top of page
  • rmacculloch

What one of NZ's best economists has to say on the virus

One of this country's (and the world's) highest ranked economists, Prof. John Gibson at the University of Waikato, has slammed the "enormous influence of celebrity academics" commenting on the virus outbreak who "typically are not doing what I call the traditional approach to science, which is to submit ideas to the scrutiny of peers". A video of him speaking below is worth watching. He is not much featured in our mainstream media.

His peer-reviewed published articles argue that the costs of our particularly stringent lockdown policies will, over time, amount to being around 12 times higher than their benefits. In terms of life expectancy, Gibson estimates that the (indirect) cost of our stringent lockdowns will end up reducing it by one year as, for example, lower incomes lead to less funding for our health system. Whereas the (direct) benefit of such lockdowns, in terms of there being less deaths right now, amount to extending life expectancy by just 26 days, on average.

Seems to me that Prof. John Gibson's work is greatly at odds with Prof. Michael Baker who works at the University of Otago's Department of Public Health, who has written how some folks hold a "belief that this [elimination policy] might sacrifice the economy", whereas actually "the opposite is true".

I just can't figure why such an influential economist has barely featured in the media, compared to certain other types of "experts" who appear on practically a daily basis. Could it be that John Gibson doesn't fit "the narrative"? Or maybe he doesn't want to be a celebrity?



bottom of page