Saturday , July 24 2021
Home / Tag Archives: cost-benefit analysis

Tag Archives: cost-benefit analysis

The shovels weren’t shovel-ready

There's opportunity here.Less than half of the Government’s ‘’shovel-ready’’ infrastructure projects have begun by its first self-imposed deadline, with just 44 per cent of the 150 projects under construction by the end of February.These things were set up as stimulus when everyone was worried about double-digit unemployment. Unemployment rates instead are below 5%. The projects never received any adequate CBA; the Infrastructure Commission just threw together a list of things that they...

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JEEM

Getting to Browser Tab Zero so I can reboot the computer is awfully hard when the one open tab is a Table of Contents for the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, and every issue has more stuff I want to read.A few highlights:Gugler et al demonstrating the effectiveness of British carbon pricing over German regulatory interventions in the electricity market. Carbon prices were far more effective in getting to a cleaner power grid. Steven Smith on prior appropriation versus...

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Covid and co-morbidities

A tallying of the costs of road accidents that included fatalities but ignored disabilities would result in too little investment in road improvements that might reduce accident rates.Tallying Covid's morbidity costs is an awful lot harder than tallying the morbidity costs of road accidents. We have years of data on road accidents and anything in New Zealand that comes consequent to a road accident runs through our ACC system - it's then not all that hard to get a handle on costs.Covid is a...

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MBIE discount rates

Treasury's cost-benefit guidelines say that the public sector should normally use a 6% discount rate in assessing normal projects.People can argue about whether that's the right discount rate, and especially when it comes to very long term projects.But at least having a single recommended discount rate puts all projects on a common basis. If it's weighted too heavily towards the present, it's so-weighted across all policy areas. No pick-and-choose to put in a high discount rate for projects...

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Risks we don’t even know about

Isn't it great that MBIE's out there, protecting us from risks that we don't even know about?[embedded content]If only someone were out there protecting us against the risk of MBIE safety campaigns that manifestly fail cost-benefit assessment.Treasury used to do that job, but since they kinda stopped hiring economists, they have had to save their trained economists for deemed-more-important work, like inventing wholecloth entirely new budgetary frameworks to account for living standards.Our...

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Afternoon roundup

Today's worthies: Cabinet has not yet produced a cabinet paper on the Taranaki oil ban, and Simon Bridges says that the government instructed officials not to provide advice on the ban. Even if you think that 'doing something about climate change' was part of a Labour/Green political mandate, wouldn't it make sense to make sure that whatever is done is the thing that can most cost-effectively abate emissions? If Bridges is right that the government instructed officials not to provide advice,...

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Reader mailbag: Caveats on policy costings

This morning's inbox came with excellent comment from an informed reader about the difficulties in getting reasonable independent policy costings. The email reads (and is shared with permission): Do not underestimate how effective agencies can be at blocking information they do not want others to know. One reason the costings will be poor is because all kinds of information will not be unavailable because the agency, not the minister, do not want to be challenged. You will find "privacy" and...

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The Heckman Curve is flat

It sounded good in theory. Interventions targeted at youths could very plausibly have been rather more effective than programmes targeted at older cohorts. Heckman's foundation thing made a pretty infographic about it. But it's fundamentally an empirical question. The infographic is based rather more on intuition than on any real lit survey.  Rea and Burton checked it out. They went into the big Washington State intervention database, sorted interventions by age, and just plotted...

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The Economist’s Cup

I had an awful lot of fun over at The Spinoff imagining having $212 million in public funding to support a world competition of economists - the Economist's Cup. And if you think there are great benefits to the country from putting that kind of money into the America's Cup, my proposal's even better. A snippet: I know you’re going to be sceptical about this but hear me out.The 2021 Economist’s Cup should be held in Wellington. This annual event, which will first be held in three years,...

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For better costings

Parliament deserves better advice than it has been getting about the policies coming up under Labour's 100-day plan. There just isn't adequate time for the Ministries to produce reasonable regulatory impact assessments under those strictures.  In this week's column over at Interest, I argue that where the Ministries haven't been able to produce a non-caveated RIS, the policy should undergo mandatory Post-Implementation Review. One reasonable way of doing that would be to sunset the...

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