I was happy to learn from a former Canberra colleague yesterday that I’m cited in the Productivity Commission’s January 2014 Position Paper on the car industry, regarding the benefits that would come from removing the restriction on second-hand car imports. The Productivity Commission notes (Box 3.6, page 101):
Pawson (2012) reported that the entry of vehicle imports from Japan ‘gave New Zealanders access to well-priced late model cars, further increasing the country’s high level of car ownership’. A survey by Tunny (2011) of prices for second-hand Toyota Corollas (2006 automatic hatchback model) in Australia and New Zealand found that vehicles of similar mileage were on average almost 20 per cent cheaper in New Zealand than in Australia. [emphasis added]
Tunny (2011) is my article in the CIS’s Policy journal from that year: Carr’s Car Cash and Australia’s reform malaise.
I’ve previously posted on the benefits that would come from freeing up second-hand car imports:
The second-hand car import restriction is a protectionist measure that has been maintained as part of agreements by successive Commonwealth Governments with the car industry. Now that the car manufacturers are leaving Australia, any rationale for maintaining it has been removed.
Also on industry policy matters, I’d recommend listening to Steve Austin’s interview of Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls yesterday morning (Are Government subsidies worth it?), which appears to have been inspired by my post from yesterday morning regarding State Government industry assistance (Scope to cut Qld Government industry assistance).
On yesterday’s discouraging labour force data from the ABS (see the Treasury information brief), I’ll continue my policy of not reacting too much to one month’s figures, but would note that the Queensland data are consistent with my view that the jobs market has remained sluggish in recent months and that the apparent downward trend the ABS was reporting was illusory.