Category Archives: Political Economy & History

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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Acts of God and Government

Sarah Miles: The Christchurch Fiasco: The Insurance Aftershock and its Implications for New Zealand and Beyond. Dunmore Publishing, 2012 ($37.99)   New Zealand Books: Volume 23, No1, Issue 101, Autumn 2013.   Keywords: Business & Finance; Political Economy & History;   Given New Zealand’s reputation as ‘The Shaky Isles’, together with its accompanying history of…
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Writings on Earthquakes (Index)

This index, first compiled in January 2013 and subsequently updated, is a list of article on the website which have a substantial content about earthquakes and other natural calamities. They were not a focus until the Canterbury Earthquakes, which I began writing about as “Listener” columns to illustrate general issues. However, they are acquiring a…
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Economics for New Zealand Social Democrats

Young Labour Summer School; January 26, 2013 Today I want to talk about social democracy, especially its economic aspects. There are many who have narrowed down their vision of social democracy to social justice, including in international affairs. That is not the comprehensive heritage of social democracy, nor do social democrats have any special claims…
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The Global Financial Crisis iii (Index)

Writings on the Long Recession from October 2010 to December 2012 This is the third entry which summarises the Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath. The first index (www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1351) covered the period from August 2007 to March 2009 The trigger was in the US sub-prime market crisis in August 2007, about a year before the…
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The Politics Of NZ (Inc)

Published in “Foreign Control  Watchdog” 131, December 2012: p. 22-27. In a feature article in the Christchurch Press John McCrone argues that the rebuild of earthquake-shaken Christchurch and its future development was being dominated – and distorted – by the Key Government’s approach of New Zealand Inc. (‘The Business of NZ Inc’, 8 September, 2012)….
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In Praise Of Social Markets:

What is to be Done about Light Handed Regulation? Paper to the Fabian Society, December 14, 2012. For Regulation and Leaky Buildings see http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1686. This lecture was originally advertised as illustrating the deficiencies of light-handed regulation by failures in the building industry, particularly leaky buildings and those not robust to earthquakes. The intention was the…
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Seismic Shift

Canterbury earthquake victims might have received quite different help but for a 1990 change in the political landscape. Listener: 15 November,  2012. In 1988, a ministerial paper proposed reforms to New Zealand’s earthquake insurance. It came 44 years after the Government had established the Earthquake and War Damage Commission that would pay out for damages…
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Exercises in New Zealand’s Demography and Economic History

This is an earlier version of a paper published in New Zealand Population Review, which was a festschrift to D. Ian Pool (Vol 7, 2011 p.178-182) Introduction In the course of writing Not in Narrow Seas: New Zealand History from an Economic Perspective I was found myself not only reporting demographic history, but using demography…
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The Context of Light-handed Regulation

Introduction to a Fabian Society series on Light-handed Regulation, Wellington.10 September 2012 This is the first of five presentations on light-handed regulation. Its critics sometimes call it “light-headed” regulation, referring to the simple mindedness of the idea, or “light-fingered” regulation, referring to the way a goodly number used it to line their own pockets at…
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