Wealth and New Zealand

BWB Texts

Book 34
Bridget Williams Books
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We are heading towards Thomas Piketty’s predicted steady state of wealth being worth six times national income. We are not immune to his prognosis of a return to Victorian-style levels of inequality.

The most recent NBR Rich List has revealed the biggest proportional increase in wealth since the list first appeared in 1986. But what do these figures mean and what else do we know about New Zealand’s fortunes? Following his groundbreaking work on income inequality, Max Rashbrooke examines how wealth shapes our experience. Drawing on previously unpublished data, he explores what constitutes wealth in New Zealand – where, how and why it is held. In doing so, he addresses how wealth has come to be so unevenly distributed, and why this imbalance is something we can no longer ignore.
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About the author

Max Rashbrooke is a journalist, author and researcher based in Wellington. He has written for national newspapers and magazines in New Zealand and the UK, including the Guardian, the NBR and Metro. He has become a major commentator on the rising gap between rich and poor in New Zealand, with Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis released in 2013, and the shorter introduction to inequality, The Inequality Debate, released in 2014. He is also a research associate of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He has twice been the recipient of the Bruce Jesson Senior Journalism Award, and was a 2015 Winston Churchill Fellow.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Bridget Williams Books
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Published on
Nov 9, 2015
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Pages
132
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ISBN
9780908321582
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / Theory
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition

The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.

Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.

Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.

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