New Zealand flag

Media Release: Bringing government back to the people

Wellington (15 July 2018): Instead of relying on central government to decide what is good for our communities it is time to empower councils and communities themselves to make such decisions, Local Government New Zealand and The New Zealand Initiative say.LGNZ and the Initiative have today presented their Localism project.  Together, they call for devolution and decentralisation in the way New Zealand is run.Releasing a joint position statement this afternoon, LGNZ President Dave Cull said New Zealand needs to restore the... Read more

Media Release
15 July, 2018
USA flag

Oliver Hartwich about how Trump shocks European allies

Donald Trump's performance at the NATO summit has raised more questions than answers.Oliver Hartwich tells Andrew West on ABC Radio there's increasing uncertainty about the future of the trans-Atlantic alliance and other international agreements after the American president chastised Germany and other members countries. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Saturday Extra - ABC Radio National (Australia)
14 July, 2018
Brexit signpost

Brexit shootout

This year’s football World Cup held a big surprise: England can win a penalty shootout (oh, and please don't mention the German performance - I know). If you are not into football, you might wonder what is so hard about kicking a ball into the goal from short distance. But ask previous English internationals, and they can tell you how to miss the goal altogether from the spot. What we are watching in British politics is not that different. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
13 July, 2018
Classroom student

A better way to measure school effectiveness

You should not compare apples with oranges. But what about schools? As it turns out, comparing schools with schools can be just as problematic. School composition can vary significantly between different deciles and within the same decile. Some of these differences include prior student academic achievement, the student’s parents’ level of education, and the student’s parents’ average income. We know from the vast amounts of education research that these student characteristics (which are outside the control of the school) are... Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
13 July, 2018
Game show

Game show policy

Game shows are nothing new. They’re a dime a dozen. We have all seen shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Wheel of Fortune, and The Price Is Right. These types of shows are popular because we like seeing everyday people succeed, become winners, and realise their dreams. Well, it’s either that or we’re suckers for schadenfreude. This week a new game show launched in the US, titled Paid Off. Read more

Ben Craven
Insights Newsletter
13 July, 2018
Germany3

Our islands of stability

New Zealanders love to grumble about the state of politics.We hold our politicians in roughly the same regard as real estate agents and used car salespeople. And even for stating it this way, I probably need to apologise to the latter two groups.Yet when it comes to the ballot box, there is no sign of any severe dissatisfaction with our political system.On the contrary, New Zealand appears to be one of the few Western-style democracies still showing any signs of... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
The National Business Review
13 July, 2018
Cash

Dispatches from the Core

We are lucky that, last year, economist Aaron Schiff provided us with an excellent collective noun for a grouping of economists. Owls, in concert, form a parliament. Economists, in convention, form a core. Or at least they hope to. In economics, the ‘core’ is the set of alternatives that cannot be beaten by some option from outside of the set. So a good economics conference will bring together all of the ideas that cannot be beaten by ideas that didn’t... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
7 July, 2018
Housing money

Housing howler

Journalists have a hard job. As well as being underpaid, they are constantly copping an earful from frustrated or confused readers, trolls, and even economists. By and large they do a superb job: often on years’-long stories such as the meth testing debacle and the failings of Housing New Zealand. Like all of us, they sometimes get things wrong. The good ones correct their errors. The bad ones move to talkback radio. Read more

Insights Newsletter
6 July, 2018
France postcard

A postcard from France

While New Zealand is in political Neverland, I am taking refuge in rural France. Just an hour north of the vineyards of Bordeaux, it is no great hardship. Yet it provides a perfect opportunity to compare Kiwi and Gallic approaches to some common challenges. And I am not talking about on the vineyard or the rugby field but in public policy. With our government’s proposals for European-style fair pay agreements, there is no better place to start than labour law. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
6 July, 2018
Hollywood sign

Film subsidies – worth it?

After missing my chance to meet Scarlett Johansson last year, I was distraught and confused over the weekend as I read the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) findings and conclusion on film subsidies in New Zealand.   In three reviews commissioned by MBIE, the reports concluded that without the film subsidies (New Zealand Screen Production Grants), the New Zealand film industry would disappear.   I was distraught because my chances of meeting Scar-Jo would fall to almost zero... Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
6 July, 2018
Socialism fist

Millennial ignorance

"One of the uses of history is to free us of a falsely imagined past”, the late American legal scholar Robert Bork once wrote. One might add that another use is the prevention of repeat mistakes. But a new paper from our colleagues at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney suggests the younger generation is bound to make wrong choices because they know little history anymore. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
29 June, 2018
Apprentice welder

Less is more

In The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, Psychologist Barry Schwartz argues that too much choice can hinder rather than support our decision making. That the validity of this theory has been challenged is beside the point. What I do know is that if I were a student right now deciding my next steps after school, I would likely feel more apprehensive than I do when I am confronted with a 100-item menu in a Chinese restaurant. Read more

Martine Udahemuka
Insights Newsletter
29 June, 2018
Parenting

Paternalism is a lot less annoying when you get to be the paternalist

Paternalism is a lot less annoying when you get to be the paternalist – at home with the kids, as pater- or materfamilias. Let’s begin by acknowledging two basic facts. First up, most things that parents do to try to improve their kids’ long-term fortunes do not work. Meeting a minimal basic standard of loving parenting and not dropping the kids on their heads too often – that matters. Otherwise, it’s hard to find environmental interventions that really work. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
29 June, 2018

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