waikato made an inspired choice when it appointed Ian Pool to a chair in sociology in 1978. Strictly, he was not a sociologist. His masters degree had been in geography at the Auckland University College; his 1964 PhD in Demography was at the Australian National University under…
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McCarthy, Woodhouse and The Proposed Redundancy Social Insurance Scheme

This is adapted from a section of book, ‘In Open Seas’, which I am writing. I have published this extract because there has been some ahistoric claims about the characteristics of New Zealand’s public income support system. The 1972 Royal Commission on Social Security (the ‘McCarthy Commission’) pointed out that there was a case for…
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Reviews of Autobiographies by Politicians

Jim Bolger Fridays with Jim (September 2021) Simon Bridges The Ambiguity of Labels (April 2020) Michael Cullen In Defence of Social Democracy (July 2021) Michael Cullen’s Policy Achievements (July 2021) Review of Michael Cullen’s Autobiography (November 2021) Chris Finlayson Liberal-Conservatives And Social Democrats: The Future Of Māori (September 2021)

Review of Michael Cullen’s Autobiography

New Zealand International Review November/December 2021 Vol 46, No 6 p.26-7. LABOUR SAVING: A Memoir by Michael Cullen (Allen and Unwin, Auckland, 432pp, $50) In the 40 years since Muldoon’s reign, the predominant form of national political leadership has been a dual premiership in which, broadly, the prime minister manages the politics and the co-premier…
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FRIDAYS WITH JIM

Conversations about our country with Jim Bolger: David Cohen (Massey University Press, Auckland, 287pp, $45.) NZ International Review (September/October 2021) p.29-31 James Brendan Bolger presents a paradox. When he became prime minister, a Tom Scott cartoon presented him as a kind of Forrest Gump; in 2017 he outshone his other three panellists: Helen Clark, Geoffrey…
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IN PRAISE OF THE VIENNESE SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS

The Marginal Revolutionaries: How Austrian Economists Fought the War of Ideas: Janek Wasserman (Yale University Press; 2019) Asymmetric Information, Issue No. 70 / April 2021 p.7-8. Mentioning to colleagues that I was reading a book on Austrian economists almost invariably led to strong responses – sometimes positive, more often negative. But, typically, their responses were…
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Some Published Articles on Behavioural Economics by Brian Easton

In the Abstract: Will Most Of Us Have an Impoverished Retirement? (June 6, 1998) Richard Thaler’s Savings Principles (7 January 1999) Two Styles Of Management (1 July 1999)             This reviews             Thaler, R.H. (1992) The Winner’s Curse: Paradoxes and Anomolies of Economic Life, Princeton University Press;             Thaler, R.H. (1994) Quasi Rational Economics, Russell…
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A Proposal for an Earnings-Related Redundancy Insurance Protection.

1          Summary 1.1       This short paper sets out a scheme for reducing the shock of lost income from redundancy. 2          Preliminaries: Dealing with a Private Market Failure 2.1       This proposal arises because the private market has not been able to provide adequate income protection for those who become unemployed from redundancy. In particular…
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Notes on ‘Rentier Capitalism’

I have been dipping into Brett Christophers’ Rentier Capitalism: Who Owns the Economy and Who Pays for It? Economists should be warned that his use of the term ‘rentier’ is ‘heterodox’ (his term). I have no difficulty with Humpty-Dumpty’s ‘When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither…
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Designing a The Primary Macropolicy Wellbeing Indicator

Introduction: The focus of this paper is on macroeconomic management and not on the entirety of economic policy. There are many issues which macroeconomic interventions cannot address. To use macroeconomic instruments, rather than the relevant targeted instrument, will blunt the effectiveness of macropolicy interventions. Reflecting, this paper is really a critique of the current primary…
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We Must Avoid Treating Māori As Living Fossils.

There are times when tikanga needs to be broken for tikanga to survive. I recently gave a presentation on Māori economic history based on my Not in Narrow Seas. Its most important message was that Māori proved to be a very adaptable people continually evolving as new opportunities arose. The European tradition recalls the Duke…
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A Brief History of the Māori Economy: How Things Change

Presentation to a Statistics New Zealand Seminar, 23 February, 2021. Māori involvement in the economy has been an integral part of New Zealand’s story, even if we ignore the first 500 years when there was only a Māori economy. Unlike many of our histories, Not in Narrow Seas does not. There are about 40,000 words…
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