‘Insights’ is the weekly newsletter of The New Zealand Initiative. Every Friday it provides comment pieces on domestic and global policy issues and the state of the world as such. It is a newsletter serious enough for a think tank – and lighthearted enough for an enjoyable Friday afternoon read. Please subscribe to ‘Insights’ by visiting the website of The New Zealand Initiative:

An economist’s physics envy

If economics wants to be as successful as the natural sciences, it should perhaps rethink using their language and methods. Seeing economics as a discipline that has more to do with history, politics and psychology than with mathematics may be the first step. [...]

The wrong population question

Building roads, rails, schools and houses may not be as intellectually stimulating as discussing population growth, but it is what Australians should really be doing instead of debating whether they want a bigger Australia. [...]

Radical solutions to world debt crisis

Having unsuccessfully followed textbook advice on dealing with the global financial crisis, it is high time to explore alternative ways of dealing with the root causes of the crisis. Whether politicians have the courage to touch Tanzi’s radical solutions is a different question. [...]

Beating Australia on FDI

It’s not enough for New Zealand to compete with Australia in the battle for Olympic gold. We now have to beat the Australians in the battle for foreign investment to grow the Kiwi economy. Thanks to Gillard and Abbott, New Zealand’s chances are better than ever. [...]

Valuing debate

Pluralism of opinion is the defining characteristic of a liberal democracy. The ability to form one’s views independently and to express them freely is at the heart of our political processes. [...]

Olympic forecasting and women’s rights

Countries where men and women have equal rights and opportunities do better at the Olympics. By contrast, women's sports potential has not been fully utilised in countries that systematically disadvantage its female population. [...]

Who is open for business?

It is odd that foreigners buying shares in energy companies excites kiwis so much. How many countries have a similarly emotional relationship with their utilities? [...]

Fix the super roof while the sun is still shining

Far, far from the troubles at the home front, Prime Minister John Key was visibly enjoying the military honours and his joint press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel on his visit to Berlin last week. A better use of his time would have been studying the effects of delaying superannuation reforms. [...]