New Zealand’s productivity track record is failing us. That was the key message delivered by the Productivity Commission’s new report, Productivity by the numbers: 2019. Read more
Dr Patrick Carvalho
Dr Patrick Carvalho is a Research Fellow at The New Zealand Initiative, with extensive international experience in public policy across academia, public organisations and private sector.
Prior to immigrating to New Zealand, Dr Carvalho worked as the Head of the Economic Studies Division at the Federation of Industries of Rio de Janeiro, producing research on fiscal and monetary matters, and as a Research Fellow at The Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, where he focused on industrial relations and competition policy. More recently, Dr Carvalho was a Director at a Washington, D.C.-based consultancy advising the U.S. Federal Administration on the challenges of demographic shifts to economic prosperity.
Dr Carvalho has Bachelor of Law degree from Rio de Janeiro’s State University, a Master’s in political science from the University of Wollongong, and a PhD in economics from the Australian National University, where he also worked as a lecturer in macroeconomic policy.
Phone: 04 494 9101
New Zealand has to slow down. At least, that was the overall message from the NZ Transport Agency’s Mega Maps data released this week. According to the online interactive tool assessing road trip risks, 95 percent of the country's 100 km/h roads should have a lower speed limit – with two-thirds of them slowing down to 60 km/h. “We need to hit speed hard”, said Niclas Johansson, NZTA's acting director of safety and environment. Read more
The Government is not considering lowering the speed limits on most major roads, despite new evidence showing around 87 percent of speed limits are too high for the conditions. But is it that simple: reducing the road toll by lowering the speed limits? Patrick Carvalho discusses this topic with Heather du Plessis-Allan on Newstalk ZB. Read more
“With a little ingenuity, it is possible to devise methods of charging for the use of the city streets that are capable of adjusting the charge in close conformity with variations in costs and traffic conditions,” wrote William Vickrey, Nobel Laureate and the father of road pricing theory, in 1963. Little did he know that it would take more than 50 years for the technology to catch up to his vision. Read more
Once upon a time, the pursuit of happiness was a personal duty. Not anymore. We now have politicians ready to nudge us in the right direction. Earlier this month, a group of British MPs made a formal proposal to charge shoppers an extra penny to use self-checkout machines. This policy, so they promised, would “counteract potential damage caused by a lack of everyday contact between people”. Read more
Last week, a group of 17 countries along with leading social media platforms signed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Christchurch Call “to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online”.The non-binding three-page document is inspiringly pragmatic, combining aspirational actions without falling for heavy-handed (and misguided) regulations.Kudos to the international initiative. There is indeed much to celebrate about such a concerted effort against the spread of online radicalism.But we must not lose sight of the implementation hurdles ahead – and keep working for... Read more
An all-time low official cash rate of 1.5% as of May 8 means borrowing a New Zealand dollar from the Reserve Bank is a step closer to the zero lower bound – with at least one more rate cut expected in the near future. Read more
Readers of The New Zealand Herald should welcome its recent introduction of a $5-weekly subscription to access premium content. So should non-readers. If successful, New Zealand will benefit from an additional stream of high-quality journalism worth paying for. As the global spread of media paywalls attests, informative and accurate online news is hard to produce solely via advertisement sales. (For one, robust analyses on politics, economics, and current affairs are not as “clickable” as homemade cat videos and tabloid stories.)... Read more
When it comes to funding our roads, the average New Zealand driver is not getting the best deal. Read more
This year’s close alignment of Easter and Anzac public holidays translated into 10 days of joy, family time and… congestion – with the New Zealand Traffic Agency (NZTA) issuing multiple heavy traffic warnings across the nation. Unfortunately, traffic jams are not restricted to holiday seasons in New Zealand. Widespread congestion in our urban centres is the new normal all year round, clogging “the lifeblood of community and commerce”. Read more
Saturday morning, reading the news, sipping the first coffee of the day in my sunlit balcony: Life is good and simple. Until I remembered my promise to take my daughter shopping for a new unicorn doll that morning. – “Let’s go, daddy!” – “Yes, sweetheart. We are leaving. Just hold on a bit,” I said, trying to buy some time. – “Dad, stop Brexiting. Let’s just get out already!” All right. Read more
Complaining about a housing crisis in New Zealand has become a national sport, spawning all sorts of wrong policy remedies. Read more
The political discourse in the United States is in dangerous territory. Ideological hate, partisan hostility, and policy brinkmanship are becoming a real national crisis. Read more
Benjamin Franklyn is famously credited with writing “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”.That may be true, but a cynic might retort that at least death does not get worse every time governments look for extra funding.So it was with trepidation that I read the Tax Working Group’s recently released Future of Tax report.As I chewed through the 200-plus pages of the report, I muttered to myself: “What future?!”. Read more
The jury is out for the released Tax Working Group’s “Future of Tax” Report, with the government promising to deliver its verdict in April.Unfortunately, a careful reading of the 200-page document already shows a missed opportunity to address New Zealand’s biggest elephant in the room: slow productivity growth.Worse, the document’s main recommendation of taxing capital gains will do little – if not work against – to fix our low capital stock levels that drive the productivity problem.To be fair, the... Read more