Delayed parenting and anti-poverty policy

Family Inequality

Here’s a preview of talk today at Brown University’s population center.

My basic argument is that policies intended to prevent poverty by delaying parenthood are mostly misplaced, especially with regard to Black women. Not that delaying parenthood is bad per se, but delaying parenthood in the absence of other improvements in people’s conditions is ineffectual in the aggregate, and actually harmful for some populations.

The delayed childbearing argument features prominently in the recent “consensus” on anti-poverty strategy reached by the American Enterprise Institute / Brookings working group I wrote about here. They say:

It would be better for couples, for children, and for society if prospective parents plan their births and have children only when they are financially stable, are in a committed relationship (preferably marriage), and can provide a stable environment for their child.

Isabel Sawhill, a leading proponent of delayed childbearing as anti-poverty strategy, says in her book Generation Unbound

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Best of Kerry O’Keeffe, the funniest cricket personality ever, *that* laugh!!!!!!

German city installs traffic lights in pavements to protect texting pedestrians


Source: German city installs traffic lights in pavements to protect texting pedestrians.

@GarethMP is least jet-setting of the @NZGreens

Green MPs once again spent more than most MPs on air travel – oh, the carbon footprint! They spent considerably more on average than the Labour Party which has MPs all over the country including constituency MPs. There are no green constituency MPs. Gareth Hughes was the only Green MP to spend less than the Parliamentary all parties mean or median travel expenses for the last quarter. Indeed, he was the only Green MP to spend less than the Labour Party average spending for the last quarter on travel! Of the


Source: New Zealand Parliament – Members’ Expense Disclosure from 1 January to 31 March 2016.

Oops, I overestimated the cost of doing nothing about global warming


Source: Global Warming, Cost-Benefit Analysis, and The End of Doom, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty from Ron Bailey (2016) The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century.

Why is GST but not company tax incidence so easy to understand

image The tax incidence of sales taxes is understood by everybody but who pays company tax is stubbornly misunderstood. The seller is sending the tax cheque to the taxman does not fool anyone regarding who ultimately pays sales taxes.

Everyone expects that sales tax increases such as of the GST or VAT will be passed on to buyers but sometimes a little bit is absorbed in terms of lower profits by sellers if it is more than the market can bear.

When it comes to company taxes, this intuitive understanding of the economics of the incidence of taxes completely disappears. There is a strong belief that only investors pay the company tax in the form of dividends.

The notion that investors may reduce their investment and therefore the amount of capital with which workers can work is stoutly denied as is the implications for lower than otherwise wages because of this.

The possibility that the entire company tax may show up as lower wages when capital is internationally mobile is just not even contemplated. This is despite foreign direct investment being welcomed on the grounds that more capital means higher wages for local workers.

Likewise, when a factory is re-located offshore, it is understood that that will harm wages. That understanding does not carry through to company tax incidence when the factory relocates offshore because of low company taxes rather than import competition.

How to survive the wacky gender politics on campus

Submission to Porirua City Council on proposed #livingwage

A living wage at a local council will act as a hiring standard that stops low paid workers from being shortlisted for vacancies in the 129 council jobs affected by the proposed living wage increase.


The Council must hire on merit so only those who currently earn about $19 in other jobs will be shortlisted. That is the law. The Council must hire the best available applicant. The minimum wage workers who currently fill these minimum wage jobs simply could not cannot be lawfully shortlisted.

It is explicit in the living wage literature that a living wage improves the quality of applicants for future vacancies.

When a living wage job is advertised, more qualified applicants will apply. This will crowd-out the existing workers had who shortlisted for these Council jobs. They will have to apply for other minimum wage jobs but pay rates to fund council jobs they can never win.

There is no way around this because of the duty of the Council to hire on merit.

All future vacancies covered by the living wage increase will be filled by workers who are currently better paid than the existing applicants who won those jobs in the past.

Any employer who unilaterally introduces a living wage is simply raising their hiring standards saying they will not hire applicants who do not currently earn the equivalent of the living wage in their previous job.

A living wage will exclude low paid worker from council jobs in the future. I have attached a more detailed analysis of the economics of a living wage as proposed by the Wellington City Council.

The Economics of #Brexit

Creative destruction in Facebook revenue


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