What is in a surname? Helps figure decline of Northern England…

Mostly Economics

Fascinating research on economic history by Profs Gregory Clark and Neil Cummins.

They try figure decline in Northern England compared to Southern England. They use surnames to figure migration and development which raced in South but not North:

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No Considerations: Doing Business in India Without Bribes

Suppose human capital doubled but the economic growth rate did not change a bit



Source: Le, T., Gibson, J., & Oxley, L. (2006). A forward-looking measure of the stock of human capital in New Zealand. Manchester School74(5), updated and with additional analysis by Trinh Le of the 2006 and 2013 census for the Treasury (the 2006 and 2013 analysis is unpublished).

Another blow to the blank slate

Treasury and modish ideological agendas

The obvious ignorance of the paper by the Treasury economists on women in economics is modern labour economics was founded on the study of women. Men are boring. They get a job in their teens, retire at 65 and then drop dead. There is an immense amount of variation in female labour supply and educational choices which has been the foundation of hundreds of PhDs and thousands of economic articles.

croaking cassandra

You might have thought that there were real and important issues for The Treasury to be generating research and advice on.   Things like, for example, the decades-long productivity underperformance and the associated widening gap between New Zealand and Australia.  Or a housing and urban land market which renders what should be a basic –  the ability to buy one’s own house –  out of reach for so many New Zealanders.    Or even just preparing for the next recession.   Analytical capability is a scarce resource, and time used for one thing can’t be used for others.

But instead…..

In a post last night about various papers presented at the recent New Zealand Association of Economists conference, Eric Crampton alerted his readers last night to a contribution from Treasury’s chief economist (and Deputy Secretary) Tim Ng and one of his staff.

I did not attend Treasury’s session in which…

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Indy backgrounder on ‘Gaza-Israel conflict’ riddled with distortions

The Independent’s new Mid-East correspondent Bel Trew penned a backgrounder on the ‘Gaza-Israel conflict’ that’s full of distortions.

Here are some of the highlights from the July 27th article.

Trew asks: “Why has there been an upsurge in violence”, to which she explains:

“At the heart of the latest escalation is 16 weeks of Palestinian protests that have taken place at the border fence between Gaza and Israel”.

However, what’s been occurring at the border each week since March 31st can not accurately be characterised as merely “protests”.  Rather, the Great Return March has, since the beginning, included violent riots and terror attacks by Palestinians (including Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists) who brought guns, pipe bombs, machetes and various incendiary devices.  Their goal was to breach the security fence, sneak into Israeli communities and murder civilians. 

On April 6, Hamas leader Yihya Sinwar appeared in one of the tents near the border and…

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