In my book, governments that do not publish a competent cost-benefit assessment justifying their spending and regulatory proposals do not take community wellbeing seriously.(Only if the wellbeing benefits plausibly exceed the costs is the policy likely to benefit the public.) The absence of such an assessment is now common. It suggests that a measure is being imposed on the public for partisan or elitist, paternalistic reasons. Read more
Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Bryce is a Senior Fellow at The New Zealand Initiative, and also the Director of the Wellington-based economic consultancy firm Capital Economics. Prior to setting this up in 1997 he was a Director of, and shareholder in, First NZ Capital. Before moving into investment banking in 1985, he worked in the New Zealand Treasury, reaching the position of Director. Bryce holds a PhD in economics from the University of Canterbury and was a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University. He is a Fellow of the Law and Economics Association of New Zealand.
Bryce is available for comment on fiscal issues, our poverty, inequality and welfare research. He also has a strong background in public policy analysis including monetary policy, capital markets research and microeconomic advisory work.
Policy Point: Is climate change a key risk to global financial stability? (2020)
Roadmap for Recovery: Briefing to the Incoming Government (2020)
Pharmac: The right prescription? (2020)
Research Note: Doing whatever it takes with someone else’s money (2020)
Policy Point: FDI: Unjustified Urgency (2020)
Research Note: Deficit spending in a crisis: why there is no such thing as a free lunch (2020)
Research Note: Quantifying the wellbeing costs of Covid-19 (2020)
Research Note: How bad might the lockdown be for jobs and income? (2020)
Work in Progress: Why Fair Pay Agreements would be bad for labour (2019)
Scroll down to read the rest of Bryce's work.
Phone: +64 4 472 5986
A news item this week reported the Minister of Health was “enormously frustrated”. We can think of quite a few in the private sector who know that feeling. Read more
The government’s announcement on Sunday of subsidies for electric vehicles did not make any case that the benefits to the public would plausibly exceed the costs. To fail to demonstrate positive net benefits is to fail to make a public wellbeing case for the measure. Read more
Matt Burgess, Eric Crampton, Oliver Hartwich and Bryce Wilkinson discuss the Government’s new feebate scheme. Will it help to cut emissions? Read more
Last week’s government budget reinforced the sense of fiscal fantasy that arises when one contemplates the unprecedented deficit spending funded by central bank credit creation occurring here and elsewhere. The government plans to borrow around $30 billion net in the coming fiscal year. Read more
Too many New Zealanders demand and expect too much from Government. One result is a never-ending cycle of disappointment and fruitless exhortation. Read more
Currently, every house auction is a contest between competing bidders. The auction confronts each bidder with the last price bid. Read more
In this short podcast, Senior Fellow Dr Bryce Wilkinson outlines the Government's review into Pharmac. He says the review will focus on how Pharmac performs against its current objectives (and if there could be any improvements), and whether Pharmac's objectives maximise its potential to help improve health outcomes for all New Zealanders. Read more
On Tuesday morning, 23 March 2021, the Government announced a set of housing policies that, among other things would substantially change the tax treatment of interest payments on residential investment properties. The changes to tax policy are substantial. Read more
Suppose you have an apple orchard. You hire labour to pick and pack your apples. Read more
Podcast: Oliver Hartwich, Eric Crampton, Bryce Wilkinson and David Law discuss the Government's new housing package
Oliver Hartwich, Eric Crampton, Bryce Wilkinson and David Law discuss the Government's new housing package.
The New Zealand Initiative · The Government's Housing Package Read more
The Climate Change Response Act 2000, the Climate Change response (Zero carbon) Amendment Act and the Climate Change Commission’s draft advice have two things in common. First, their purported primary goal is to reduce global net greenhouse gas emissions. Read more
In Greek mythology, Hercules was tasked with slaying Hydra, a gigantic and deadly water snake. Hydra had multiple heads. Read more
The Government announced that the Resource Management act is going to be scrapped and replaced with three new laws. Bryce Wilkinson talks to Jesse Mulligan on Radio NZ about why the RMA was no longer fit for purpose and how the new laws can address the issues that are left in its wake. Read more
There are those who say that government can only give away the produce of the productive. There are those who say that government can spend up to national income, but not beyond. Read more