Category Archives: Macroeconomics & Money

Inflation: Creeping Toward Fiscal Management

Note written for circulation in March 2024 There’s almost no issue on which outgoing Labour MP and former Finance Minister Grant Robertson would find agreement with former National and Act leader Don Brash. But when Robertson was asked during his exit interview with the Herald whether he thought it was worth considering Brash’s idea of…
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How Effective is Monetary Policy for Fighting Inflation? A Memoir

Do I detect increasing uncertainty as to the effectiveness of monetary policy to deal with inflation? It may be helpful for an understanding what is going, to recount the conventional wisdom before ‘monetarism’; that term was coined in 1968 so I was there before it and recall some of the debate leading up to it….
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Notes on Targeting

Circulated 13 April 2023 There is a fetish for setting performance targets in, among other places, the education and health system. This note draws on economists’ experiences to caution about their use, and illustrates how this has mattered in the health system. The foundation principle is Gilling’s Law which states ‘how the game is scored…
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Learnings from The New Zealand Economic History of Shocks

Working Paper for New Zealand Productivity Commission Introduction Unexpected shocks to the New Zealand economy are endemic. The numerous small ones have been dealt with by the local initiatives inherent in the market economy and by common sense. However, there are a few big shocks where national action has been necessary. Sometimes those actions have…
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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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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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HOW SUSTAINABLE IS NEW ZEALAND?

One of the biggest issues missed during the election campaign was the sustainability of National’s economic, environmental and even social policies. So what do you do if the government’s not thinking long-term?   Pundit: 29 September, 2014.   Keywords: Environment & Resources;  Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History; Social Policy;   Behavioural economics is…
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THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR ‘ROCKSTAR ECONOMY’

A softening of the housing market, falling dairy prices and potential weakening of the Chinese economy do not bode well for New Zealand   Pundit: 22 September, 2014   Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money;   There were knowing smiles among economists when earlier this year John Key set the election date a couple of months early….
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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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