Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Behavioural economics and Hekia Parata

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  • Sacha,

    You seem to be labouring under the delusion that teachers make school budget decisions, rather than boards of trustees who are usually parents.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19685 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Here's hoping - assuming Key gives one toss about improving educational attainment, and thinks a deck-chair shuffling exercise in "behavioral economics" is better than directly funding the things you want schools to do (although of course they don't want schools engaging in non-sport extra-cirricular activities with the poors) - that if they did set up such an initiative, it'd be called something less juvenile and patronising than "Nudge".

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    The alternative view is that National sees this as a possible outcome, and also sees it as a win, their view being that since private school children all pay separately for the "extras", why should public school children get a free ride for things that aren't core curriculum?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'd say it's a positive if schools spend their money on salaries for actual teachers instead of trips to Japan or having a former AB coach the rugby team.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Salmond, in reply to Sacha,

    You seem to be labouring under the delusion that teachers make school budget decision

    No, not really. But I am saying it's much harder for a BOT to decide to fund a jazz band if there's no teacher with their hand up to run it, maintain the equipment, and so on.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2015 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Sacha,

    delusion that teachers make school budget decisions, rather than boards of trustees

    I have not seen very many extra-cirricular activities run purely by parents, though, although a lot of them "help out". It's actually very difficult for parents to create and run programs like that without help from the staff. If staff were actively resisting I'd say no chance at all. Even something simple like a chess club ($200 for chess sets, a classroom at lunch)... oh, which classroom? Uh, one where the teacher permits it, of course. I'm sure the board will be happy to mediate between a teacher unhappy about the state of their classroom after chess club, and the parent who is running the chess club. And of course no teacher would ever disagree when a pupil wants to participate in a chess competition during school hours.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1195 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to Sacha,

    You seem to be labouring under the delusion that teachers make school budget decisions, rather than boards of trustees who are usually parents.

    Maybe. But what evidence is there to suggest parent trustees will be any less incentivised to do the wrong thing than school management?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Salmond, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I’d say it’s a positive if schools spend their money on salaries for actual teachers instead of trips to Japan or having a former AB coach the rugby team.

    I'd say those aren't the only two options...

    Wellington • Since Jun 2015 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Why do I see the promulgation of something called 'behavioural economics' and feel the chill hand of evil? Managerialism in a workplace is bad enough. But to really destroy a nation, you need a government willing to apply it to everything.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Salmond, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Good news for Rob: behavioural economics and managerialism are not the same thing. Phew!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2015 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    possibly because its neither behavioral, economics nor does it make much sense

    I worry when people with power act as if the real world is a academic exercise with points for effort... damn the consequences PR will tidy that stuff up

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Rob Salmond,

    Phew!

    On paper they may just be good friends. But there are rumours of a far closer relationship :(

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Was bad poetry involved?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19685 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Teachers are only one aspect of schools. What about libraries, librarians, teacher aides and all the other support staff? Under bulk funding they all shrank. They have little power around the board table or even in the staff room. Where do they fit in under global funding and behavioural economics?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3199 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Every time Rob posts something, a little bit of me dies. Because all he ever does is display how firmly a talentless Labour party is marooned in the 1990s. FFS mate, you have to come up with something a bit better than economic rationalism as a reason to not impose economic rationalism.

    The thinking of the NZ Labour party is so yesterday that it is actually the day before. I know "third way" politics was supposed to coincide with the end of history, but I didn’t think it also coincided with the end of thinking.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2212 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to bob daktari,

    I worry when people with power act as if the real world is a academic exercise with points for effort

    The possibilities are endless, bonus payments for great doctors and nurses when patients recover; for great WINZ staff when people come off benefits; for great police when crime drops, for great jazz equipment maintainers when instruments – though raucously played – function as designed. Or we could just leave this approach to the Act party.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mpledger,

    Things like school trips to Japan are funded by parents and fundraising - not school funds. It's cheaper for a kid to go with the school than for a family to go and usually the teacher doing it has all sorts of educational contacts to set up a good trip for the kids so it's actually a good deal - if the families can afford it.

    It's the overseas school sporting trips that I don't see any merit in. They are only trivially educational and, for most cases, it would be better for the kids to travel internally, especially Aucklanders.

    Since Oct 2012 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • mpledger, in reply to mark taslov,

    People subvert the statistics when their income or job is on the line which means the whole thing becomes pointless.

    Look at the burglary statistics in South Auckland as an example.

    Since Oct 2012 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to mpledger,

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • waihekeislander, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Those are both options at present. Trips to Japan or an AB coach would currently be funded by Ops grant and/or fundraising. If a school chooses to instead spend that money on teachers they can do that now. The global funding proposal is altogether different. It means baseline teacher numbers could be cashed up to spend on the trips or AB coach - there is nothing about global funding that would lead to more teachers.

    New Zealand • Since Feb 2015 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    Well done, Rob. That;s the first post of yours that has created debate and dissension among your target audience other than the Chinese names contribution, which was rather unproductive. And I mean that entirely unironically. I am however surprised that the representatives of the various teachers unions have not demanded a retraction and apology, Their demand for your resignation I assume will be dealt with internally.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Adam H, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    All economics is behavioural: money and how we measure it is not a law of nature, it's a figment of our collective imagination. It is a form of Theology.

    The problem is that the "profession" uses Greek when describing it's belief systems, which seems to have fooled people into thinking there are some universal rules.

    Repeat after me: "economics is a social science".

    Nothing wrong with that, but it shouldn't be confused with Natural Science.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    two central ideas in behavioural economics:

    1. People respond to incentives.

    Carrot

    2. Therefore, policymakers should give people an incentive to do the right thing.

    Stick

    And we're just clever monkeys, tho, our best achievement is deluding ourselves it seems.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Adam H, in reply to andin,

    And we’re just clever monkeys, tho, our best achievement is deluding ourselves it seems.

    Yep. That.

    I guess what leaves me most frustrated with the economics profession are the ones like Friedman who seem to think that using Greek notation is an excuse to behave like a sociopath. Look what it did to Thatcher:

    I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families."

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    And we’re just clever monkeys, tho, our best achievement is deluding ourselves it seems.

    Yeah. Behavioural economics is good for explaining how most of the people most of the time don’t know shit about what they’re buying, why, or with what.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

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