Prezi seems a pretty slick way of handling presentations; I'll have to remember it in future. Hit the forward triangle to advance the view. A few references as you work through it:
- On healthists vs economists: Public Health and the New Paternalism
- BERL's study of the social costs of harmful alcohol use:
- Our initial report
- Their reply
- Our rejoinder.
- Further explication of our minimal rationality assumption: we only require that, on average across all drinkers in the group, excess costs of "irrational" or mistaken consumption roughly match consumer surplus from the rational consumption.
- Seamus also raised an important methodological point: there is no useful comparison between aggregate tax take and social costs where social costs include costs imposed by the drinker on himself.
- BERL's drug harm index
- The PWC study on the benefits of adult and continuing education
- On the problems when government funds studies to lobby itself
Matt consequently proposed that the NZAE work as a broker for peer review of consultants' reports. For a fee, the NZAE would assign a paid expert referee who would provide a proper independent review. A Ministry could signal that it wanted a credible number by insisting that such independent review be done. This is probably a more useful suggestion than my alternative: the awarding of an annual prize - the Shonky Award - for the worst piece of economic consulting work produced in that year.
A colleague who attended the session reports that another in attendance said BERL / MoH didn't put much weight on our critique because we were paid by industry. I WISH. I would have no problem at all in being funded to do this kind of work, so long as there were no strings on editorial freedom. But the sum total of anything that could possibly be in any way seen as compensation for our work on the BERL report was that I was invited to give a talk at last year's Beervana conference; when Susan and Ira came along, their flights and the hotel room upgrade / extra night were on my dime. I had to pay for my own ticket for the beer tasting, but didn't have to pay to attend the conference dinner (again, common for plenary speakers). In fact, I had a minor argument with the alcohol folks on the upgrade because the hotel seemed to have charged both us and them for it and the Brewer's Guild wanted reimbursement. Being flown to Wellington to present work at a conference hardly counts as compensation: it's kinda standard drill in academia that somebody who wants to hear you present flies you out there and puts you up. Here's the full list of who's been paid what:
- BERL: $135,000 for its initial report
- Our critique: nothing
- Brian Easton: $7,000 for his independent and impartial (but non-tendered) review of the differences between BERL and Crampton/Burgess
- BERL: we have an OIA request in on whether they were funded for their critique of our report; tomorrow's MoH's due date. Update: MoH says they didn't pay.
- Our rejoinder to BERL: nothing
- Our submission to the Law Commission: nothing
- Marsden Jacob and Associates: $60,000 for their untendered shockingly incompetent review.
- Our rejoinder to MJA: nothing