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

Bob Buckle amongst 2014 New Year Honours list

Congratulations to NZAE Life Member Bob Buckle for being appointed an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to business and education.

As acknowledged in the New Zealand Herald,

“Bob Buckle is one of New Zealand’s leading economists and was principal adviser to the Treasury from 2000 until 2008, the same year he became pro vice-chancellor and dean of commerce at Victoria University’s Business School. A former chairman of the economic committee of APEC, Buckle is appointed an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and education.

He is a life member and former president of the NZ Association of Economists.

He also set up and funded a prize to help young people into university, which is awarded to one student from Whangarei Boys’ High School and another from Whangarei Girls’ High School each year. Buckle attended Whangarei Boys in the early 1960s.

He also established a scholarship to fund international mental health experts to come to New Zealand following the sudden death of his son in 2003.

Buckle was chairman of the Tax Working Group, which reviewed the country’s tax system and contributed to reform. He has authored more than 100 publications.”

2013 NZEP Issue 3 is a Special Issue on Innovation in Teaching Undergraduate Economics

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 47, Issue 3, 2013 (available online or by subscription):

  • Returns to different ‘learning styles’: Evidence from a course in microeconomics by Taggert J. Brooks & A. Wahhab Khandker
  • Comparing online quizzes and take-home assignments as formative assessments in a 100-level economics course by Gillis Maclean & Paul McKeown
  • Challenge quizzes: A unique tool for motivation and assessment by KimMarie McGoldrick & Peter W. Schuhmann
  • Is activity in online quizzes correlated with higher exam marks? by Paul McKeown & Gillis Maclean
  • Assigning grades during an earthquake – shaken or stirred? by Stephen Hickson & Stephen Agnew
  • Optimal dynamic regulation of the environmental impact of mining across diverse land types by Graeme J. Doole & Ben White
  • An evaluation of New Zealand macroeconomic survey forecasts by Hamid Baghestani & Ilker Kaya

November 2013 AI (#48) features interview with Len Bayliss

Asymmetric Information Issue 48 2013 available as pdf copy here

Issue No. 48 November 2013 contents:

  • Editorial
  • An Interview with Len Bayliss (by Michael Reddell)

  • NZIER Economics Award 2013: Jacques Poot

  • The Five Minute Interview (Jacques Poot)

  • From the 2B RED File (by Grant Scobie)

  • ‘Frames’ (by Stuart Birks)

  • Blogwatch (by Paul Walker)

  • Fine Lines (by Paul Conway and Lisa Meehan)

  • Heterogeneity in management practices in NZ dairy farms (Motu: Suzi Kerr)

  • Regional Estimates of Tourism Expenditure (by Vij Kooyela and Peter Ellis)

  • International investment data in the NZ LBD (by Lynda Sanderson)

  • The Government Economics Network (GEN)

  • Research in Progress (Lincoln University)

Applications for Editor of NZ Economics Papers close 30 September 2013.


New Zealand Economic Papers

Professor Mark Holmes concludes his term as Editor of New Zealand Economic Papers in December 2014. There are three issues per year, although there are plans to increase to four issues per year. NZEP is currently a B-ranked journal in the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) journal rankings. NZEP has been published since 1966 and a commemorative issue is planned for 2016.

The journal is published by Taylor and Francis, under the Routledge imprint, with online submission facilities.

The Association wishes to appoint a new Editor for a period of three years (2015 to 2018), who will maintain the high standard set by former editors. To this end the Council of the Association has established a Search Committee chaired by Anita King to recommend a new editor. The other members of the Search Committee are Mark Holmes, Stephen Knowles, and John Creedy. The Search Committee will report to Bill Kaye-Blake, the NZAE President. The Search Committee is happy to receive nominations or expressions of interest which include a statement of interest and a current CV. These should be emailed to Anita King (anita.king@treasury.govt.nz) before 30 September 2013.


  • The job is to edit and produce an academic journal of three issues per year which is readable and relevant to economists generally and Australasian readers in particular. (The number of issues is to be reviewed by the NZAE council).
  • The Editor is expected to maintain the established tradition of economic scholarship but is free to develop his or her own editorial policy. Any written policy must be approved by the NZAE Council.
  • The Editor is expected to have a demonstrable commitment to the New Zealand Association of Economists that includes attendance at Council meetings and the Annual Conference.
  • New Zealand Economic Papers is expected to include original research, surveys, policy analyses.
  • The Editor will maintain a fair, efficient and rigorous refereeing process.
  • The Editor will report to the NZAE Council twice a year concerning the Editorial duties and key journal statistics.


  • The Editor will be appointed for 3 volumes (2015 to 2018) and will start receiving manuscripts before the end of 2014.
  • The terms of appointment will be confirmed in writing by the President of the Association.
  • The agreement can be broken by either party upon giving six months notice in writing to the other party.


  • The Editor will be paid a stipend of NZ$4,500 per year.


August 2013 NZEP features Stephen Turnovsky on growth and inequality

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 47, Issue 2, August 2013 (available online or by subscription):

  • The relationship between economic growth and inequality
  • Evaluating research – peer review team assessment and journal based bibliographic measures: New Zealand PBRF research output scores in 2006
  • A microstructural analysis of housing renovation decisions in Brisbane, Australia
  • Does higher social diversity affect people’s contributions to local schools? Evidence from New Zealand

Economic Analyst – Ministry of Health

Based in Wellington, New Zealand

MinHealth-RGBExciting opportunity for a talented and enthusiastic economist, to join a high performing policy team to debate issues, think, design and innovate.
As an economist, you will play a key role in developing health policy and lead the development and use of economic analysis within the Ministry. You will also help to shape and implement capability building within the Policy Business Unit.

As well as having outstanding analytical skills, you will need to have:

  • Strong term working skills
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • The ability to work quickly and give real-time advice to decision makers, even with only partial information
  • A passion for addressing the economic issues faced by the Government.

At a senior or principal level you will have deep experience, and strong influencing and mentoring skills.

Appointments will be made to either technical specialist or policy analyst roles, at appropriate seniority. Technical specialists are expected to have strong skills in a relevant area of economic analysis as well as the necessary relationship skills to work with non-specialists and the ability to deliver products appropriate for either a technical or non-technical audience. Policy analysts, economics, are expected to have strong analytical skills as well as the influence skills and organisational agility necessary to deliver policy products.

You will report to the Ministry of Health’s Chief Economist.

For further information about this position please contact the Chief Economist, Bronwyn Croxson, on +64 4 816 2473 or email recruitment@moh.govt.nz
The Ministry of Health’s recruitment practices are based on Equal Employment principles.

Applications close Sunday, 15 September 2013.

To obtain a position description or to apply for this vacancy, please visit our www.jobs.health.govt.nz and enter the reference number 13/MOH211.

August 2013 AI (#47) features interview with Graham Scott

The August 2013 issue of Asymmetric Information is now available online here.

Issue No. 47 August 2013 contents:

  • Editorial
  • An Interview with Graham Scott
  • Citaton for Alan Bollard, Life Member of NZAE
  • From the 2B RED File
  • The Five-Minute Interview: Adolf Stroombergen
  • ‘Frames’
  • Fine Lines
  • Chair in Public Finance
  • Blogwatch
  • Statistics New Zealand: Regional GDP Statistics
  • NZEP Editor Notice
  • The Government Economics Network (GEN)
  • Research in Progress
  • NZAE Information

John Riley awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

John Riley is an outstanding academic economist and his journey to this illustrious career started here in New Zealand.   He grew up in Christchurch and spent his early life in the Canterbury, Otago and Lake Hawea areas with frequent trips to Wellington on the overnight ferry.  Educationally he honed his mathematical skills at Christ’s College under the tutelage of Alan Ramsey.  He then went on to the University of Canterbury’s Mathematics Department where he completed a B.Sc. (Hons). As an undergraduate he competed for Canterbury in both swimming and basketball. He was also leader of the notorious (and long since banned) haka party in Capping week.

Unsure what to do next he was persuaded by Bert Brownlie to switch to economics (a part of the famous Knights move) and earned an M. Com in economics in 1969 (class of 1968).  While in the Economics Dept. at Canterbury the opportunities and challenges available in economics were reinforced by visitors such as Stiglitz, Debreu and Koopmans. From here John went on to complete his doctorate at MIT where his thesis advisors were Robert Solow and Peter Diamond .

In 1973 he joined the UCLA economics department. His most influential colleague at UCLA was his co-author Jack Hirshleifer (“Analytics of Uncertainty and Information” CUP 1992).  This book is still widely used as an entry level text in this field and a second edition (co-authored by Sushil Bikhchandani) is due to be released later this year. John is best known for his research on markets with asymmetric information. He was heavily involved in the early development of the theories of signalling and of auctions.  Had he followed advice from Mirrlees early in his work on signalling he would have never written his much cited Econometica paper “Informational Equilbrium”. However, it is a signal of the man, that he took this advice to stop working in this area as an inspiration to not only continue but to solve the problem – even if it took the rest of his life.  Fortunately it didn’t take that long!

In 1978 John began working with Jack Hirshleifer on the “war of attrition” and published two papers in the Journal of Theoretical Sociobiology. This led him to start comparing revenue in auction and other “winner-take-all” environments. Eventually the number of mechanisms for which there was revenue equivalence led him to the conclusion that there must be some unifying principle explaining these results.

His most  cited paper on auctions (with William Samuelson) includes the first proof of the celebrated “revenue equivalence theorem”.  He also collaborated extensively with Eric Maskin on auction theory.  John has recently completed a graduate textbook “Essential Microeconomics” (2012). He is currently Distinguished Professor of Economics and very recently completed a third term as Chair of the Economics Department at UCLA.

However these roles do little to capture the depth and diversity of John’s work.  He has more than fifty peer reviewed articles including multiple articles in all of the top journals – AER, JPE, QJE, JEL, Ecnometrica, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Economic Theory and Games and Economic Behaviour.  In fact, according to REPEC John is among the top 5% of authors internationally according to virtually every criteria that they report on such as:  Average Rank Score; Number of Distinct Works, Weighted by Simple Impact Factor; Number of Distinct Works, Weighted by Recursive Impact Factor … Number of Citations; Number of Citations, Weighted or Discounted by Citation Age, impact factor, number of authors and others. Remarkably his annual google scholar citations show no sign of decreasing. Indeed they reached a life-time high of 712 in 2012.

Although being a world leader in the area of auctions and mechanism design John has not lost sight of his kiwi roots.  He has continued to come back to New Zealand annually and to stay in touch with his mentors at the University of Canterbury.  He tells us his biggest return to NZ for his wonderful start is his daughter who has over 70 caps playing representative football for NZ.  However, the Association believes his contribution is much more direct than this and in recognition of both the quantity and quality of his own ground breaking work we honour him with this award of Distinguished Fellow.

Alan Bollard elected NZAE Life Member

It is with great pleasure that the Association honours Alan Bollard with the award of Life Membership of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Alan graduated with Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees in economics from the University of Auckland in the 1970s. After working in London, he returned to New Zealand to join the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research in 1984. He held the role of NZIER Director from 1987 to 1994, working to restore its financial position while continuing to ensure that the Institute conducted high quality economic research relevant to New Zealand.

Alan then took on three successive high profile public sector positions: Commerce Commission Chairman (1994-1998), Treasury Secretary (1998-2002) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor (2002-2012). Few, if any, New Zealanders have served in such a range of high profile public sector economic leadership roles.

In each of these roles, Alan was a champion for the application of economics in general, and for the activities of the New Zealand Association of Economists in particular. He served as an NZAE Council member for three years from 1995, including serving as NZAE President in 1997. He has also been an active supporter of Association events in many other ways. While at the Treasury and the Reserve Bank, he encouraged economists at those institutions to present papers and to attend the Association’s annual conferences, and ensured provision of financial support to assist the attendance of high quality keynote speakers for the conferences. Particularly noteworthy
was his role in Chairing the International Advisory Board for the the 2008 NZAE/ESAM Conference in honour of AW Phillips; his speech on the life of AW Phillips was a conference highlight for many.

While at the NZIER, Alan was instrumental in having one of Bill Phillips’ MONIAC machines repatriated to New Zealand and restored to working order. He has promoted economics education in a number of ways, including through the Young Enterprise Trust and through the establishment of the Reserve Bank museum, which currently hosts the MONIAC. These education initiatives continue to bear fruit within New Zealand now that Alan has moved offshore to take the position of Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat in Singapore.

Alan’s contributions to New Zealand public policy have been recognised through honorary doctorates from the University of Auckland and from Massey University, and through being named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013.

The Association honours Alan for his contribution to the Association and to New Zealand economic policy, economic research and the economics profession, and has pleasure in awarding him life membership of the Association.

Influential Senior Roles at the New Zealand Productivity Commission

2 vacancies for stellar economists; permanent or fixed term

  • NZ Prod logo new COLPlay a key role in better understanding NZ’s productivity performance
  • Lead by example with your superior analytical skills and research standards
  • Help shape and implement a research agenda working with other agencies

With two vacancies, and openness to permanent or fixed-term appointment, this is a great chance to join our Economics & Research Team. This team provides analytical support to our inquiries and leads our wider research effort on New Zealand’s productivity performance. The appointments will be at Senior or Principal Advisor level. To be successful in these roles, you will have:

  • Outstanding analytical ability with a very strong background in economics
  • High ambition to unpick and deepen understanding of NZ’s productivity performance
  • Ability to undertake, or at least understand, quantitative economic analysis
  • Significant experience in, or understanding of, a policy or regulatory environment
  • Exceptional communication and influencing skills so that your insights and results ‘bite’

At Principal Advisor level, your deep experience, mentoring ability and top-rate skills in economic analysis will also make you an effective deputy to the Director of Economics & Research.

For more information about applying and the Commission, including a short video-clip explaining the roles, visit www.productivity.govt.nz. The roles are based in Wellington in a collegial and invigorating working environment. There is no firm closing date for this process. Early expressions of interest are encouraged as the Commission will consider applications as they are received and reserves the right to interview and appointment people to the roles at any time. (Advertising commenced 25 June 2013.).


University of Otago PhD Scholarships

 Closing Date: Ongoing.

The Department of Economics at the University of Otago, one of the premier teaching and research departments in New Zealand, is seeking applicants for PhD scholarships.

Amount and type of award:

The scholarships available cover full-time domestic tuition fees and an annual stipend of $25,000 for up to three years of full-time study in the Doctor of Philosophy programme.


The PhD programme at Otago is by research only, that is, it does not include any course work. In order to be admitted to the PhD programme in economics at Otago applicants need to have a first class or second-class division one Honours or Masters degree that contains a research component. Applicants are expected to have taken courses equivalent to our own Honours programme, which includes advanced courses in micro- and macroeconomic theory and in econometrics. In addition, we require good written English skills.

University of Otago scholarships for PhD students are available on a competitive basis, regardless of nationality. Applications are considered throughout the year and there is no specific deadline. To be considered for a scholarship, the absolute minimum required is a grade of “A”, along with either an A or A+ on the previous major piece of research (e.g. dissertation or thesis) or strong objective supporting evidence (e.g. publications in high impact journals), aside from other academic achievements. (The absolute minimum required is 3.8 out of 4 for ECE Evaluation; 4.5 out of 5 on ECTS; 14 out of 20 for France; 1.3 for Germany.)

Application requirements:

To be considered for admission to the programme, applicants need to email to steffen.lippert@otago.ac.nz

1. a CV;
2. copies of their official academic transcripts, showing the courses taken and the grades obtained;
3. a 2 to 3 page research proposal, that clearly sets out the hypothesis they would like to test, the methodology to be used to test the hypothesis, and how their research will extend the existing literature;
4. an electronic copy of their Masters or Honours dissertation;
5. three letters of recommendation;
6. an English language test score from all applicants holding a degree from a non-English speaking country (see http://www.otago.ac.nz/international/postgraduate/index.html for information about the language tests); and
7. their GRE score if they have one.

If there are colleagues who are interested in supervising the proposed topic, we will advise how to go about formally applying for admission to our PhD programme.

For more information, see http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/econ.

April 2013 AI (#46) updates on University of Auckland research

The April 2013 issue of Asymmetric Information is now available online here.

Issue No. 46 April 2013 contents:

  • Editorial
  • An Interview with Sir Roderick Deane
  • From the 2B RED File
  • ‘Frames’
  • Fine Lines
  • Blogwatch
  • (Motu) Exchange Rate Pass-Through
  • NZIER Economics Award
  • The Government Economics Network (GEN)
  • The Five Minute Interview
  • The AR Bergstrom Prize
  • Research in Progress
  • NZEP
  • NZAE Information

AUT Business & Law Graduate Assistantship Awards


The purpose of the Business & Law Graduate Assistantship Awards is to support postgraduate research students with an excellent academic record to undertake doctoral research in the Faculty of Business and Law, and to offer students experience as Teaching or Research Assistants.  Graduate Assistantship Awards are funded by Faculty and are offered to full-time students on a contestable basis when a vacancy in a particular department or school becomes available.  Further information can be obtained from the Head of Department (tim.maloney@aut.ac.nz).


  • The number of new Graduate Assistantships available to be awarded is determined each year.  Currently, the Economics Department has one unfilled Graduate Assistantship.
  • The scholarship is available to full-time domestic and international students and consists of:
    1. the equivalent of full-time  domestic tuition fees and compulsory student services fees;
    2. an annual stipend of NZ$19,000 per year; and
    3. an offer of employment as a Teaching or Research Assistant within the AUT Business School.


  • The tenure of the award is for up to three years of full-time study in the Doctor of Philosophy programme, renewed annually.
  • Annual renewal of the award is dependent on the recipient maintaining satisfactory progress with his or her doctoral study.
  • In exceptional circumstances, a recipient may apply to the Faculty of Business & Law for a deferment of his or her award. 


  • Completion of an AUT Application for Enrolment (AFE) for the Doctor of Philosophy programme.
  • A completed AUT Scholarship Application Form submitted to the relevant Head of Department or School.
  • A written statement summarising the applicant’s prior academic and research accomplishments and any teaching experience.
  • A written summary of the applicant’s proposed doctoral research, outlining its rationale, significance and likely contribution.
  • A letter of support from the applicant’s supervisor(s).
  • An official academic transcript of the applicant’s prior undergraduate and postgraduate study if this study was completed at an institution other than AUT.


All applicants for this scholarship must:

  • Meet the normal admission criteria to the Doctor of Philosophy programme.
  • Have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in their prior undergraduate and postgraduate study, usually achieving at least an A- average or better.
  • Be proposing to undertake doctoral research in a field of study where the Faculty of Business and Law can offer supervision.
  • Be enrolling for the first time in a full-time Doctor of Philosophy programme.
  • Demonstrate applicability and suitability for teaching deployment.


  • Recipients will be selected by a Faculty of Business and Law selection panel.
  • The decision of the Faculty of Business and Law selection panel is final. 
  • If the panel is of the opinion that there is no applicant of sufficient merit, no award will be made.
  • The award is conditional on the recipient gaining entry and enrolling full-time in the Doctor of Philosophy programme.
  • This scholarship may not be held in conjunction with any other scholarship.
  • The recipient’s total employment commitment, including employment within and external to the Faculty, is not to exceed 15 hours per week.
  • The Faculty of Business and Law has the power to terminate or suspend a scholarship if it receives an unsatisfactory report on the progress of a recipient

March 2013 NZEP considers NZ’s international imbalances

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 47, Issue 1, March 2013 (available online or by subscription):

  • New Zealand’s macroeconomic imbalances – causes and remedies: Guest editors’ introduction
  • New Zealand’s international competitiveness challenges and the Woody Allen syndrome
  • New Zealand’s risk premium
  • Making fiscal policy more stabilising in the next upturn: Challenges and policy options
  • Systemic risk measurement and macroprudential policy: Implications for New Zealand and beyond
  • The A R Bergstrom Prize in Econometrics: 2012