Working Papers

Population Growth and Capacity Constraints

I have an op-ed in today’s Australian on the issue of population growth and capacity constraints:

Much of the debate has been predicated on the mistaken view that population growth and immigration policy should be conditioned on existing capacity constraints, whether it be in the areas of housing, infrastructure, water or the environment. Taken to their logical extreme, many of these concerns would have ruled out the founding of the colony of NSW in 1788, when the infrastructure to support the first European settlers was nonexistent.

A growing population adds to demand for existing resources but also supplies the incentives and additional human capital essential to overcoming temporary resource constraints.

Yes, this is the same op-ed that ran in the Canberra Times some time ago.  It got another run as a result of an error made at the Oz. Not that I’m complaining, but we don’t generally make a practice of double-dipping on op-eds.

posted on 12 May 2010 by skirchner in Economics, Population & Migration

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Don’t Blame Migrants for Home Grown Problems

I had an op-ed in yesterday’s Canberra Times (‘Migrants add to growth hopes’) arguing that politicians are using migrants as scapegoats for the many public policy problems they have been unwilling or unable to tackle themselves. No link, but full text below the fold (text may differ slightly from published version).

The highly readable Chris Berg made similar arguments in a piece for ABC The Drum Unleashed.

continue reading

posted on 27 April 2010 by skirchner in Economics, Population & Migration

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