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Trump building

Trump and other hypocrites

US President Donald Trump’s new protectionism is populist, wrong and dangerous. Sadly, that does not mean that his loudest opponents can automatically claim the moral high ground.Since David Ricardo explained in 1817 why countries trading with each other are always better off without trade restrictions, the economics profession has been in favour of free trade.History has since provided plenty of examples to support Ricardo’s theory.Neither theory nor practice prevented Trump’s attack on trade over the past weeks. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
16 March, 2018

Sunsets are beautiful

Policy analysis is like a lot of other project work. It can be good, it can be fast, and it can be cheap – but it cannot be all three. You have to pick two. And that is a problem when an incoming government wants to make a lot of policy changes on a hundred-day clock. Policies are meant to be accompanied by impartial and rigorous assessments from the Ministries, or from Treasury. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
9 March, 2018

Stop predicting the future (and go back to work)

If there is one lesson from our species’ past, it is that we are not very good at thinking about the future. This is irrespective of our personal inclination toward optimism or pessimism. It has little to with our political leanings. And it is independent of upbringing and education.The problem with forecasting the future lies in the human habit of linear thinking. It is deeply engrained within us. When we think of tomorrow, we imagine an amplified version of today. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
The National Business Review
9 March, 2018
Australia brick

Peter Costello about the keys to economic success

Mike Hosking interviews Hon Peter Costello AC, our keynote speaker for the Retreat dinner on Thursday 8 March. They discuss the state of Australian politics, the relation between New Zealand and Australia and the keys to economic success for a country. Read more

Peter Costello
Newstalk ZB - Mike Hosking Breakfast
8 March, 2018
Pensioner drinking

Time to raise a glass to our intergenerational wellbeing

When I was a lad, Treasury was a home for bean counters. Many a fine public servant did an accounting degree part-time at evening classes at Vic. Full-time study was unaffordable; they needed a day job for income.   They knew their day job. It was to run a surgical eye over departmental spending proposals. Noes were more satisfying than Ayes. Noes could help a minister of finance keep the budget healthy. Noes saved ‘the country’ money. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
23 February, 2018

Eric Crampton discusses the economics of ticket scalping

Celine Dion's two Auckland shows have sold out, thanks to ticket scalpers. General release tickets went on sale midday Monday and sold out hours later, with tickets appearing on resale sites immediately at double the price. Eric Crampton talks to Kate Hawkesby on Newstalk ZB about the economics of ticket scalping. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Early Edition - Newstalk ZB
20 February, 2018

The farcical case for banning you from selling your home to a foreigner

New Zealand exports about 95 percent of its dairy production. The receipts make it a major overseas earner. Imagine a proposed ban on the export of dairy products.  “This would”, the misguided advocates might earnestly explain, “benefit New Zealand consumers by making dairy products more affordable (cheaper) in New Zealand”. You do not need a degree in economics to spot the flaw in this argument. That benefit would be entirely at the expense of New Zealand producers. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
16 February, 2018

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