At Infometrics we are often amazed, even annoyed, at ill-considered policy proposals that are targeted at solving a single issue, without recognising the law of unintended consequences – both positive and negative.
In 2016 a large group of international economists including four former Federal Reserve Chairs and 27 Nobel laureates made a number of recommendations on climate policy. At Infometrics we have explored the effects of a ‘tax and rebate’ policy with a detailed model of the New Zealand economy.
There is much coverage in the media of housing affordability, frequently expressed as the ratio of median house price to median income. This measure can be extremely misleading as it takes no account of the actual cost of servicing a mortgage, which is much more relevant to most buyers.
The Oresund bridge between Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmo in Sweden, a truly transformational (€4 billion) transport project that led to economic benefits much greater than would be estimated using standard cost-benefit analysis.
Although something on that scale is unlikely in New Zealand, it does raise the question of whether investing in large transport infrastructure projects could deliver benefits additional to those estimated using the NZ Transport Agency’s Economic Evaluation Manual.