Category Archives: History of Ideas, Methodology, Philosophy

Cassandras and the Global Financial Crisis

Spirited Conversations: Nelson, 29 October 2009.   Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy;   Political Economy & History;   This evening’s presentation is about two terms which are homophones. I shall begin by talking about prophets – spelt p-r o-p-h-e-t-s. Later I shall talk about p-r-o-f-i-t-s. Both have a number of meanings, not least the…
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Less Equal Than Others

Societies with great inequality are more prone to poor health, social hostility and crime. Listener: 29 August, 2009. Keywords: Distributional Economics; History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; When I was working on the problems of inequality and poverty in the 1970s, my colleagues joked I was a social economist, even if they spent more time…
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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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Economic Growth Research in New Zealand: the Fathers That Begat Us

Paper to the 50th Anniversary Conference of the New Zealand Association of Economists: 1 July, 2009: Wellington.  Keywords: Growth & Innovation; History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Statistics;   This paper looks only at the first 25 years of the New Zealand research program on economic growth. It focuses on the empirical analysis but refers…
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Paul, Timothy Money and the Economy

Presentation to begin a discussion on the Global financial Crisis; to the ‘God Talk’ series at the  the Cathedral Church of St Peters, Hamilton Cathedral, May 3, 2009. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Macroeconomics & Money; I thought context for this evening’s discussion would be a biblical text – verses 6 to 10…
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The Curse Of Cassandra

Would you rather be comforted or told the truth?   Listener: 2 May, 2009.   Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy;  Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History; April 26 is the centenary of the birth of the great 20th-century newspaper columnist William Connor, who wrote under the byline Cassandra. The allusion is to…
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Alfred Marshall on Mathematics in Economics

Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy;   In his blog of 26 March 2009, Paul Krugman pointed out that Anton Kaletsky was wrong when he claimed that John Maynard Keynes did not have an economic model when he wrote his General Theory. (Kaletsky is not always right when he criticises economists he disagrees with.)…
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Needs to Know

Calculating the human condition    Listener: 10 January, 2009    Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy;     Social scientists use American psychologist Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs” as a way of characterising the human condition.    Self-actualisation  ▲  Esteem  ▲  Love  ▲  Affection & Belonging  ▲  Safety Needs  ▲  Physiological Needs    Often…
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Does Material Affluence Boost Wellbeing?

Revised version of the paper to 7X7 seminar, Wellington, 22 July, 2008   Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy;   What is the purpose of it all? For 200 years economists have assumed that the more material goods the better, and the purpose of the economy was to supply those goods. The notion that…
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Modest Achiever

Bill Phillips is Up There with the Greats. Listener: 12 July,2008 Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Macroeconomics & Money; Economists from all over the world are meeting in Wellington over the next couple of weeks to celebrate New Zealander Bill Phillips and the paper he published 50 years ago. This paper introduced what…
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From Ordinary Beginnings to Extraordinary Achievements

The text of the display celebrating Bill Phillips, opened in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Museum on 7 July, 2008. The text is written around various images, but may be of some value without them. I should like to acknowledge the Phillips Family, the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, the Reserve Bank Knowledge Centre, 3D…
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William Ball Sutch (1907-1975)

Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History; Biographical Essays (October 2000) Entry in The New Zealand Dictionary of Biography (November 2001) Entry in Chapter 7 – early life to 1950 and Chapter 10 – later life from 1951 of The Nationbuilders (September 1998) Trying to Understand Dr Sutch (December 2001) Sutch…
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The Brendan Thompson Prize for International Economics

The Waikato Management School annually awards a prize in memory of Brendan Thompson to the to student in the international economics course. After I gave the 2008 prize to Nicole Gray on 8 April, 2008, I was invited to make a short speech:   Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy;   Brendan Thompson’s first…
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Globalisation and Social Democrats

The Meaning of Globalisation  Globalisation – the integration of regional and national economies – has been one of the great forces which have shaped the modern world. New Zealand would be a very different place had there been no globalisation and its forces continue to influence our world. To what extent we can shape our…
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Public Debate? Yeah, Right

Current economic debate rarely extends beyond hearsay and uninformed opinion.    Listener: 15 December, 2007.    Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History;    Thirty years ago, a large majority of New Zealand economists argued for greater use of the market to regulate the economy. Prime Minister Rob Muldoon was sympathetic,…
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Writing Globalisation and the Wealth Of Nations

Presented to the Stout Research Centre ‘Research Roundup’ 17 October 2007   Keywords:  Globalisation & Trade; Growth & Innovation; History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy;   Invited to contribute to this Stout Centre Research Roundup, I was torn between telling you about the project I am working on, and the one which I have just…
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