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Horses for courses

When economist Paul Samuelson was challenged to come up with an economic principle that was both true and non-obvious, he cited comparative advantage.That two people, or countries, can be made better off by trading, even if one of them is better at producing everything that they might trade, is hardly intuitive.President Donald Trump gets it wrong on a near daily basis when he frames trade as being about winners and losers.But there is another important true and non-obvious lesson of... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
19 May, 2017
Building house

Media Release: NZ Initiative praises Prod Comm's planning report

Wellington (29 March 2017): The Productivity Commission’s latest report underscores the importance of a fit-for-purpose planning system, and just how far the current arrangements are from this ideal state, says The New Zealand Initiative.The Better Urban Planning report details how the current planning framework, principally the Resource Management Act 1991, has failed to achieve the economic flexibility and environmental protections it set out to achieve. Instead the commission is proposing a substantial overhaul of the planning system.“After 26 years the costs of... Read more

Media Release
29 March, 2017

Time to slash housing's Gordian knot

This week business journalist Bernard Hickey took his pen to the subject of housing, listing the factors that have unintentionally conspired to create New Zealand’s housing affordability crisis. It is a piece worth reading because it offers a glimpse into the complex and intertwined regulations and constraints that prevent the housing market from functioning like every other market. Hickey calls it a Gordian knot. At the core of this entanglement lies an infrastructure problem. Read more

Jason Krupp
Insights Newsletter
17 March, 2017
Building house

Media release: Thumbs up for Twyford's housing bonds

The New Zealand Initiative says Phil Twyford’s infrastructure bonds are a workable policy that could solve the funding problem that is choking off housing supply in New Zealand’s fastest growing cities.The Housing Spokesman for the Labour Party recently announced a policy that would allow homeowners to pay off the core infrastructure over the life of the asset using bond financing.“We’ve been advocating for this policy since 2013. Read more

15 March, 2017

We need an apples-for-houses comparison on immigration

Let’s engage in an absurd exercise. Do immigrants, just in coming to New Zealand, make apples more expensive? The answer is no in the grand scheme of things. Sure, if a group of apple-loving foreigners was big enough, demand would exceed supply, and the price would rise in the short-term. But that price rise would attract producers and sellers, supply would pick up to match demand, and pretty soon the price spike would subside. Read more

Jason Krupp
7 February, 2017

NZ Initiative proposes an upfront levy on migrants

Research Fellow Jason Krupp discusses the Initiative's new report on immigration, The New New Zealanders: Why migrants make good Kiwis, and suggests that it is Kiwis - not foreigners - who are pushing up house prices in Auckland and other fast growing areas. Read more

Jason Krupp
Radio New Zealand
30 January, 2017

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