Category Archives: Political Economy & History

Business of Office

It’s much easier to be environmentally pure in opposition than in government.   Listener: 27 March, 2014   Keywords: Environment & Resources; Political Economy & History;   Last year, a blogger argued that the Green Party did not need to engage with business interests while in opposition since whatever it did, it would win no…
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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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Comparing the New Zealand and United States Economies

  Briefing to a Fulbright Orientation Panel: 7 February 2014 (Note there is a minor joke in this paper which New Zealanders may miss. Thomas Frank has written a widely discussed book about US politics entitled “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”.   Keywords: Political Economy & History;   Tena koutou katoa. Welcome to New Zealand.  …
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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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Hard Times

Literary classics from another era can tell us a lot about today’s economy.   Listener: 2 January, 2014.   Keywords: Literature and Culture; Political Economy & History;   This year I’ve been reading early 19th-century novels, partly for their literary quality and narrative, but also because they shed a fascinating light on English industrialisation and…
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Shock of the New

Oh for leaders who cushion us from economic blows and remain progressive.   Listener: 12 December, 2013   Keywords: Growth & Innovation; Political Economy & History;   We might pretend economic management is concerned with accelerating growth, but it is mainly about dealing with the myriad shocks that pepper the economy.   The market can…
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The Hunter Council Chamber

Introduction to paper I Gave on the Great War in the Hunter Council Chamber of Victoria University of Wellington:  29 November, 2013 The paper is at http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/2014/11/the-economy-of-the-great-war-and-after/   Keywords: Political Economy & History;   This is the first occasion I have presented a paper in this Chamber, I would like to acknowledge its significance. Given…
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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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MYTH, POLITICIANS AND MARKETS:

The Truth Behind the Free Market by Bryan Gould (Macmillan, $54.95) This review was commissioned by ‘The Listener’ but not used  Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History; The dominant public narrative has a vision of business and the market as progressive forces, held back by unnecessary interventions from politicians and…
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Labouring over Inequality

The big issue concerning Labour’s grass roots is a bit of a surprise.   Listener: 17 October, 2013   Keywords: Distributional Economics; Political Economy & History;   The popular party vote that elected David Cunliffe leader of the Labour Party reveals much about what the party grass roots think. They gave a lower significance to…
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State Leadership in New Zealand’s Economic Development

Public Sector Conference: 5-6 September, 2013 Published in Foreign Control Watchdog 134, January 2014: p.46-50   Keywords: Business & Finance; Globalisation & Trade; Governance;  Political Economy & History;   If you look at the top ten companies on the New Zealand share market, you will find that half were once owned by the government or…
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Cleaning up Corruption

CLEANING UP CORRUPTION Becoming a democratic country is not as simple as just holding free elections.   Listener: 5 September, 2013.   Keywords: Growth & Innovation; Political Economy & History;   Indonesians think of their country as a democracy following the introduction of relatively fair and free elections after the collapse of the Suharto dictatorship…
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Culture of Dependency

We must remember the lesson of the 1960s and ensure the diversity of our exports and markets.   Listener: 22 August, 2013.   Keywords: Globalisation & Trade; Growth & Innovation; Political Economy & History;   We learnt from the Great Depression of the 1930s that New Zealand was over-dependent on a few exports – wool,…
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Where My History Research Is At: A Business Background

These are some notes I prepared for a session on 15 August 2013 to students doing a Bachelor of Applied Management (Business Heritage, Culture and Sustainability section) of the Christchurch, Northland, Otago and Waikato Polytechs.     Keywords: Business & Finance; Political Economy & History;   To begin provocatively. Last week the government announced a…
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The Business of Inequality

Nelson Spirited Conversations; 24 July, 2013. (Revised)   Keywords: Distributional Economics; Political Economy & History;   On a recent television program New Zealander Robert Wade, Professor of Development Studies at the London School of Economics, suggested that New Zealand might be ruled by 1 percent of the population, say 35,000 adults. The Deputy Prime Minister,…
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Our Muslim Neighbours

Indonesian Muslims don’t necessarily support the opinions and actions of Middle Eastern Muslims.   Listener: 8 June, 2013   Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Literature and Culture; Political Economy & History;   I once flew from Dublin to Vienna – both Catholic but with very different atmospheres. The distance from Mecca to Jakarta…
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The Fathers’ Incomes Premium in the Postwar Era

Draft for discussion; this version completed 24 May 2103.   Keywords: Political Economy & History; Social Policy; Statistics;   This note disinters a result I found in the 1970s and subsequently buried in Income Distribution in New Zealand. Years later it may have some relevance to some puzzles I am working on about the changing…
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Albert Hirschman (1915-2012)

  It is said social scientists don’t live dangerously, but here’s one who did.   Listener: 16 February, 2013.   Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History;   Miraculously, all four Jewish schoolboys in the picture (which accompanied the column)  taken in Berlin in about 1930 escaped the Holocaust, which killed…
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