The visible hand in economics

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Garth George at The Herald reckons that the root cause of all abuse and domestic violence is abortion. His position seems largely religious in nature so I can’t argue the point on his grounds. However, I was surprised to see reasonable-sounding commentators at Kiwiblog unsure whether George might be correct. This topic isn’t a new one and the most recent stab at it has been by the famous economist Steven Levitt and his co-author, John Donohue. In their paper they use statistical techniques to show that the drop in US crime in the ’90s was correlated with states’ legalisation of abortion. Read the rest of this entry »


I wish I had time at the moment to read Bryan Caplan’s new book or the piece he has written at Cato unbound on the myth of the rational voter. Having only done the briefest skim I can’t really comment on the conclusions he reaches. However, the title seams fairly self explanatory.

This has really made me think of all the people I saw interviewed during the election night coverage saying they used to vote Labour but had decided to vote for National because it was “time for a change”. When pressed why change was needed not one person had anything to say. I kept joking at the time that it was theĀ  “obama factor” (where in my opinion change was needed). In hindsight I’m concerned that it was. I can’t help but find it slightly worrying that people voted National but didn’t really have a reason to other then “change”.

Agnitio: Happy National are in but worried about how they got there…..

Update: Thanks to the journalistic skills of Kimble and StephenR we know this chart is a hoax, it has however sparked some amusing comments on the IQ/party matches for NZ:)

While procrastinating doing work on the weekend I found this little stunner

Would be interesting to see a similar exercise for the 08 election


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