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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.

General presentations in Feb-Apr 2018 include

A selection of forthcoming presentations/seminars/conferences includes the following. These and further events are reported within individual websites listed under General Presentations.

2018 NZEP Issue 1 includes question on Kiwisaver net wealth effect

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 52, Issue 1, 2018 (available online or by subscription):

  • KiwiSaver and the accumulation of net wealth by David Law & Grant M. Scobie
  • Analysing the extent and effects of occupational regulation in New Zealand by Simon James Greenwood & Andrea Kutinova Menclova
  • The demand for imported oil: New Zealand’s post-deregulation experience by Mohammad Jaforullah & Alan King
  • Behavioural heterogeneity in the New Zealand stock market by Bart Frijns & Ivan Indriawan
  • Collateral crises and unemployment by Eric Tong
  • Treasury’s refreshed views on New Zealand’s economic strategy: a review article by Paul Dalziel & Caroline Saunders

Len Bayliss passes away

Len Bayliss passed away January 19, 2018 at Parkwood Lodge, Waikanae, aged 90 years. Len was instrumental in the formation of the NZAE and has been a Life Member of the NZAE for many years.

Reports and reflections on Len’s contribution to NZ economics is available as follows:

  • 2005 citation at the time Len was elected a NZAE Life Member
  • 2011 summary of the early NZAE years, by Frank Holmes and assisted by Len Bayliss and Jack McFaull
  • 2013 interview with Len by Michael Reddell
  • And reflections by Michael Reddell on news of Len’s passing 

Vacancy for Research Officer closes 19-Feb-18

Research Officer
Fixed term, full time
2017-1816

 
Lincoln University
Lincoln University is New Zealand’s specialist land-based university, with a mission to tackle global challenges: Feed the World, Protect the Future, and Live Well.  The University is committed to teaching and research excellence, and prides itself on its unique student experience and research culture that empowers its students, staff and graduates to make a real difference.  The University draws its students from throughout New Zealand and from over 60 countries and has a student roll of around 3,000 and approximately 600 staff.
 
The Division
The Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit (AERU) operates at Lincoln University, providing research expertise for a wide range of international, national and local organisations with a mission to exercise leadership in research for sustainable well-being. AERU has four main areas of focus which are; wellbeing economics; trade and the environment; economic development; and non-market valuations.
 
The Role
We are currently on the hunt for an experienced Research Officer to take on this fixed term role until the end of 2018 whilst one of our team members is on parental leave. As a Research Officer you will play a key role in facilitating the overall functioning of the Unit by assisting in all areas of research. You will initiate, develop and conduct research in a creative way for assigned research projects. You will also be expected to publish authored and co-authored articles and participate in presentations to research clients, industry and policy groups.
 
We would like to hear from you if you have:

  • A postgraduate Research Degree or equivalent qualification;
  • Excellent knowledge of the philosophical, methodological and practical aspects of research in data collection, analysis and reporting;
  • Demonstrated potential or proven ability to undertake quality research including publishing or presenting the results;
  • The ability to achieve identified goals within a specified timeframe; and
  • Evidence of effective engagement in collaborative work, with internal colleagues, industry partners and other service providers.

Application Process
 
Lincoln University has established a national and international reputation, both for the quality of its applied teaching and the contribution of its research, come and be part of shaping its future.
 
All applications must be made online and include a CV and cover letter which should address requirements as outlined in the position description.
 
For further information please contact Arneka de Vries, Human Resources on 03 421 5437.
 
International applicants: for further information about working in New Zealand please visit http://www.immigration.govt.nz/.  
 
Applications should be received before 9:00am on Monday 19 February 2018.
 
Lincoln University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in education and employment and seeks to meet its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi).

2017 NZEP Issue 3 includes NZ business cycle, public debt and firm productivity

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 51, Issue 3, 2017 (available online or by subscription):

  • On the robustness of stylised business cycle facts for contemporary New Zealand by Viv B. Hall, Peter Thomson & Stuart McKelvie
  • Price-setting behaviour in New Zealand by Miles Parker
  • Debt projections and fiscal sustainability with feedback effects by John Creedy & Grant Scobie
  • KiwiSaver: an evaluation of a new retirement savings scheme by David Law, Lisa Meehan & Grant M. Scobie
  • The effect of the price or rental cost of housing on family size: a theoretical analysis with reference to New Zealand by Mimi Liu & Jeremy Clark
  • Firm productivity growth and skill by David C. Maré, Dean R. Hyslop & Richard Fabling
  • Citation for David Teece to mark his Distinguished Fellow award by the New Zealand Association of Economists by Arthur Grimes

Dec 2017 AI (#60) includes a value of sunshine

Asymmetric Information Issue No. 60 

Contents

  • Editorial
  • An interview with Len Cook (by John Yeabsley)
  • The ‘Five Minute Interview’ (Bronwyn Croxson)
  • WEAI Conferences, 2018 and 2019
  • Blogwatch (by Paul Walker)
  • (Motu) Valuing Sunshine (by David Fleming, Arthur Grimes, Laurent Lebreton, David C. Maré, and Peter Nunns)
  • Changes to the Retail Trade Survey (Statistics NZ)
  • NEW MEMBERS (mid-July to mid-September 2017)
  • Research in Progress (Lincoln University)

NZAE Conference 2018 early information

See dedicated conference website for more detail

Title: NZAE Conference 2018
Location: Sir Paul Reeves Building at AUT, Mayoral Drive, Auckland
Description: Annual 3-day NZAE Conference
Start Date: 2018-06-27
Start Time: 08:00
End Date: 2018-06-29
End Time: 13:30

Conference important dates:

  • Wednesday 21st February First notice of conference sent out
  • Wednesday 21st February Portal for abstract submissions opens
  • Friday 23rd March Final notice of conference sent out
  • Monday 26th March Conference registration opens
  • Monday 2nd April Abstracts Due
  • By Monday 23rd April Notification of acceptances
  • Monday 14th May Registration deadline for presenters
  • Monday 14th May Deadline for early-bird registration
  • Monday 11th June Full papers due for entries to prizes
  • Wednesday 27th June Conference start
  • Friday 29th June Conference end

Conference keynotes (including links):

General presentations in Sep-Oct 2017 include

A selection of forthcoming presentations/seminars/conferences includes:

  • Beyond Social Investment” Summit, 8 September 2017, Auckland University
  • “Long-run indicators of sustainable development” seminar by Nick Hanley of the University St Andrews, 22 September, Otago University (Dunedin)
  • “Inter-industry Analysis of Structure and Performance: Evidence from New Zealand” seminar by Rashid Ameer of Institute of the Pacific United, 4 October 2017, Massey University (Palmerston North)
  • “Towards a Framework for Macroprudential Policy seminar, Professor Prasanna Gai of Auckland University, 25 October 2017, The Treasury (Wellington)

These and further events are reported within individual websites listed under General Presentations

August 2017 AI (#59) includes interview with Gai

Asymmetric Information Issue No. 59

Contents

  • Editorial
  • An Interview with Prasanna Gai (by Steffen Lippert)
  • The ‘Five Minute Interview’ (Martin Fukac)
  • Experimental Economics? (by Jeremy Clark)
  • Economics Education in New Zealand: Allocatively Inefficient? (by Bryce Hartell)
  • Blogwatch (by Paul Walker)
  • NZAE Conference, 12 – 14 July 2017
  • Awards presented at NZAE Conference dinner
  • Citations for NZAE Life Membership
  • Abstract for the David Teece Prize in Industrial Organisation
  • Citation for the 2017 Bergstrom Prize
  • (Motu) The longer term impacts of job displacement on labour market outcomes (by Dean Hyslop and Wilbur Townsend)
  • Report from GEN
  • Research in Progress (Massey University)
  • 2017 NZAE PhD Student Workshop
  • WEAI Conferences, 2018 and beyond
  • New Members

12th A R Bergstrom Prize in Econometrics to Daan Steenkamp

Congratulations to Daan Steenkamp, who was awarded the 2017 A. R. Bergstrom Prize in Econometrics for his paper Daan_Steenkamp_dp17-02. The Bergstrom Prize 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.

If an asset price contains a ‘bubble’ it will exhibit explosive (i.e. exponential) dynamics. Recently developed tests by Phillips et al. (2015a) and Phillips et al. (2015b) provide an accurate way to gauge whether asset prices are experiencing explosive dynamics, or have done so in the past.

Daan Steenkamp’s paper applies those tests to eleven of the most commonly traded exchange rates at a daily frequency and over a long sample. When measured at a daily frequency, the volatility of exchange rates tends to be high and potentially non-stationary, and there may be a size distortion in the standard tests causing them to over-reject the null that the series is explosive. For this reason, a wild bootstrapping technique is used to compute critical values for statistical interference.

A second contribution of Daan’s paper is to consider the possibility of both positive and negative explosive periods. Currency pairs provide a natural test case in this regard because explosive increases (or collapses) in a foreign currency imply a corresponding collapse (or increase) in the given base currency. Furthermore, the influence of the base currency on the explosive dynamics may be inferred by considering the dynamics of its effective exchange rate, i.e. that currency’s value against a wide basket of foreign currencies.

The results show that bouts of explosiveness in exchange rates against the United States (US) dollar are uncommon at a daily frequency. Periods of explosiveness tend to last for several days but involve only small changes in currency levels. These also usually reverse shortly afterwards.

Second, the dynamics of the US dollar appear to be largely responsible for the results found for the individual currency pairs, as evidenced by a high concordance of their explosiveness with explosiveness in the broad value of the US dollar exchange rate. This result suggests that there are relatively few instances where explosiveness in individual cross-rates reflected country-specific factors. There is also evidence that explosive episodes in currency markets coincide with periods of high market volatility.

In their assessment, the adjudicators Professors Mark Holmes and Bob Reed noted that Daan’s work was “competent analysis based on cutting edge econometric techniques that provide valuable insights.”

Congratulations to recipients of NZAE prizes in 2017

Congratulations to the following recipients of prizes presented at NZAE Conference 2017. More detail on each prize is available at https://nzae.org.nz/prizes/

David Teece Prize in Industrial Organisation and Firm Behaviour Richard Meade
New Zealand Economic Policy Prize Richard Meade
NZIER Poster prize – open Kate Preston
NZIER Poster prize – student Jianhua Duan
People’s choice poster Kate Preston
Jan Whitwell Doctoral Nazila Alinaghi
Jan Whitwell Bachelors / Masters Cameron Hobbs
Seamus Hogan Research Prize Nazila Alinaghi
Statistics NZ prize Richard Fabling and Arthur Grimes

John Gibson awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

John GibsonNew Zealand’s small size and distance from major markets are often cited as contributing to lower productivity domestically than in other developed countries. This year’s New Zealand Association of Economists Distinguished Fellow demonstrates that low productivity or diminished quality need not be the outcome if one is situated in New Zealand.

NZAE’s Distinguished Fellow award honours distinguished New Zealand economists for their sustained and outstanding contribution to the development of economics and its applications. It is designed to encourage excellence in economics and to promote the profession of economics in New Zealand.

The 2017 Distinguished Fellow is an economist who most definitely meets these requirements and who has been firmly situated in New Zealand for 20 years. Over that time he has been Professor of Economics both at University of Canterbury and University of Waikato.

Professor John Gibson is currently Professor of Economics at the Waikato Management School. A graduate of Lincoln University, John has a doctorate from Stanford University. His teaching and research interests are in microeconomics with special emphasis on the micro-econometric aspects of development and labour economics. He has been a member of an expert group advising the United Nations Statistical Division on the design and analysis of household survey data.

John’s work includes a large number of publications on topics of central importance to New Zealand and Asia-Pacific. These publications have appeared in top ranked journals globally.

His work on Pacific migrants in New Zealand utilising an administratively determined randomised design (together with co-authors David McKenzie and Steven Stillman) is particularly noteworthy both for its quality and for its importance in learning about migration outcomes.

John has published over 100 articles covering both applied and theoretical economics. His work has appeared in journals such as: The Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Development Economics, Economic Inquiry, Public Choice, World Development, Economic Journal, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Journal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Health Economics, Economics Letters, and Review of Income and Wealth.

He is one of the top four published authors over the first 50 years of New Zealand Economic Papers. Thus he contributes strongly to domestic economic discourse as well as contributing on an international stage.

According to Google Scholar, John has a total of 5,819 citations, and an h-index of 41. Within the RePEc rankings, he is ranked in the top 3 economists resident in New Zealand and in the top 5% of economists globally according to 37 separate metrics.

One example of John’s meticulous and insightful approach to research is his article with David McKenzie and Steven Stillman “How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration” that appeared in the Journal of the European Economic Association in 2010.

In this paper, John and co-authors use a randomised lottery of Tongans applying to migrate to New Zealand firstly to derive the (very large) income gains that Tongans receive when they migrate to New Zealand and, secondly, to compare this premium with what may be expected from a simple comparison of differences in per capita GDP and manufacturing wages (which implies under-performance for migrant incomes).

These results are extremely informative in their own right. However the study is distinguished by the surveying of an additional group of workers who did not apply to migrate, then using this extra information to consider methods for dealing with selection bias in the econometric estimates. They find that four of five well-known techniques for dealing with selection bias would have given inaccurate estimates of the income gains from migration.

This paper – and many others that John has participated in – shows that as well as producing novel empirical results, he also contributes at a fundamental methodological level in ways that assist other researchers to improve the quality of their own research.

John has made a sustained and outstanding contribution on the world stage to development economics and related aspects of the discipline. He has also played a major role in supervision of, and co-authorship with, graduate students, and in co-authorship with junior colleagues. This contribution to capability development within New Zealand is an important aspect of John’s work.

Across his many contributions, Professor John Gibson has proved that he has the outstanding credentials required for the award of Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Arthur Grimes
July 2017

Mary Hedges elected NZAE Life Member

Mary has made significant contributions to the Association over many years. She was President of NZAE from 2009 to 2011, and a Council member from 2003 to 2013. Mary has played a very active role in organizing the Association’s conferences. In particular, she represented NZAE on the Steering Committee of the 2008 Phillips Symposium, and subsequently acted as Chair of the conference committee. In this role she was instrumental in the transition from managing conferences in-house to using an external conference organizer. Mary arranged for the 2010 conference to use the new Owen Glenn Building at the University of Auckland and, even after leaving the Council, Mary was involved with conference organisation in Auckland in 2014. These major contributions to the Association make Mary a worthy recipient of NZAE Life Membership.

Anthony Byett elected NZAE Life Member

Anthony has made significant contributions to both the Association and the Education Trust over many years. He is the longest-serving member of the current Council, having served for 12 years. In that time, he has taken primary responsibility for the website and contributed to social media initiatives. Over this period, there has been at least one major re-build of the website and several smaller developments, as well as work associated with the separate conference website. Anthony has been Chair of the NZAE Education Trust for much of his tenure on Council. This period has seen a sizeable increase in funds for investment, development of clearer policies and guidelines for the Trust, and a successful re-application by the Trust to the Charities Commission, after changes to the Charities Act in 2005. His contributions to both the Trust and the Council make Anthony a worthy recipient of NZAE Life Membership.

2017 NZEP Issue 2 special issue on Advances in Competition Policy and Regulation

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 51, Issue 2, 2017 (available online or by subscription):

  • Introduction to the Special Issue on Advances in Competition Policy and Regulation by Simona Fabrizi, Steffen Lippert & John Panzar
  • Competition policy in the global era by Luís Cabral
  • Welfare costs of coordinated infrastructure investments: the case of competing transport modes by Richard Meade & Arthur Grimes
  • Mixed pricing in monopoly and oligopoly: theory and implications for merger analysis by Tim Hazledine
  • Targeted ex post evaluations in a data-poor world by Lilla Csorgo & Harshal Chitale
  • How are industry concentration and risk factors related? Evidence from Brazilian stock markets by Rogério Mazali
  • Brand-level diversion ratios from product-level data by Lydia Cheung

April 2017 AI (#58) includes interview with Karacaoglu

Asymmetric Information Issue No. 58

Contents

  • Editorial
  • An Interview with Girol Karacaoglu (by Joey Au)
  • The ‘Five Minute Interview’ (Kirdan Lees)
  • (Ir)rationality and the Case for Behavioural Economics (by Jan Feld)
  • Blogwatch (by Paul Walker)
  • (Motu) STEM Graduates and Productivity (by David C Maré, Trinh Le, Richard Fabling and Nathan Chappell)
  • (Stats New Zealand) Statistics New Zealand’s household surveys programme (by Patrick Ongley)
  • Report from GEN
  • A R Bergstrom Prize in Econometrics 2017
  • Research in Progress (Auckland University of Technology)
  • NEW MEMBERS (2017, through to 15 March)