Economic Weekly: Beware the cobra

  • The dangers of 'perverse results' were on our mind last week during the kerfuffle over the suggestion rent controls had been mooted as a tool to tackle the housing crisis
  • The intention behind such a policy is a simple one, set an upper limit on the amount of rent that can be charged and thus expand the proportion of housing affordable to tenants on low incomes (or at least prevent it from deteriorating further) - unfortunately experience suggests rent controls usually worsen housing crises
  • It’s not just the housing market giving us a cautionary tale on the dangers of perverse incentives - the pandemic has given us a few choice examples too

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Mark Smith

Senior Economist

Mark joined ASB in 2017, with over 20 years of public and private sector experience working as an economist in New Zealand and the UK.

His resume includes lengthy stints at ANZ and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and he has also worked at the Bank of England, HM Treasury and the New Zealand Transport Agency. Mark's areas of specialisation include interest rate strategy, macro-economic analysis and urban economics.

Born and bred in the Waikato, Mark studied at Waikato University where he graduated with a Master of Social Sciences, majoring in Economics.

Mark's key strengths are the ability to use his extensive experience, inquisitive nature, analytical ability, creativity and pragmatism to dig a little deeper and to deliver common sense solutions to tackle complex problems.

When not at work Mark likes to travel, keep fit and spend time with his friends and family.