Final Bryce Wilkinson

Dr Bryce Wilkinson

Senior Fellow

Bryce is a Senior Fellow at The New Zealand Initiative, and also the Director of the Wellington-based economic consultancy firm Capital Economics. Prior to setting this up in 1997 he was a Director of, and shareholder in, First NZ Capital. Before moving into investment banking in 1985, he worked in the New Zealand Treasury, reaching the position of Director. Bryce holds a PhD in economics from the University of Canterbury and was a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University. He is a Fellow of the Law and Economics Association of New Zealand.

Bryce is available for comment on fiscal issues, our poverty, inequality and welfare research. He also has a strong background in public policy analysis including monetary policy, capital markets research and microeconomic advisory work.

Latest reports:
Work in Progress: Why Fair Pay Agreements would be bad for labour (2019)
KiwiBuild: Twyford's Tar Baby (2019)
Fit for Purpose? Are Kiwis getting the government they pay for? (2018)
Recipe for disaster: Building policy on shaky ground (2018)
Welfare, Work and Wellbeing: From Benefits to Better Lives (2017)
The Inequality Paradox: Why inequality Matters Even Though it has Barely Changed (2016)
Poorly Understood: The State of Poverty in New Zealand (2016)
Reducing Unnecessary Regulatory Costs (2015)
A Matter of Balance: Regulating Safety (2015)
Investing for success: Social Impact Bonds and the future of public services (2015)

Phone: +64 4 472 5986


Recent Work

Budget 2021

The value of everything

Oscar Wilde once quipped that a cynic was “a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”. That saying has since migrated to refer to economists. Allegedly, our depraved profession values only money. But for our widespread incompetence we would all be rich. In fact, deep down economics is about value, not cash. Economists do not loaf around in universities and government agencies to get rich. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
5 April, 2019

In praise of perpetuating role confusion

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says NZ Bus is up to 40 drivers short, with up to 30 cancelled services a day. He now wants the Transport Minister to help improve local bus services. Local National List MP Nicola Willis also wants central government to step in. A sceptic might ask what that means for local government accountability to the local community. The answer is of course that it perpetuates the status quo – inglorious role confusion. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
29 March, 2019

Faking a wellbeing focus?

The government is hyping Budget 2019 as a world-leading “Wellbeing Budget”. The December 2018 Budget Policy Statement proclaims the government’s key focus on improving the wellbeing and living standards of New Zealanders. Do the public have any real evidence of any substance behind such froth? It appears not. Government policies can be expected to improve overall community wellbeing if an authoritative analysis demonstrates that the benefits will exceed the costs to those affected, in some overall sense. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
8 March, 2019
New Zealand flag

The mixed success of New Zealand's economic liberalisation

In the mid‐1980s, New Zealand was forced into a major economic restructuring. Those adjustments were particularly significant for the traded goods sector, since export subsidies and import barriers were largely eliminated. Some may see the UK's possible trade restructuring after Brexit as retracing some of New Zealand's steps. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Journal
4 March, 2019
Construction worker

The pretentious nonsense that is KiwiBuild

KiwiBuild – the government programme to build or deliver 100,000 homes in 10 years – serves no useful public interest purpose and promises to endlessly distract and embarrass the government. That is the signal conclusion of KiwiBuild: Twyford’s Tar Baby, a research note released this week by The New Zealand Initiative. The programme does not directly help those on low incomes; only the relatively well-off can afford KiwiBuild homes. To subsidise such people would be unfair. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
25 January, 2019

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