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Dr David Law

Research Fellow

David joined The New Zealand Initiative as a Research Fellow after spending three years in the Economics Department of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris.  Between 2003 and 2016 he worked in the New Zealand public sector, undertaking economic research and analysis for the Treasury, the Commerce Commission and the Electricity Authority. 

David holds a PhD in economics from Victoria University of Wellington with a focus on policy evaluation in the areas of savings and housing.

Latest reports:
Policy Point: Borrowing to Save: Retirement Income Policy after Covid-19 (2020)
Policy Point: For better or for worse: How governments respond to crises (2020)
Policy Point: Relief measures: comparing Covid-19 wage subsidy schemes (2020)
Policy Point: Stay on Target (2020)
Policy Point: Short-time work to maintain employment (2020)

Phone: 04 494 9101

Email: david.law@nzinitiative.org.nz

Recent Work

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Podcast #18: David Law on retirement policy after Covid-19

Pulling New Zealand out of the fiscal hole opened up by Covid-19 will require a lot of new spending, which the government has already announced. But the crisis also offers the country a chance to rethink its expensive retirement schemes like Kiwisaver, the New Zealand Superannuation and the Superannuation Fund. Read more

Dr David Law
Nathan Smith
Podcast
10 July, 2020
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Let's not borrow to save

The Government’s plan to recover from the Covid-19 crisis has essentially been about finding new ways to spend. As a result, public debt is expected to increase from 19% of GDP in 2019 to a whopping 54% by 2024 and remain elevated for decades to come. Read more

Dr David Law
NZ Herald
7 July, 2020
Policy Point Borrowing to Save Retirement Income Policy After Covid 19 3

Policy Point: Borrowing to Save: Retirement Income Policy after Covid-19

The Government’s response to the economic challenges of Covid-19 has primarily focused on new spending which will balloon public debt from 19% of GDP in 2019 to 30% in 2020 and peak at nearly 54% of GDP by 2024. It is only expected to modestly fall to 42% of GDP by 2034.A clear choice has been made to defer paying the costs of the Government’s economic response to the Covid-19 crisis into the future, either by lower levels of public... Read more

Dr David Law
Policy Point
19 June, 2020
Policy Point For better or for worse How governments respond to crises 002 1

Policy Point: For better or for worse: How governments respond to crises

As New Zealand nears the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency, all eyes are on the economic recovery. The New Zealand Government has already indicated the post-recovery world will look quite different. It has also given itself great flexibility in designing policies for this crisis. For example, it has temporarily suspended the financial scrutiny forms called Regulatory Impact Statements, relaxed visa rules and is about to relax planning procedures. Read more

Dr David Law
Policy Point
8 May, 2020
Relief measures comparing Covid19 wage subsidy schemes 1

Policy Point: Relief measures: comparing Covid-19 wage subsidy schemes

The Covid-19 outbreak will likely lead to a significant economic recession. The government's pandemic response has rightly prioritised maintaining employment and the ability of firms to recover quickly when the crisis abates.To this end the Government was quick to implement a wage subsidy scheme but as the crisis has evolved, it is only right to ask whether this scheme remains fit for purpose. This report compares wage subsidy schemes in Canada and Australia with New Zealand’s Read more

Dr David Law
Policy Point
7 April, 2020
Policy Point Stay on Target 1

Policy Point: Stay on Target

The pandemic-induced recession creates a strong case for the Government to support struggling workers with targeted assistance, rather than a Universal Basic Income (UBI), according to the new policy paper Stay on Target by The New Zealand Initiative. As the Government searches for fresh and innovative ideas to prepare for the worst economic effects of shutting down the country’s commerce over four weeks, it has tentatively proposed the introduction of a universal basic income scheme. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Dr David Law
Policy Point
27 March, 2020
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Podcast #7: David Law discusses short-time work schemes

The Government’s response to the global coronavirus pandemic is expected to lead to a deep recession. Many companies are faced with laying off employees. While the Government has announced plans to assist people without jobs and companies in distress, our research fellow David Law says other plans maybe more helpful. He discusses the details with our chief editor Nathan Smith in this week's podcast. Read more

Dr David Law
Nathan Smith
Podcast
27 March, 2020

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