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Dr David Law

Senior Fellow

David joined The New Zealand Initiative as a Senior 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: Minimum wages to the maximum: The risks of lifting the minimum wage (2020) 
Policy Point: Misdirection on housing affordability unhelpful 
(2020)
Roadmap for Recovery: Briefing to the Incoming Government (2020)
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

cash budget v3

Minimum wages to the maximum

Last week, the Helen Clark Foundation and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research released a joint report (the HCF&NZIER report) calling for a higher minimum wage to reduce inequality and lift productivity. The minimum wage increased from $17.70 to $18.90 in April of this year. Read more

Dr David Law
Insights Newsletter
4 December, 2020
no money

Greens' wealth tax would bring 'a dose of poverty to all'

The Green Party’s “Poverty Action Plan” is all about tackling poverty, although the outcomes may differ from what the party expects. While it is meant to help struggling Kiwis, the plan will instead provoke emigration, disincentivise work and saving and stifle investment in education and skills, capital, enterprise and innovation. Read more

Dr David Law
The Dominion Post
13 July, 2020
Purse3

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
empty wallet debt

A plan for poverty

The Green Party’s “Poverty Action Plan” is all about tackling poverty, although the outcomes may differ from what the party expects. While it is meant to help struggling New Zealanders, the plan will instead disincentivise work, saving, investment in education and skills, capital, enterprise and innovation. Read more

Dr David Law
Insights newsletter
3 July, 2020
Retirement2

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 a whopping 54% by 2024 and remain elevated for decades after. Read more

Dr David Law
Insights Newsletter
19 June, 2020
money 2

Fool me once, fool me twice

As the Government looks ahead to the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency it should first look to the past for examples of how good policy intentions in a recovery can go horribly wrong. For instance, a paper by US-based macroeconomists David and Christina Romer shows that fiscal headroom is crucial because it means countries with low-debt will experience much milder downturns after a crisis than highly leveraged countries. Read more

Dr David Law
Insights Newsletter
8 May, 2020

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