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

Work and income

Full service or self-service?

27 May 2020 | Ron Crawford

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 | Nik Green

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 | Nik Green

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 | Ron Crawford

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

COVID19 warning

What’s the risk?

19 May 2020 | Dave Heatley and Judy Kavanagh

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

Misty Mt Cook

The future of work? Over-prepared for yesterday’s threat, an...

15 May 2020 | Dave Heatley

Are humans destined to be over-prepared for yesterday’s existential threat, and under-prepared for t...

Home under quarantine

Law in order?

14 May 2020 | Nik Green

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

Beach bubble

Lockdown: the effect on children’s learning and wellbeing

12 May 2020 | Ron Crawford

Lockdown hasn’t seemed too bad.

Coca Cola art

The pause that depresses

11 May 2020 | Murray Sherwin

The die is cast.

The Lighthouse

Transparency… for ordinary times and for dramatic times

8 May 2020 | Nik Green

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 | Dave Heatley

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


A stoat trappers’ guide to elimination

5 May 2020 | Dave Heatley

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 | Nik Green

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 | Nik Green

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 | Dave Heatley

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 | Dave Heatley

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

Load more