Hipster

Hipsters need nametags

Wellington is a small place. Everybody complains they’re always running into people they know, that it’s hard for young people to date people who haven’t been dated by their friends already, and that it’s impossible to have an impromptu coffee at Astoria without being recognised by some journalist. Maybe that’s what’s behind the hipster drive for anonymity through identical non-conformity. Two weeks ago, MIT Technology Review wrote a piece explaining an older research article claiming to show why non-conformists, hipsters... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
15 March, 2019
Canada flag + parliament

Oh Canada

Partisanship is a powerful and deadly drug. Canada is the latest in a too-lengthy list of places badly in need of rehab. In response to harsh criticism of his involvement in and handling of a corruption scandal, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told his Party’s supporters this week his policy agenda is too important to risk. Canadian political parties have been too quick to identify the good of the party with the good of the country. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
8 March, 2019
Family

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
Ice cream

Death and taxes… and other family matters

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

Dr Patrick Carvalho
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
People crowd

As Kiwi as pavlova

“Few ways are guaranteed to make yourself unpopular in New Zealand: try claiming that pavlova was an Australian invention; hating the All Blacks; or maybe expressing sympathy for local government.” This is the opening paragraph in our new publication #localismNZ: Bringing power to the people. We launched it yesterday at a joint symposium with Local Government New Zealand. However, we may have been too quick to assume that New Zealanders are passionately opposed to local government. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
1 March, 2019
Work

A missed opportunity on productivity

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

Dr Patrick Carvalho
Insights Newsletter
1 March, 2019
Newspaper

News that isn’t news

Scroll down your news feed, what do you see? Trump’s latest dumb tweet, an update on the crisis in Venezuela, maybe something on Brexit? Unless you’re on the Economist, probably not. If you jump on any mainstream news website, you’re more likely to see something about the latest drama on Married at First Sight (MAFS), unruly tourists, or the latest limited-edition Cadbury or Whittaker’s chocolate bar. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
1 March, 2019

Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates