Latest posts

Demography

Showering cash is no substitute for policy

There is no shortage of issues in New Zealand that need to be tackled: the housing affordability crisis, or the challenges to our superannuation system, to name just two examples. But the opposition did not provide any game-changing policy ideas on either of them. [...]

Housing shortage will get worse

It is good to see housing high on the policy agenda. That is where it should be. As anyone with a stake in the housing market knows, there is a massive undersupply of housing. This is what is responsible for high and rising prices. [...]

A grey outlook on Europe’s pension reform

France and Spain give us a taste of what is to come in Europe in the coming decades. What comes across as a relatively theoretical exercise concerning pension levels in the distant future will become a reality within the next ten to twenty years — and not just in these two countries. [...]

The real budget challenge

Make no mistake about it: New Zealand’s enduring economic viability depends upon the government’s ability to demography-proof public finances. And on living up to this task depends the Prime Minister’s historic legacy. [...]

Liberty muted by Germany’s lost loyalties

In the strange economic world of the global financial crisis, the complexity of our problems is enormous and the challenges are manifold: public debt, unsustainable welfare systems, ageing societies – to just name a few. These would be difficult enough to solve in societies in which broad political discussions still happened and involved large parts of the population. [...]

How to cope with grey Australia

As the Productivity Commission points out: “Population ageing can only be conceived as a crisis if we let it become one". Dramatically cutting population growth is a sure fire way to make that crisis a reality. [...]

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. [...]

Make population growth work

A growing population can bring economic benefits. It goes hand-in-hand with increased prosperity and better standards of living. It delivers a larger, better-skilled labour force and more vibrant cities. The real challenge is not to stop population growth. It is making population growth work. [...]