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The intention of this blog is to highlight economists’ work and provide material to support education and general understanding, especially as it relates to economics in New Zealand. It is not a forum for advocacy (other than better use of economics). Posts are categorised as Events, Insights or NZAE News (includes subcategories). Posts are also tagged with the JEL Classification and/or as considered appropriate (see list below). Authors are generally Councillors of the NZAE. Anyone can provide comments. Any views expressed are not necessarily those of the NZAE.

2014 NZEP Issue 2 a Special Issue on USM-AUT International Conference on Sustainable Economic Development: Policies and Strategies

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 48, Issue 3, 2014 (available online or by subscription):

  • USM-AUT International Conference on Sustainable Economic Development: Policies and Strategies An introduction to the special issue by Saten Kumar, Rahul Sen & Sougata Poddar
  • Innovative capabilities among SMEs in Malaysian manufacturing: An analysis using firm-level data by Seyed Mehrshad Parvin Hosseini
  • An analysis of the millennium development goal 1: The case of Bangladesh by Mohammad Abdul Hannan Pradhan, Jamalludin Sulaiman & Saidatulakmal Mohd
  • Income convergence dynamics in ASEAN and SAARC blocs by Sakiru Adebola Solarin, Elsadig Musa Ahmed & Jauhari Dahalan
  • Revisiting the institutions–growth nexus in developing countries: The new evidence by Stephen G. Hall & Mahyudin Ahmad
  • Intellectual capital performance and its long-run behavior: The US banking industry case by Sampath Kehelwalatenna & Gamini Premaratne
  • Citation for the award of Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists
  • Editor-in-Chief signing off by Mark Holmes

November 2014 AI (#51) includes contributions by Statistics New Zealand

Asymmetric Information Issue 51 Nov 2014

Issue No. 51 November 2014 contents:

  • Editorial
  • An Interview with Caroline Saunders (by Peter Tait)
  • The ‘Five Minute Interview’ (with Gail Pacheco)
  • From the 2B RED File (by Grant Scobie)
  • ‘Frames’ (by Stuart Birks)
  • Blogwatch (by Paul Walker)
  • Fine Lines (by Leo Krippner)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from consumption in New Zealand (by Corey Allan, Motu)
  • NZEP call for papers
  • National Accounts and Balance of Payments Adopt New International Standards (by Jeff Cope, StatsNZ)
  • Using ‘big data’ to measure prices changes in New Zealand (by Francis Krsinich, StatsNZ)
  • Report from GEN
  • Research in Progress (Canterbury)

David Giles awarded Distinguished Fellow

Of all fields in economics, New Zealand is probably most renowned for producing top level econometricians. One distinguished contributor in this field is David Giles. Born in the United Kingdom in 1949, David moved to New Zealand as a young child. He went on to complete all of his university education in New Zealand at the University of Canterbury. Like many top New Zealand economists of his generation, he initially undertook a B.Sc. (majoring in mathematics and statistics) before completing the “Knight’s Move” to complete an M.Com in economics in 1971. He joined the staff of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1971, remaining there until 1977. During this period he had a secondment to the Task Force on Economic and Social Planning. He also took a two year break from the Bank over 1973-1975 to undertake his PhD at Canterbury. His thesis topic, supervised by Tony Rayner, was “Bayesian Applications in Econometrics”.

His initial publications included contributions to the Bank’s large-scale econometric modelling project. These were published in the Bank’s Research Paper series in 1972. His first journal publication1 appeared in New Zealand Economic Papers in 1974 and in the following year he published an aspect of his PhD studies relating to Bayesian econometrics in the Journal of Econometrics.2 A number of his early published papers dealt with issues of urban and regional economics, now considered of major importance in development and growth theory, and being especially important for New Zealand.

In 1977, Dr Giles joined Monash University as a Lecturer in Econometrics, and was appointed Professor in 1978 (aged 29). He returned to the University of Canterbury as Professor of Econometrics in 1986. From 1994 onwards, he has been Professor of Econometrics at University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

His rapid rise to Professor reflected his prodigious research output. To the start of 2014 he has written two books, edited four others, contributed 16 book chapters, and published 132 refereed journal articles (not counting review articles and a host of other publications). His publications have appeared in journals such as: Econometrica, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Journal, International Economic Review, and Journal of Econometrics.

David is ranked in the top 5% of authors by REPEC on almost all their metrics, and there are currently approximately 3,000 citations to his publications. He has an h-index of 25 (meaning that 25 of his papers have been cited at least 25 times). His most cited works cover a range of his research interests covering econometric theory, applied econometrics, and statistics. His book with V.K. Srivastava on seemingly unrelated regressions3 has been cited over 300 times, and other heavily cited fields of work include his numerous influential papers on pre-test estimation, his modelling of the hidden economy across a number of countries (including New Zealand), and his recent work examining the maximum likelihood estimator of parameters across a range of distributions. He has also been well cited for his econometric analyses of the pop music industry and the demand for British rugby league!

In addition to his own research contributions, David has been active as a journal editor. He edited New Zealand Economic Papers (volumes 21-22) over 1987-1988, and has been North American Editor of Journal of International Trade and Economic Development since 1996. He has also served on numerous editorial boards including those of Econometric Theory and Journal of Econometrics. Importantly, David has been an active supervisor of post-graduate research. While at the University of Canterbury, he supervised research papers and theses by a number of students who are now prominent in New Zealand’s economic community.

His development of key fields of theoretical econometrics coupled with his applied econometric outputs, and his contributions to the development of other researchers through his journal editing and thesis supervision, underlies David Giles’ distinguished contributions to economics. Accordingly, the Association is delighted to honour him with this award of Distinguished Fellow.


1 Giles, D.E.A., 1974, “The Almon Estimator and Serially Correlated Disturbances”, New Zealand Economic Papers, 8, 138-150.
2 Giles, D.E.A., 1975, “Discriminating Between Autoregressive Forms: A Monte Carlo Comparison of Bayesian and Ad Hoc Methods”, Journal of Econometrics, 3, 229-248.
3 Srivastava, V.K. and D.E.A. Giles, 1987, Seemingly Unrelated Regression Equations Models: Estimation and
Inference
(Marcel Dekker, New York).

Dorian Owen elected NZAE Life Member

It is with great pleasure that the Association honours Dorian Owen with the award of Life Membership of the NZ Association of Economists.

Dorian gained a PhD at the University of Swansea in 1983. His first academic appointment was as a Lecturer at the University of Reading. Dorian moved to New Zealand in 1986, initially as a Senior Lecturer at Canterbury and from 1990 until the present as a Professor at Otago. Dorian’s initial research area was monetary economics. His research interests have become more wide-ranging over time, developing an interest in the empirical modelling of economic growth and development in the mid 1990s and, more recently, an interest in the economics of sport. Dorian is one of New Zealand’s most respected academic economists, having been published in several top journals. He has also served the profession in a number of ways (including, but not limited to, being a PBRF panelist, an external examiner of postgraduate theses for many New Zealand and overseas universities, and an organiser of the New Zealand Econometric Studies Group on three occasions). The award of Life Membership, however, is made not primarily for these achievements, but for the contribution he has made to the New Zealand Association of Economists over a long period of time.

Dorian was editor of NZEP from 1995-1997 (volumes 29 to 31). Dorian was a highly respected editor, having a reputation for being both fair and efficient. This was in the days before NZEP had a contract with a professional publisher. Hence, as well as overseeing the refereeing process and ensuring a steady flow of quality articles, the editor also had to make sure all articles were free of grammatical errors and were camera ready. Dorian performed all of these duties to a very high standard. More recently, Dorian was a member of the Search Committee for a new NZEP editor in 2006 and has been an Associate Editor and member of the Editorial Board of NZEP since 2007.

Dorian was a member of the NZAE Council from 1995 to 1999, serving as Vice President for a two-year period from 1997 to 1999. During his term on Council, he was also a member of the NZAE Education Trust.

Dorian’s support of NZAE goes beyond his work as a Council Member and NZEP Editor. For many years Dorian’s active participation in NZAE conferences has been a given. He has also encouraged his graduate students to attend NZAE conferences and to enter the various competitions available to graduate students. Dorian led by example in this regard, entering (and winning) the NZIER poster competition in 2010. Dorian has also been a judge for the Jan Whitwell Prize and the Statistics New Zealand Prize. One of Dorian’s graduate students, whose involvement with NZAE began when Dorian encouraged him to attend an NZAE conference in the 1990s, many years later went on to become NZAE President.

In making this award of Life Membership to Dorian Owen, the NZAE Council recognises the sterling support he has given the Association over a number of years, as a Council member, Vice President, Editor of NZEP and general supporter of the Association.

Gary Hawke elected NZAE Life Member

One of the most important roles that any member of the New Zealand Association of Economists can perform for the association is that of editor of New Zealand Economic Papers (NZEP), the association’s flagship journal. The association is delighted to honour Gary Hawke, a former NZEP editor, with the award of Life Membership of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Gary became the fourth editor of NZEP in 1974 after a number of years of involvement with the association. He edited four volumes of the journal through to 1977. He maintained the high standard of the journal that had been set by his predecessor, Bert Brownlie. Many of New Zealand’s top academic economists, econometricians and policy-makers published articles in the Papers during this period. Many began their publications career with articles published in NZEP while Gary was editor. As well as editing the journal, Gary actively contributed a large number of book reviews. Gary also served during this period as a Council member of the New Zealand Association of Economists. His involvement with the Association has continued since then as an active participant in the Association’s annual conferences.

Gary has also served the community of economists in New Zealand through many other avenues. Contributions have included his academic roles at Victoria University of Wellington where he has served as Professor of Economics and Economic History, Director of the Institute of Policy Studies, and Head of the School of Government. Other roles have included Chairman of the New Zealand Planning Council, member of the Planning Council’s Economic Monitoring Group, Chair of the Experts Advisory Group on Tertiary Education Reforms and Chair of the New Zealand Committee of the Pacific Economic Co-operation Council.

Gary is only the second person to be honoured both as a Life Member and as a Distinguished Fellow of the Association (which he received in 2005). The Distinguished Fellow award recognised his impressive quality, quantity and range of publications in fields covering, inter alia, economic history and public policy.

It is, however, his service to the Association that is the subject of this award. In making the award of Life Membership to Gary Hawke, the NZAE Council recognises the sterling support he has given the Association over a number of years as an Editor of NZEP, Council member and long-term active supporter of the Association.

August 2014 AI (#50) includes research on growth of NZ towns

Asymmetric Information Issue 50 August 2014

Issue No. 50 August 2014 contents:

  • Editorial
  • An Interview with Bob Buckle (by Norman Gemmell)
  • Citations for new Life Members
  • NZAE Conference 2014
  • From the 2B RED File (by Grant Scobie)
  • ‘Frames’ (by Stuart Birks)
  • Blogwatch (by Paul Walker)
  • Fine Lines (by John Creedy)
  • The Bergstrom Prize Call
  • The Growth of New Zealand Towns (by Anna Robinson)
  • Report from GEN
  • Research in Progress (NZIER)

2014 NZEP Issue 2 a Special Issue on Population Ageing and Long-Run Fiscal Sustainability in New Zealand

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 48, Issue 2, 2014 (available online or by subscription):

  • Population ageing and long-run fiscal sustainability in New Zealand by Robert A. Buckle & John Creedy
  • The requirements for fiscal sustainability in New Zealand by Robert A. Buckle & Amy A. Cruickshank
  • New Zealand’s demographics and population ageing by Geoff Bascand & Kim Dunstan
  • Treasury’s 2013 long-term fiscal statement: Assumptions and projections by Matthew Bell & Paul Rodway
  • Population ageing and productivity: A survey with implications for New Zealand by Ross Guest
  • Population ageing and the growth of income and consumption tax revenue by Christopher Ball & John Creedy
  • Can fiscal drag pay for the public spending effects of population ageing in New Zealand? by John Creedy & Norman Gemmell
  • Social expenditure in New Zealand: Stochastic projections by John Creedy & Kathleen Makale
  • Modelling retirement income in New Zealand by Christopher Ball
  • The growth, equity, and risk implications of different retirement income policies by Andrew Coleman
  • Tax policy with uncertain future costs: Some simple models by Christopher Ball & John Creedy

April 2014 AI (#49) includes four banking lectures by Grimes

Asymmetric Information Issue 49 2014

Issue No. 49 April 2014 contents:

  • Editorial
  • An Interview with Grant Scobie (by Brian Silverstone) – repeat three times ‘Economics is all about incentives; the rest is commentary’.
  • The Five Minute Interview (Sholeh Maani)
  • From the 2B RED File (by Grant Scobie)
  • ‘Frames’ (by Stuart Birks)
  • Blogwatch (by Paul Walker)
  • Fine Lines (by Stephen Knowles)
  • Four Lectures on Banking (by Arthur Grimes)
  • The Integrated Data Infrastructure (Bex Sullivan and Lynsey Hayes)
  • Research in Progress (Auckland University of Technology)

WEAI 11th Pacific Rim Conference 8-11 Jan 2015 in Wellington

The  11th Pacific Rim Conference of the Western Economic Association International (WEAI) will be held 8-11 January 2015 in New Zealand.  The conference website http://weai.org/PR2015 is open for registration and submission of paper abstracts.  NZAE members can participate in this conference; you may wish to go to their website and submit a paper.

Hosted by the Victoria University of Wellington and Massey University at Wellington, and sponsored by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the New Zealand Treasury, the Pacific Rim Conference will include the following Keynote Speakers:

  • Robert Engle, 2003 recipient of The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel,
  • Christopher Sims, 2011 recipient of The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel,
  • David Card, University of California, Berkeley, 2014- 2015 WEAI President-Elect and Program Committee Chair, and recipient of the 1995 John Bates Clark medal.

About WEAI

Formed in 1922, WEAI currently publishes two journals, Economic Inquiry and Contemporary Economic Policy, and holds two conference series, the Annual Conferences and Pacific Rim Conferences.

Call for Papers by 30-Oct-14: Special issue on temporary employment

Many economies have recently experienced a growth in temporary employment within their services sectors, and both the determinants and implications of this phenomenon are of interest to academics and policymakers. Past literature has often suggested that changes in the temporary workforce pool are the result of progressive labour market deregulations and shifting preferences towards increased employment flexibility. Alternatively, it has also been observed that demand for temporary workers is more cyclical in nature (Bentzen, 2012)1. The implications of temporary employment for the productivity, job security and well-being of both temporary and permanent workers are equally important. Specifically, this special issue aims to examine a variety of facets specific to temporary workers, such as (but not limited to) the aforementioned, in order to highlight the key determinants, challenges, concerns and related outcomes of the temporary workforce.to) the aforementioned, in order to highlight the key determinants, challenges, concerns and related outcomes of the temporary workforce.

It is envisaged that the special issue will focus on (but not limited to) key areas relating to:
- Labour market flexibility reforms and implications
- Promotion of the temporary workforce industry
- Cost-Benefit analysis of a two-tiered labour market
- The comparative levels of productivity between temporary and permanent workers
- Levels of job security and well-being associated with temporary employees
- Stakeholder perceptions of non-permanent employees

This special issue is to be guest-edited by Associate Professor Gail Pacheco (email: gail.pacheco@aut.ac.nz) and Professor Tim Maloney (email: tim.maloney@aut.ac.nz) of the Department of Economics, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

The Australian Journal of Labour Economics is a journal published by the Centre for Labour Market Research (CLMR) at University of Canberra, Australia. It is the Official Journal of the Australian Society of Labour Economists and focuses primarily on theoretical and policy related developments with respect to the Australian context. Please note, application to the Australian context is not a criterion for acceptance.

It is requested that submissions be made to Pat Madden (email: patricia.madden@cbs.curtin.edu.au) and that you indicate that you wish your paper to be considered for the special issue on temporary employment. The selection of papers to be included within the edition will follow peer review process, and the final versions of accepted papers must be submitted in a format compatible with MS-Word.

Submission deadline: 30th October 2014
1 Bentzen, E.J. (2012) What Drives the Demand for Temporary Agency Workers? Labour 26(3), 341-355.

Conference on Reflections on 25 Years of Inflation Targeting 1-3 Dec 2014

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act (1989), which granted the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) its independence, introduced price stability as its primary objective, and thus instituted inflation targeting as a monetary policy regime. To mark this occasion, RBNZ and the International Journal of Central Banking (IJCB) are organising a conference on 1‐3 December 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. More

Workshop on Interactions Between Monetary and Macro-prudential Policies 22-Oct-2014

On 22 October the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will host a one-day workshop on interactions between monetary and macro-prudential policies in Wellington, New Zealand. The workshop aims to draw together policy analysis and research that contributes to the debate on the design of monetary and macro-prudential policies. More

2014 History of Economic Thought Society of Australia conference in Auckland 11-12 July

The University of Auckland will host the 2014 HETSA conference in 2014. Registration is open to all those interested in the contest of ideas and the intellectual history of economics. The first conference session will be scheduled for Friday 11 July at 9am. More

2014 NZEP Issue 1 includes papers on recent NZ performance

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 48, Issue 1, 2014 (available online or by subscription):

  • Foreign acquisition and the performance of New Zealand firms by Richard Fabling & Lynda Sanderson
  • New Zealand households and the 2008/09 recession by Christopher Ball & Michael Ryan
  • The S-curve dynamics of trade between the US and Korea: Evidence from commodity trade by Mohsen Bahmani-Oskooee & Jia Xu
  • The composition of government expenditure with alternative choice mechanisms by John Creedy & Solmaz Moslehi
  • Comparing merger enforcement across jurisdictions – New Zealand versus the European Union and the United States by Michael Pickford & Qing Gong Yang
  • Should bonus points be included in the Six Nations Championship? by Niven Winchester

Brian Easton to present NIDEA Seminar in Hamilton 27-Mar-2014

The Long Term Prospects for Health Spending

Dr Brian Easton, Economic and Social Trust on New Zealand

ABSTRACT: Last year the Treasury released its long term fiscal projections which look up to 40 years out. Although initially the big concern was demographic change and New Zealand superannuation, it soon became clear that a major issue was public sector health spending. Brian, who was on the group advising the Treasury on the projections, will explain the population and health projections and outline what they might mean for public policy. The projections are at http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/longterm/fiscalposition/2013

BIO: Dr Brian Easton has had a long involvement in health economics and in economic forecasting (and has made occasional forays into demographic analysis). He is currently writing a history of New Zealand from an economic perspective .which includes an account of the history of the health system and which is heavily dependent on the analysis of population change (especially where the economic data are deficient). Brian is Research Associate of the National Institute for Demographic and Economic Analysis and an Honorary Fellow of the Wellington School of Medicine of the University of Otago. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a Chartered Statistician, and a Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and a Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Economic Association.

When: Thursday 27th March 2014, 1.10. – 2.00 pm

Where: I.1.05 For more information please contact Professor Jacques Poot (jpoot@waikato.ac.nz)

Seminar website http://www.waikato.ac.nz/nidea/events