Archive for March, 2011

Economics Group joins with the Management Consulting Group for Industry Insight-7pm, Case Room 3

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello all.

This week we are going to combine with the Management Consulting Group as they have a great speaker on around the same time we usually meet.  Come and see Roger Kerr speaking at 7pm Case Room 3.  This is part of their Industry Insight Seminars where they talk to Industry Professionals on a range of topics.
The first Industry Insight event will be held on the 29th March, Case Room 3, OGGB starting at 7pm, and finishing at approximately 8:30pm.  The “industry” in focus for this event is actually going to be the NZ economy, with the speaker being Roger Kerr – CEO NZ Business Round Table.  The topics to be discussed are…

1. Impact of the Christchurch Earthquake on the NZ Economy2. NZ’s poor private/public sector savings record
3. The effect of NZ’s ETS on the economy
4. Whether the current welfare system is helping or hindering NZ’s economic growth
5. The case for smaller government and greater economic freedom

The speaker will give a brief overview of a topic – his personal feelings and opinions.  We will then open up to questions from the audience.  This will take up the majority of the time.  Questions can either be to the speaker, or to a fellow audience member.  In addition, the speaker may also ask the audience questions.  People are encouraged to challenge ones they disagree with, and support ones they do agree with.  Once the topic has been concluded, I will introduce the next topic, and the process will repeat itself. This is a great chance to join in with others asking similar economics questions.

Hope to see you there.

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Economic Harmonies Part 2

March 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Tonight at 6pm in Case Room 4 of the Business School, we will continue looking at Economic Harmonies. Specifically, we shall examine The General Gain from the Existence of Others and, as you will see, this will be done is an interesting and unique way.


* Why, in a division-of-labour society, prosperity is open to everyone
* What Thomas Edison gained from his cleaning lady (and what she gained from him)
* Why Lady Gaga should spend more time caterwauling and John Grisham more time writing books
* Why Malthus was wrong: greater population is a blessing not a curse
* How it is that in a division-of-labour society each of us gains from the existence of each other

Where: Case Room 4, Level 0, Business School
When: Tuesday 22 March, 6:00pm

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Economic harmonies 1: Division of Labour -Tuesday March 15 6pm

March 11, 2011 Leave a comment
Hi all,
This last week we looked at the fallacy know as the Fallacy of the Broken Window identified by the 19th century French economics Frederick Bastiat.  A summary of what we discussed is provided below. But first:
This next Tuesday the 15th of March at 6pm in Case Room 4 of the Business School, we begin our first session of four on Economic Harmonies. And in the first of these we shall discuss an idea that is really at the heart and soul of economics, and yet is not fully understood.
Economic Harmonies 1: Division of Labour – The very soul of economics!
* Why was Henry Ford able to produce more cars in a day than any other manufacturer?
* Why is economics founded on ‘division of labour’?
* What barriers are there to division of labour? And what are implications of these barriers?
The answer to why Henry Ford’s assembly line was able to be produce more cars in a day than any other car manufacturer is to be found in the concept of division of labour and it is this that necessitates the existence of the subject of economics. However, division of labour does not function automatically and its functioning critically depends on the laws and institutions countries adopt. We will begin to examine this concept from an historical perspective and look at what barriers to division of labour exist, and continue to exist.
Where: Case Room 4, Level 0, Business School
When: Tuesday 15 March, 6:00pm
Now here’s what we covered in the seminar on the Broken Window Fallacy this week: We asked whether earthquakes stimulate the economy. And we talked about:
*the aims of each of these seminars;
*Frederic Bastiat’s Broken Window Parable;
*Henry Hazlitt’s First Lesson of Economics;
*examples of “Broken Window Economics”–and of plenty of broken-down Broken Window Economists;
*the most dangerous Broken Window Myth of all time;
*what constitutes real demand; and
*the Lesson of the Free Lunch Myth.
And we integrated Hazlitt’s First Lesson of Economics with other economic ideas to be discussed in future seminars in this year’s programme, including Say’s Law, the Law of Unintended Consequences, and the Fallacy of Consumptionism.
The Recommended Readings and Video Viewings for the seminar on the Broken Window Fallacy are attached.
Remember to visit – and join – us on Facebook to keep up to date with out programme for the year.
UOA Economics Group
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The Broken Window Fallacy

Hi all,

It was great to meet a number of you at our first meeting last Thursday. A summary of what we discussed is provided below. But first:

This coming Tuesday at 6pm in Case Room 4 of the Business School  (note the room change from that used last week), we will begin looking at specific economics ideas that help us understand the real world around us. This week we discuss The Parable of the Broken Window, also know as The Broken Window Fallacy.

* To what extent do economists commit this fallacy?

* What does the broken window parable tell us about the impact of an earthquake on an economy?

* What are the broader implications of the broken window parable?

Where: Case Room 4, Level 0, Business School

When: Tuesday 8 March, 6:00pm

This last Thursday we ran our first meeting of the year.  We were thrilled to have Sam Stubbs, the CEO and CIO of Tower Investments talk to us about how economics influences the real-life decisions that he and his organisation have to make on a daily basis. Julian Darby of Russell Investments then outlined why economic ideas are important in the real world and why it is important that we are all aware of the range of schools of economic thought that exist. A music video was then shown that illustrates two contrasting views, illustrating to us why it is important that we all investigate and challenge the underlying assumptions of each school of economics.

That video is actually available on YouTube and you can view it by following this link.

Remember to visit – and join – us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with our programme for the year.

See you next Tuesday.


Auckland Economics Group

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Economics for Real People-2011

Hi and welcome back to university for those continuing their studies.

This year the Economics Group has a table at the Business School’s orientation week. If you are around, come and say hello. And you can now visit us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with our programme for the year.

First, the important news: Our first seminar is this coming Thursday at 6pm. One lucky person will win a copy of the book “Economics for Real People” along with $50 in cash. So come along and you could be the winner.

While many of you will have attended some of our seminars last year, this year we will be presenting and discussing new ideas and doing so in what we hope is a fun and interesting way. As you know, university provides you a fascinating intellectual journey where you learn about ideas and more importantly learn to challenge those ideas with honesty and intellectual rigour. That was why we established the Economics Group. We hope that what you learn here will play an important part in your journey and guide you in whatever field you choose to work.

This Thursday’s special seminar will provide a framework for viewing economics. Why is economics important? What are the range of schools of economic thought? We will then watch and discuss a music video that, in 6 minutes, presents the ideas of two contrasting schools of economics, all done in an entertaining and colourful manner. Some of you will remember this video from last year.

So visit us on Facebook (you can search for Auckland Economics Group also) and don’t forget our first meeting this Thursday night when you can go in to the draw to win the book and $50 in cash. See you there.

Where: Case Room 1, Level 0, Business School

When: Thursday 3 March, 6:00pm

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