New Zealand's Economic Reforms: an assessment
New Zealand's economic policy between 1984 and 1996 is often hailed as an example of comprehensive supply-side reform that successfully improved the performance of a weak economy. In contrast, this paper presents statistical evidence to show that: (1) New Zealand sacrificed a large volume of real per capita gross domestic product after 1987; (2) its average unemployment rate increased substantially after 1988; (3) labour productivity growth declined after 1992; and (4) the per capita real income of low-income households in 1996 was more than 3% lower in absolute terms than it had been in 1984. The paper concludes that the economic reform programme did not achieve the objectives expected at its launch.
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