Sunday , August 18 2019
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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.

Mind Fixers

The Spinoff has a superb piece by Danyl McLauchlan reviewing Anne Harrington's Mind Fixers. Thomas Szasz makes an appearance. A snippet: In January of 1973 the psychologist David Rosenhan published an article in Science, one of the world’s most influential academic journals, titled ‘On Being Sane in Insane Places’. He’d conducted an experiment in which eight people (including himself) presented to twelve different psychiatric hospitals across the US, complaining of audible hallucinations:...

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Cricket and Collaboration

Matt Lowe's job market paper coming out of MIT looks excellent. And I love that he markets it with a tweetstream. 🚨 Revised JMP on intergroup contact 🚨Some (me) wondered whether this day would ever come. To celebrate I'd like to tell a story about cricket, caste, and different types of intergroup contact. Are you sitting comfortably?https://t.co/VwMC3ulRj31/N pic.twitter.com/GELj6yRjgM — Matt Lowe (@hmmlowe) August 15, 2019 Sri Lanka has finally finished their first innings in the test...

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Roskam on RBNZ’s Shock and Awe

John Roskam over at the Australian Financial Review: While Lowe hasn’t ruled out “extreme unconventional policy measures” at least he hasn’t yet embraced them as his counterpart across the Tasman Sea appears to have. Last week the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut interest rates by 50 basis points to a record low of 1.0 per cent in a move described as “Shock and awe Kiwi style”. The decision prompted the production of a research paper from New Zealand’s leading think thank, the New Zealand...

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Some sense from Emily

More oddities from the Coroners' Office brings a response from Emily Writes over at The Spinoff - and from 400 doctors! Yet pathologist Dr Simon Stables and Coroner Debra Bell could not ascertain Sapphire’s direct cause of death. Somehow, as we have seen before with coroners, this has been translated into a blanket message for mothers. This time it’s not to have alcohol if you’re breastfeeding. This is an easy comment to make – as popular as “don’t let your child walk to school” or “don’t...

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Burton on Stats

Tony Burton's back on deck with another column over at The Spinoff, this time on the problems at StatsNZ. You'll probably enjoy reading the whole thing. Here's an extended snip In itself the review is great. The public service response, not so much. Government statistician and Stats NZ chief executive Liz MacPherson has stepped down, but she was merely unlucky enough to be the boss when the most public of many, many Stats NZ initiatives was mishandled. In my view she has sacrificed herself...

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Preparing for the monetary rocky horror

Over at Newsroom (ungated), I discuss the importance of RBNZ being very clear about its intentions should it find itself in a position to pursue unorthodox monetary policy. As Doctor Frankenfurter prepared to step up the reactor power input three more points and bring life to the Rocky Horror in the classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, he welcomed the assembled “unconventional conventionists” who would witness his triumph.Unconventional monetary policy is a bit like Doctor Frankenfurter’s...

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Mixing up the heroes and villains

Sometimes, it feels like media is in a bizarro world, where the good guys are the bad guys and vice versa.  Over at Newsroom, the influence of developers in local politics is a worry: More importantly, according to Simon Chapple, the director of Victoria University’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, the claim that property developers are just amplifying the voices of people they agree with doesn’t stack up. “You can rule out ideology, because they’re donating to...

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Of Cinderella, vaping, and decent regulatory frameworks

Over in my Dominion Post column, I take a Peter Huber twist on vaping regulation. One of the things I love about my column over there is that they keep all the out-links. So when I note work by Huber, I can link it.  Eighties glam-metal band Cinderella taught us we don't know what we've got until it's gone. But it can be harder to know what you could have had if you never had it at all.We can thus be thankful the regulatory framework for vaping and reduced-harm tobacco alternatives is...

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But how many divisions might the Ombudsman have?

Ben Thomas explains how MMP coalition politics provides more ways for a government to avoid the Official Information Act. If conversations between Ministers in Cabinet were actually conversations between the spokespersons of the two different parties about the areas of their party responsibility, even if they write it all up on official Ministerial letterhead, then they can pretend that it's not subject to the OIA.The whole article is excellent; do have a read. If you wanted a model op-ed...

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Quote of the day: Draghi edition

ECB governor Mario Draghi raised concerns over the appointment of the new Central Bank governor, Gabriel Makhlouf, directly with the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, the Sunday Independent reports. The paper says the concerns centre on the fact Makhlouf has no experience working in a central bank and is not an economist. From the Irish Times. And is not an economist.Isn't it nice that there are central banks out there who think that expertise in monetary and macroeconomics is important...

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