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Economist 3

Cat posters and wellbeing budgets

There was a line of ’80s and ’90s motivational posters, often involving pictures of cats, with quips that might help improve spirits around the workplace. One of those, from memory, read something like, “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps!” Other variants read, “You don’t have to be crazy to work here; we will train you.”None of them would pass modern sensitivity standards, and they were never really motivational or funny in the first place. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
19 July, 2019
wallet

Finders, mostly not keepers

Coffee comes with a paradox. Night owls like me cannot simply begin to function before our restorative java, but getting the first cup takes some organising. Read more

Natanael Rother
Insights Newsletter
28 June, 2019
Drinks

Let them have fun

“Nothing good happens after 3 am,” Auckland’s top-ranking police officer once said.“Facts tend to be overanalysed,” his Wellingtonian counterpart claimed.Unfortunately, personal opinions and anecdotal evidence like this about opening hours and alcohol licences of bars and party venues often decide the direction of policy proposals for regulating the night-time economy. Yet, such arbitrary behaviour is typical – abroad and in New Zealand.For example, in 2014 the government of New South Wales introduced new controls for the nightlife across large parts... Read more

Natanael Rother
Insights Newsletter
14 June, 2019
Checkout

A penny for your thoughts

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

Dr Patrick Carvalho
Insights Newsletter
31 May, 2019
social media buttons

Fighting the whack-a-mole online battle

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

Dr Patrick Carvalho
Insights Newsletter
24 May, 2019
Game of thrones winter

“Winter is Coming”

Being an economist is great. But there is a downside. A lot of people wind up annoyed by some parts of fantasy worlds in books and movies, but economists get annoyed by very different things.HBO’s Game of Thrones finally ended this week. The last two seasons brought increasing fan annoyance: the plotting and pace made far less sense than in prior seasons.For those who haven’t followed, Game of Thrones largely takes place on the continent of Westeros, in a fantasy... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
24 May, 2019

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