Latest posts


Land rules deter competition

Land regulations are a cost and concern to New Zealand businesses, and they are probably a factor affecting the cost of living through land prices and competition effects. [...]

‘P’ is for price

Politicians play with the price system at their peril. Yet there are minimum wage laws, rent controls, price controls and other ways of distorting prices. Usually introduced with best intentions, these measures prevent markets from working properly. [...]

There is no magic in numbers

Whether there is enough competition in the New Zealand retail sector, is hard to tell. First of all, you would need to decide on how to measure it. But one thing is clear: a superficial look just at the number of competitors is not enough to accuse them of anti-competitive behaviour. [...]

‘C’ is for competition

To promote competition, the most important things regulators can do is to just let it evolve. Competition does not need encouragement, nor does it need to be mandated. It is just what happens naturally when scarce resources meet unlimited demands. Rainforests do not need gardeners, either. [...]

Caught in Europe’s competition dark ages

Antitrust law never really made much sense anyway unless you believe in the possibility of economics textbook style ‘perfect competition’. In the real world, markets are never perfect. But where market entrance is not artificially blocked by regulations, markets are usually dynamic enough to deal with dominant positions on their own. [...]

Patently absurd

Patents, far from protecting technological progress, have become a tool for blocking innovation. With modern patent laws, only James Watt and his heirs would have been able to construct steam engines, only the Benz family would produce cars, and only Wright Brothers Ltd. would build planes. [...]

Learning from Europe’s competitive spirit

Competition between political entities, whether they are countries, states or cities, has correctly been identified as one of the fundamental conditions for creating prosperity. But in Australia, we have abolished the possibility of such competition at both the federal and the local level. If we want to prepare Australia for future growth it is high time to reinstall the ‘killer app’ that once made the West – and Australia – rich. [...]

Ripped off and overcharged? Not necessarily

Consumers have no right to demand a certain price. But they have a right not to buy things when they find them too expensive. And that's a message that even the most extortionate businessman understands. [...]