Search the site by keyword

Pandemic-economics blog

Pandemic-economics blogA blog by Commission staff to generate ideas and promote debate about policy responses to COVID‑19. We welcome robust, respectful and insightful thoughts and ideas. Comments can be posted at the bottom of blog posts, but please note they are moderated and won't appear immediately. 

About the blog

The Fantasy section of the Te Anau bookstore

Sweden vs. New Zealand, with Taiwan in the lead

9 December 2020

Is the Covid pandemic and our collective responses to it best framed as health vs.

Fletcher learns at home with Jack the Labrador

Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects

23 September 2020

What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important mee…

Judy wearing a CovidCard

I’d wear a CovidCard. The question is, should you?

4 August 2020

I’m OK with wearing a CovidCard. But are you? There’s no point me doing it alone.

Ivory Lake, Westland

CovidCard carrying Kiwis?

22 July 2020

New Zealand’s COVID Tracer app is “on track to achieve nothing”, according to Sam Morgan.


Is COVID-19 becoming less deadly?

15 July 2020

New COVID-19 cases are soaring in the US. I would naturally expect the number of deaths to be soarin…

COVID stringency index

Level with me

2 July 2020

Much of the public debate about the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has focused on the extent to w…

Second wave

The small numbers problem: distinguishing good luck from goo…

1 July 2020

Zero community transmission. Just a handful of active cases, all in quarantine. New Zealand is in an…


How will the pandemic end?

25 June 2020

Elimination. Border incursions. An outbreak. A lockdown, which takes us back to elimination.

Walking in rain

Resilience for the future of work

2 June 2020

As the metaphorical ink was drying on the Commission’s technological change and the future of work f…

NZ COVID tracer app

Why we need more tech: the COVID-19 edition

29 May 2020

One of the key findings from the Commission’s recent Technological change and the future of work inq…

Work and income

Full service or self-service?

27 May 2020

In normal times, New Zealand’s labour market works well. Compared to many other countries, unemploym…

side car - side hustles

Hoping for the good things in the hustle

25 May 2020

It is said that ‘good things happen to those who hustle’.

Hawke's Bay aerial photo of coastline

Don’t stand so close to me

21 May 2020

One of the big goals of some urban policymakers in recent years has been achieving greater populatio…

Washing hands under tap

Local government infrastructure financing meets COVID-19

20 May 2020

Last October, New Zealand communities elected their local government councillors and mayors.

COVID19 warning

What’s the risk?

19 May 2020

Eighty-four percent of New Zealanders were concerned about the chances that they or someone close to…

Home under quarantine

Law in order?

14 May 2020

Governments around the world have restricted the activities of their citizens in the fight against C…

The Lighthouse

Transparency… for ordinary times and for dramatic times

8 May 2020

In times of crisis, it is said, speed is of the essence. And the dramatic consequences of the COVID-…

Kangaroo Kiwi

Re-opening the trans-Tasman border

6 May 2020

“Shut the borders” is a natural first reaction to an external threat.


A stoat trappers’ guide to elimination

5 May 2020

New Zealanders have a lot of experience with islands and unwanted organisms – keeping them away, lea…

Shop closed

Taking account of the visible… and the hidden

4 May 2020

A peculiar fixation of economists is looking for the unseen or unnoticed effects of an event.

Illustration Toby Morris The Spinoff

Prepay or prepare to flex?

30 April 2020

As we (hopefully) exit from the constraints imposed to control the COVID-19 virus, it’s worth thinki…


A mountaineer’s guide to policy headroom

23 April 2020

Over the last few weeks’, you might have felt like the country was making its way along a ridge betw…


How are we trackin’?

22 April 2020

Let me introduce you to RPE, a “quick & dirty” estimate of the effective reproduction number of COVI…

Load more blog items