technology2

Why Huawei?

Earlier this year, I got myself a new smartphone. Its 7-nanometre processor is lightning fast, the triple camera takes stunning pictures, and the huge battery is still half full at the end of a working day. It is by far the best phone I have ever had.No wonder Donald Trump is worried about the technological and commercial threat Huawei’s poses to US companies.Okay, that is not how the US President justified his blacklisting of the Chinese technology firm this week. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
24 May, 2019
social media buttons

Fighting the whack-a-mole online battle

Last week, a group of 17 countries along with leading social media platforms signed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Christchurch Call “to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online”.The non-binding three-page document is inspiringly pragmatic, combining aspirational actions without falling for heavy-handed (and misguided) regulations.Kudos to the international initiative. There is indeed much to celebrate about such a concerted effort against the spread of online radicalism.But we must not lose sight of the implementation hurdles ahead – and keep working for... Read more

Dr Patrick Carvalho
Insights Newsletter
24 May, 2019
Game of thrones winter

“Winter is Coming”

Being an economist is great. But there is a downside. A lot of people wind up annoyed by some parts of fantasy worlds in books and movies, but economists get annoyed by very different things.HBO’s Game of Thrones finally ended this week. The last two seasons brought increasing fan annoyance: the plotting and pace made far less sense than in prior seasons.For those who haven’t followed, Game of Thrones largely takes place on the continent of Westeros, in a fantasy... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
24 May, 2019
fish netting

Ecosytem protection from the bottom up

Professor Gary Libecap is something of a god in economics. In a prior life, I would tell my undergraduate students about the pantheon of the Econ Gods. Libecap’s work in environmental economics easily put him in the pantheon. It has also made him Distinguished Professor of Corporate Environmental Management and Distinguished Professor of Economics at UCSB. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Newsroom
20 May, 2019
Books

NCEA changes a welcome start

This week, we were happy to see the changes to NCEA announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins. It is encouraging that the Minister’s NCEA Change Package mirrors so many of the recommendations in our 2018 report, Spoiled by Choice: How NCEA hampers education, and what it needs to succeed. For example, the announced package includes: Read more

Briar Lipson
Insights Newsletter
17 May, 2019
Crisis

Financial stability and due scrutiny

During the Global Financial Crisis, many banks around the world failed spectacularly (though fortunately none in Australia or New Zealand). Some financial institutions were bailed out at enormous costs to taxpayers. Others went under, causing severe disruption to their economies.To prevent such a scenario ever playing out again must be a constant worry for any financial markets regulator and central bank.This is why the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) published proposals last December to increase the amount of capital... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
17 May, 2019
Cow

The wisdom of cows

Especially since the Brexit vote, policymakers aiming for political stability might be reluctant to ask citizens about their opinion. They should not feel that way. As with sports, practice makes perfect when it comes to voting. The Swiss lead by example. They vote on everything, even the silly stuff. In November last year, for example, the Swiss voted on cows and their horns. Allegedly, owning a full set of horns is about bestowing dignity to the cows. Read more

Natanael Rother
Insights Newsletter
17 May, 2019
Brexit 3

A predictable Brexit disaster

The problem with being an expert is that people regularly ask you for predictions. As if your knowledge of something would automatically let you know the future. That sure would be nice, but expertise is different from prescience.Thus, when I am asked for predictions, I usually brush it off politely. My standard line is that questions about the future should be directed to astrologers, not mortal economists.However, there are exceptions. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Newsroom
15 May, 2019

Media Release: NCEA changes a welcome start to improving student and educational equity

Public policy think tank The New Zealand Initiative welcomes the changes to NCEA that have been announced today by Education Minister Chris Hipkins. It is encouraging that the Minister’s NCEA Change Package mirrors so many of the recommendations in our 2018 report, Spoiled by Choice: How NCEA hampers education, and what it needs to succeed. For example to: Read more

Media Release
13 May, 2019
Water tap2

Valuing the priceless

New Zealand’s freshwater management is in need of a refresh. The kinds of systems that work for allocating and managing water when water is abundant are not the systems that work when water becomes increasingly scarce. And increasing pressure on our aquifers and rivers has made water increasingly scarce in places like Canterbury. The problem is well-recognised. We have had decades of reports telling us of the looming problems, not only in water abstraction (taking water from the aquifers and... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
10 May, 2019
Mouse

Free is expensive

Readers of The New Zealand Herald should welcome its recent introduction of a $5-weekly subscription to access premium content. So should non-readers. If successful, New Zealand will benefit from an additional stream of high-quality journalism worth paying for. As the global spread of media paywalls attests, informative and accurate online news is hard to produce solely via advertisement sales. (For one, robust analyses on politics, economics, and current affairs are not as “clickable” as homemade cat videos and tabloid stories.)... Read more

Dr Patrick Carvalho
Insights Newsletter
10 May, 2019
French

Le cultural clash

It took the Australian Government years to decide whom to task with building its next generation submarine fleet. It was still not enough time to prepare them for the cultural clash that followed. Back in 2016, the Australian Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull, most probably – awarded the AU$50 billion contract to French company Naval Group over rival offers from German and Japanese firms. As the ABC recently reported, building submarines involves far more than high-tech engineering, quality materials and... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
10 May, 2019

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