Tuesday , June 25 2019
Home / Offsetting Behaviour / Afternoon roundup

Afternoon roundup

Summary:
Today's closing of the browser tabs brings a greater share of stupid New Zealand policy than I'd like.The SuperGold Card scheme was always stupid. Why? It's badly targeted. If you want to alleviate poverty, give money to poor people. Giving free transport to old people doesn't make a lot of sense. And as Duncan Greive over at the Spinoff points out, there's a big subsidy to rich retired (or just old and still working) people who live up on Waiheke Island - and who can get a free 23km ferry ride any time after 9am. Greive shows that this is just under m of the m government travel subsidy provided to old people. One upshot from Andrew Leigh's visit to New Zealand earlier this month: where Australia's government tries to give money mostly to poor people, New Zealand's government tries

Topics:
Eric Crampton considers the following as important: , , , , ,

This could be interesting, too:

Eric Crampton writes Afternoon roundup

Eric Crampton writes Morning roundup

David writes Its People. Err. Not really

Eric Crampton writes Offensive?

Today's closing of the browser tabs brings a greater share of stupid New Zealand policy than I'd like.

  • The SuperGold Card scheme was always stupid. Why? It's badly targeted. If you want to alleviate poverty, give money to poor people. Giving free transport to old people doesn't make a lot of sense. And as Duncan Greive over at the Spinoff points out, there's a big subsidy to rich retired (or just old and still working) people who live up on Waiheke Island - and who can get a free 23km ferry ride any time after 9am. Greive shows that this is just under $2m of the $28m government travel subsidy provided to old people. One upshot from Andrew Leigh's visit to New Zealand earlier this month: where Australia's government tries to give money mostly to poor people, New Zealand's government tries to give money mostly to old people. 
  • Biddy Fraser-Davies is a hero. It takes a hero to fight MPI, year after year, to be able to make cheese despite MPI's regulatory efforts. It shouldn't take a hero to do this, and yet here we are. .
  • The Public Health People are trying to ban schools from getting special alcohol licenses for school events. It's not like anybody's giving booze to kids. Sometimes there'll be parent events and fundraisers at which they want to be able to serve wine. It's harmless. But the nannies just can't help themselves. At least they've not been as successful as they'd like.

And one bit of news from outside of New Zealand: dictators lie about their GDP figures. And we can tell by the night sky
I study the manipulation of GDP statistics in weak and non-democracies. I show that the elasticity of official GDP figures to nighttime lights is systematically larger in more authoritarian regimes. This autocracy gradient in the night-lights elasticity of GDP cannot be explained by differences in a wide range of factors that may affect the mapping of night lights to GDP, such as economic structure, statistical capacity, rates of urbanization or electrification. The gradient is larger when there is a stronger incentive to exaggerate economic performance (years of low growth, before elections or after becoming ineligible for foreign aid) and is only present for GDP sub-components that rely on government information and have low third-party verification. The results indicate that yearly GDP growth rates are inflated by a factor of between 1.15 and 1.3 in the most authoritarian regimes. Correcting for manipulation substantially changes our understanding of comparative economic performance at the turn of the XXI century.
I do like this bit from the conclusion. Is GDP too 'hard' a measure as proxy for how well things are going? Looks like things go the other way:
These results provide additional justification for the use of innovative and ‘harder’ measures of economic performance, such as nighttime lights, in the study of economic development.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *