2021 NZEP Issue 2 includes link between Nobel Memorial prize and Canterbury

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 51, Issue 2, 2021 (available online or by subscription):

    • The safe asset frontier by Kartik Anand & Prasanna Gai
    • The 2020 Nobel Memorial Prize in economics: the Canterbury connection by Richard Watt
    • Changes in New Zealand’s business insolvency rates after the GFC by Viv B. Hall & C. John McDermott
    • Evaluating the impact of 20 hours free early childhood education on mothers’ labour force participation and earnings by Isabelle Bouchard, Lydia Cheung & Gail Pacheco
    • Relative income dynamics of individuals in New Zealand by John Creedy, Norman Gemmell & Athene Laws
    • Inequality in South Africa: what does a composite index of well-being reveal? by Stephanié Rossouw & Talita Greyling

John Creedy awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

John Creedy is Professor in Public Economics and Taxation at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) where his research interests focus on public economics, labour economics, income distribution and the history of economic analysis. John initially worked for the New Zealand Treasury from 2001 to 2003. From 2011 to 2017, he was employed half time at VUW and half time in the Tax Strategy section of the New Zealand Treasury. In 2016, John received the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) Economics Award and in 2018, he was elected to the Academy of the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Before coming to Wellington, John was the Truby Williams Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne.

John’s publication record is most impressive. John has over 400 publications that include refereed journal papers, books, edited books and book chapters. Refereed journal articles account for around three-quarters of this total. Reflecting his strengths in public economics, John has not only published several papers in the Journal of Public Economics, but he also published papers in other leading journals that include the Economic Journal, European Economic Review, and Journal of Econometrics. According to the Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) worldwide citation rankings for over 60000 authors, John comfortably sits inside the top 1 per cent.

John has contributed immensely to economic analysis of the countries in which he has lived. This has resulted in a very substantial output in Australasian economics journals, including New Zealand Economic Papers (NZEP) and Economic Record. Indeed, in the published history of the first 50 years of NZEP by Buckle and Creedy (2016), John was shown to be the lead author in terms of frequency of contributions to NZEP. In fact, he has published even more since then. One of the reasons that John has been so prolific is because of his work with junior colleagues and students. He has played an immense role in developing the research capabilities of his students and of many younger staff. Indeed, his time with the New Zealand Treasury was particularly notable for joint publications with colleagues.

John’s work is not only well grounded in theory, but it is also acutely attuned to policy issues. This is illustrated by recent publications since 2015 many important issues in public finance that include among others, debt projections and fiscal sustainability, the labour supply effects of tax and transfer changes, tax rates and the user cost of capital, savings, housing and pensions, GST and food expenditure. John’s work on the analysis of inequality over this period and earlier is similarly impressive. This work has dealt with topics that include the treatment of leisure time in inequality decompositions, benefit flows, the effect of ageing on distributional outcomes, the measurement of inequality in New Zealand, and a range of papers on value judgements in relation to redistribution policy and the measurement of inequality.

We should also not overlook the many contributions John has made to topics in economic history throughout his career. These contributions include his books on the development of the theory of exchange, and separate analyses of the seminal contributions of inter alia, Pareto, Edgeworth, Marshall, Jevons, Walras and Hicks, plus a short history of economic thought. John’s ability to bring together theory and data, coupled with an understanding of economic history and the history of economic thought, makes his contributions to economic analysis stand out. His ability to combine all these aspects with a real eye to public policy relevance – especially in the countries in which he has chosen to live – make his contributions exceptional. The New Zealand Association of Economists is delighted to bestow upon John Creedy a Distinguished Fellow award.

Robert A. Buckle & John Creedy (2016) Fifty years of New Zealand Economic Papers: 1966 to 2015, New Zealand Economic Papers, 50:3, 234-260, DOI: 10.1080/00779954.2015.1116022

Congratulations to recipients of NZAE Conference 2021 prizes

Congratulations to the following recipients of prizes associated with NZAE Conference 2021. More detail on each prize is available at https://nzae.org.nz/prizes/

David Teece Prize in Industrial Organisation and Firm Behaviour Tim Ng – Schumpeterian endogenous growth and dynamic capabilities: an under-researched nexus?
New Zealand Economic Policy Prize Alexander Plum – The Role of Ethnicity in Criminal Behavior
NZIER Poster prize – open Nazila Alinaghi – Income Inequality and Mobility in New Zealand: Evidence from Administrative Data
NZIER Poster prize – student Shabana Kamal – Impact of droughts on farm debts: Empirical evidence from New Zealand
People’s Choice Poster Tom Coupe – Who is the most sought-after economist? Ranking economists using Google Trends
Jan Whitwell Doctoral Cameron Birchall – Allocating the commons: Commercial lobbying in New Zealand’s largest public fishery
Jan Whitwell Bachelors / Masters Shakked Noy – The effects of neighbourhood and workplace income comparisons on subjective wellbeing
Seamus Hogan Research Prize Shakked Noy – The effects of neighbourhood and workplace income comparisons on subjective wellbeing
Stata Prize for Excellence in Graphics Communications Philip Vermeulen – Monetary policy, investment, and firm heterogeneity
Stats NZ Prize Kabir Dasgupta – Leaving the past behind – Effect of Clean Slate Regulation on Employment and Earnings

14th A R Bergstrom Prize in Econometrics to Livvy Mitchell

Congratulations to Olivia (Livvy) Mitchell, who was awarded the 2021 A. R. Bergstrom Prize in Econometrics for her paper “A Policy Evaluation of Home Detention Sentencing: Evidence from New Zealand”. The Bergstrom Prize, which is administered by the New Zealand Association of Economists Education Trust, can be awarded every two years and aims to reward the achievement of excellence in econometrics as evidenced by a research paper in any area of econometrics.

Olivia’s paper investigates the causal effects of New Zealand’s 1 October 2007 introduction of home detention as a stand-alone sentence on offender recidivism and labour market attachment. To determine the local average treatment effects of home detention, relative to similarly ranked sentences, the paper employs fuzzy regression discontinuity design and two-staged least squares instrumental variables applied to population-wide data from the Integrated Data Infrastructure managed by Statistics New Zealand.

The analysis shows no evidence that home detention affects the recidivism rate of first-time offenders, a result counter to a 2011 review by the Ministry of Justice, or that home detention increases the offender’s attachment to the labour market. A range of robustness tests indicate that the overall conclusions are not sensitive to variations in estimation methods, offender sample, recidivism period and definition, sentence categorization rules, and re-offence type.

Olivia interprets the results to imply that there is little justification for promoting home detention as a means for reducing crime or improving offenders’ short-term or long-term labour market positions. Nevertheless, as noted in the paper, the clear benefits of expanding New Zealand’s home detention scheme are the cost-savings to the taxpayers and the easing of prison overpopulation.

In their assessment of Olivia’s paper the adjudicators, Dr Iris Claus, Professor Mark Holmes, and Dr Leo Krippner, were highly complimentary. “The paper is well written and structured. The econometric methods are carefully explained and the author appears to be well on top of the econometric theory and application.” More generally, the adjudicators noted that Olivia’s paper provides an excellent example of how careful econometrics can contribute to public policy debates, in this case about the effectiveness of home detention in New Zealand.

Treasury Guest lecture by Pacheco and Stevens 25 June 2021

Guest Lecturers: Prof. Gail Pacheco and Dr. Philip Stevens

Productivity by the numbers



Productivity matters for wellbeing. Achieving higher productivity – producing more with what we have (people, knowledge, skills, produced capital, and natural resources) – means there is more to go around for current and future generations. Yet New Zealand’s productivity record is poor. At this lecture, the New Zealand Productivity Commission will look at the relationship between productivity and wellbeing, dig into the numbers behind New Zealand’s ailing productivity, and look at priority actions to lift New Zealand’s productivity.

Following the lecture will be a discussion with panellists Simon Wakeman from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Bryan Chapple from the Treasury.

About the presenter

Prof. Gail Pacheco, Commissioner at the New Zealand Productivity Commission and Director of the NZ Work Research Institute at AUT

Gail is an applied econometrician with a passion for evidence-based analysis, particularly in the labour and health fields. Gail has extensive experience leading large-scale, multi-institutional funded projects, focused on research with high policy-relevance. Evidence of the policy impact of her work is highlighted by being the 2018 recipient of the NZIER Economics Award that recognises “outstanding contributions to the advancement of economics and its applications in NZ”. In 2019, she also received the AUT Medal (AUT’s top award) for her research, scholarship and application of integrated data to help inform social policy and wellbeing.

Dr. Philip Stevens, Economics & Research Director, New Zealand Productivity Commission

Philip is an economist with twenty-years’ experience of economic and social research in the university, independent and public sectors. Philip has published in leading peer-reviewed international journals on subjects such as: productivity analysis; employment; competition; evaluation; the measurement of performance in the public sector; broadband; R&D and human capital.

More information

Read the Commission’s publication: Productivity by the numbers

Date: Friday 25th June 2021

VenueLevel 3, The Treasury, 1 The Terrace, Wellington

Time10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

RSVP for in-person attendance: Treasury.Academiclinkages@treasury.govt.nz

by Wednesday 23rd June 2021
Please RSVP with your name

Apr 2021 AI (#70) interviews Hawke

Asymmetric Information Issue No. 70


  • Editorial
  • An interview with Gary Hawke (By John Yeabsley)
  • Lockdowns Need Not Reduce Wellbeing (By Arthur Grimes)
  • In Praise of the Viennese School of Economics. The Marginal Revolutionaries: How Austrian Economists Fought the War of Ideas by Janek Wasserman (By Brian Easton)
  • WEAI 96th Annual Conference June 27 to July 1, 2021
  • The Five-Minute Interview with John McDermott
  • A Preview of the Forthcoming Release of Quarterly Institutional Sector Accounts (By Jeff Cope)
  • 2B RED
  • BLOGWATCH (By Paul Walker)
  • Research in the Department of Economics and Finance at Massey University
  • New Members

RBNZ Macroeconomics Workshop 22 June 2021

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand and The Treasury are pleased to announce a workshop on fiscal and monetary policy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The workshop will take place 22 June – at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and remotely.

The aim of the workshop is to bring together the New Zealand macroeconomic research community to discuss recent innovative analysis and the outlook for macroeconomic policy.

Dr Caralee McLiesh (Chief Executive and Secretary to the Treasury) and Professor Eric Leeper (Paul Goodloe McIntire Professor in Economics at the University of Virginia) will deliver keynote addresses.

Presented papers will cover issues including:
Enhancing the role of fiscal policy in macro stabilisation
Estimating fiscal multipliers
Fiscal consolidation scenarios for NZ
Distributional effects of monetary policy
The welfare implications of a dual mandate for monetary policy    

You can find more details and how to register, at the Reserve Bank of NZ website.

2021 NZEP Issue 1 special issue on Housing Unaffordability

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 51, Issue 1, 2021 (available online or by subscription):

    • House prices and affordability by Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy & Peter C. B. Phillips
    • Repeat sales house price indices: comparative properties under alternative data generation processes by Arthur Grimes, Kade Sorensen & Chris Young
    • City with a billion dollar view by G.C.K. Cooper & K. Namit
    • Real estate bubbles and contagion: new empirical evidence from Canada by Imad Rherrad, Jean-Louis Bago & Mardochée Mokengoy
    • Effects of air quality on house prices: evidence from China’s Huai River Policy by Xinghua Liu, Qiang Li, Satish Chand & Keiran Sharpe
    • The causes and economic consequences of rising regional housing prices in New Zealand by Peter Nunns
    • House prices, (un)affordability and systemic risk by Efthymios Pavlidis, Ivan Paya & Alexandros Skouralis
    • Housing equity and household consumption in retirement: evidence from the Singapore Life Panel© by Lipeng Chen, Liang Jiang, Sock-Yong Phang & Jun Yu
    • Price effects of the special housing areas in Auckland by Mario A. Fernandez, Gonzalo E. Sánchez & Santiago Bucaram

First call for papers for NZAE Conference 2021

This year’s 61st NZAE Annual conference is for ONE day ONLY and NOT the usual 3 day.

UPDATE: Since initial notice dates extended to 23-24 June.

The New Zealand Association of Economists is pleased to announce:

First Call for Papers
61st New Zealand Association of Economists Annual Conference
Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington Wednesday 23rd, June 2021

Abstracts can be submitted here.

Stata Prize for Excellence in Graphics Communication
The Stata Prize for Excellence in Graphics Communications will be awarded to the written paper that is deemed to make the best use of graphs for data visualization or communication of research findings using graphics. The papers will be judged by leading empirical researchers in economics.

Please see the Call for papers flyer and dedicated conference website for more information.

Please address all conference enquiries to:

Ian Duncan
NZAE Conference Committee

Shelley Haring
Conference Organiser

Secretary Manager
New Zealand Association of Economists (Inc.)

NZAE Conference 2021 on 23-24 June at Wellington

The annual NZAE Conference in 2021 will be Wednesday 23rd June at Victoria University of Wellington, Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus.

UPDATE: Since initial notice dates extended to 23-24 June.

Reflecting the continuing challenges of operating in a COVID19 environment, this year we offer a more compact one-day format.

We welcome two distinguished keynote speakers:

  • John Creedy (Victoria University of Wellington) has made important contributions to the study of public economics, labour economics and income distribution in New Zealand.
  • Marjan van den Belt (Terra Moana Ltd) is an ecological economist actively engaged in helping organisations and community’s transition towards a sustainability perspective using regenerative economics.

The diversity of their insights, together with those of our other conference contributors, will ensure that the conference appeals to a broad spread of interests. 

Key dates leading up to the Conference are:

  • Tuesday 23rd February. First notice of conference sent out
  • Tuesday 23rd February. Portal for abstract submissions opens
  • Tuesday 23rd March. Final notice of conference sent out
  • Friday 26th March. Conference registration opens
  • Friday 2nd April. Abstracts Due
  • By Thursday 22nd April. Notification of acceptances
  • Thursday 13th May. Registration deadline for presenters
  • Thursday 13th May. Deadline for early-bird registration
  • Monday 7th June. Full papers due for entries to prizes
  • Wednesday 23rd June. Conference start

More detail is available at the dedicated conference website https://www.nzaeconference.co.nz/

Early 2021 economic seminars

Presentations planned by various parties can be found at individual websites listed at https://www.nzae.org.nz/events/general-presentations/

Some early in 2021 include:

  • Friday 31 January. Mikael Elinder of Uppsala University, Sweden on “Smart and Generous” at University of Otago in Dunedin
  • Tuesday 9 February. LEANZ presentations on “Resource Management Review Panel Recommendations for RMA Reform” at Bell Gully in Auckland
  • Friday 12 February. Girol Karacaoglu on “Public Policy for Intergenerational Wellbeing” at The Treasury in Wellington – more info
  • Monday 15 February. LEANZ presentations on “Resource Management Review Panel Recommendations for RMA Reform” at Bell Gully in Wellington

Please approach individual organisations for further details.

Dec 2020 AI (#69) interviews Grimes and MacCulloch

Asymmetric Information Issue No. 69


  • Editorial
  • An interview with Arthur Grimes (By John Yeabsley)
  • WEAI 96th Annual Conference June 27 to July 1, 2021
  • The Five-Minute Interview with Robert MacCulloch
  • If Bill Phillips were Governor….? (By Grant M Scobie)
  • Book Review of The Great Demographic Reversal: Ageing Societies, Waning Inequality, and an Inflation Revival (By Arthur Grimes)
  • 2B RED
  • New Members
  • Blogwatch (By Paul Walker)
  • Research in the Department of Economics at Lincoln University
  • Reinventing the Bazaar by John McMillan (By Weshah Razzak)

2020 NZEP Issue 3 includes Comparisons of personal well-being

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 54, Issue 3, 2020 (available online or by subscription):

  • Better off? Distributional comparisons for ordinal data about personal well-being by Stephen P. Jenkins
  • A welfare reform for New Zealand: mandatory savings not taxation by Roger Douglas & Robert MacCulloch
  • Modelling income data with exogenous measurement factors by Richard Penny
  • The importance of frontier firms in total factor productivity in New Zealand, 2001–2016 by R. I. D. Harris
  • The business cycle and monetary policy: what changed after the GFC? by Viv B. Hall & C. John McDermott

Inaugural New Zealand Virtual PhD Workshop 17-18 Sep 2020

This initiative was conceived during the lockdown period New Zealand – and the rest of the world – experienced, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many academic activities moved online and to a virtual space, including many research events. It seemed appropriate to think about how to ensure that important research conversations keep going, while socially distancing, also and especially within the community of students enrolled in a PhD program in economics at any of the NZ universities, who might otherwise find themselves even more isolated as a result of the ongoing travel restrictions limiting the opportunities for interactions and research exchange. We welcome participants interested in all facets of economics, from academia, public and private sectors alike.

Registration and Zoom link at https://sites.google.com/view/nzvirtualphdworkshop

Aug 2020 AI (#68) interviews Dalziel and Moyle

Asymmetric Information Issue No. 68


  • Editorial
  • An interview with Paul Dalziel (by John Yeabsley)
  • WEAI –Virtual International Conference March 17-19, 2021
  • Obituary – Jas McKenzie
  • The ‘Five Minute Interview’ with Brendon Moyle
  • What do we know about the quality of statistics produced from a combination of sources? (By Christine Bycroft)
  • Economics Teaching in New Zealand: Emphasising Key Business Applications (By Michael Cameron, Steven Lim & Portia Thompson)
  • 2B RED
  • Blogwatch (by Paul Walker)
  • Relatedness, Complexity and Local Growth (by Benjamin Davies and Dave Maré, Motu)
  • New Members
  • Research in the Department of Economics at the University of Otago

2020 NZEP Issue 2 includes Evidence on export tax and import-tariff avoidance

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 54, Issue 2, 2020 (available online or by subscription):

  • The ‘disciplinary effect’ of the performance-based research fund process in New Zealand by Robert A. Buckle & John Creedy
  • Visual imagination and the performance of undergraduate economics students by David Fielding, Viktoria Kahui & Dennis Wesselbaum
  • Loss aversion in New Zealand housing by Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy & Cameron Haworth
  • Export tax and import-tariff avoidance: evidence from the trade data discrepancy in the China-New Zealand trade by Kuntal K. Das, Laura Meriluoto & Amy Rice
  • Male height and wellbeing in nineteenth century New Zealand: an analysis of the Boer War contingents by Geoffrey Brooke & Lydia Cheung