Wednesday , July 28 2021
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Offsetting Behaviour

This New Zealand based economics blog was created by two economists, Eric Crampton and Seamus Hogan. They explore a range of fascinating topics from sports economics to housing and much more. Sharp and easy to follow analysis.

Afternoon roundup

If I'm lucky, this will close a third of the browser tabs.A damning indictment of the state of medical research, in the British Med J, from its former editor. "We have now reached a point where those doing systematic reviews must start by assuming that a study is fraudulent until they can have some evidence to the contrary."Jon Brewer is trying to make the MIQ booking system work. It is deeply broken. I hope he gets somewhere. It needs to be fixed. It is difficult to take a hard line on...

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Not a systems problem?

Were you aware that all the queues outside the old Soviet shops weren't a systems problem, but a problem of demand just being too high?Here's the head of MIQ, last week, on the MIQ booking system. The joint head of MIQ has responded to allegations the booking system is broken, saying a current high demand for rooms explains the difficulties travellers have had trying to lock down a spot.Speaking from Parliament on Wednesday, joint head of MIQ Megan Main said high demand had put pressure on...

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Treating migrants badly

When we moved to New Zealand in 2003, the contrast between the US Immigration system and New Zealand's was stark. They were near opposite, really. The US system seemed designed to discourage entry. New Zealand's was far better. I had received the job offer from Canterbury by March 2003. I accepted and put in for a skilled migrant visa. There was no need for an immigration lawyer because everything was simple. The only complication happened when the Canadians took forever to run my police...

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Bomb the city to save it?

The ongoing difficulties with heritage restrictions in Wellington are a bit of a problem. Can't build houses where people want to live. Can't bowl earthquake-prone defunct old buildings. And can't even get decent ticketing systems at the rail station because somehow the turnstiles would impede the heritage stuff. When you get this level of institutional ossification, well, the bombers may be the only solution.This week's third column in the Initiative's newsletter. The third column is meant...

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Another day, another J-curve

From the Mayo clinic:During a median follow-up of 8.9 years, we documented 8652 incident cases of all-cause death, including 1702 cases of cardiovascular disease death, 4960 cases of cancer death, and 1990 cases of other-cause death. After adjustment confounders and amount of alcohol consumed, higher DHS was significantly associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, cancer mortality, or other-cause mortality (Ptrend<.001, Ptrend=.03,...

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For a better price cap

New Zealand's ETS has a price cap. It needs a better one.When the carbon price hits $50, the government releases more units into the system. Some of those units are ones that are already within the cap. The government reduces the number of units auctioned each year within the cap to account for stockpiled older units it expects to be redeemed that year. If those stockpiled units fail to be redeemed and are instead held, there will be price pressure. So the government then auctions more...

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Morning roundup

The morning's browser tabs:Newsroom picks up on BusinessDesk's prior reporting on MIQ ghost rooms. Much credit goes to Cameron Conradie's constant reporting on the numbers. BusinessDesk pointed out that the MIQ system is constantly overwriting its own data so that it is impossible to get, from them, the prior track. I wonder what the Archivist would make of this because it sounds like deliberate destruction of Official Information which may have to have been backed up by a Disposal...

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The Grand Deal

Josh Gans explains how getting vaccines developed and delivered is supposed to work, and how Australia (and NZ, though he doesn't mention us) have failed. I worry that NZ is set to repeat this particular kind of failure. We need to be getting orders in right now for the delta-variant shot that Pfizer's developing. Pay a pile for it up front. Order twice as much as we need, for rush delivery at the actual front of the queue. Give the doses we don't need to whichever other country looks like...

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Afternoon roundup

The browser tabs...The Internet Archive will help improve access to a lot of books currently held by the National Library. Naturally, this upsets some people. Mike Joy wins a battle over what "natural levels" of nitrate in aquifers might mean.Places where the local schools are funded by higher levels of government wind up trying to privatize the public schools through zoning. Everything's tradeoffs though, eh? If schools are funded by the local communities, poor places get really bad...

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Holes in the MIQ bucket

Thomas Coughlin reports that the reason the government cannot expand MIQ capacity is that they can't source enough nurses and haven't enough testing capacity. Now documents released to the Herald under the Official Information Act show officials have been considering long-term purpose-built MIQs since July last year.But each time a new idea was floated, it hit a brick wall: the country does not have the health or security staff to sustain more MIQ places and building new purpose-built MIQ...

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