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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.

Vacancy for macroeconomist at The Treasury closes 30 Oct 2018

ANALYSTS/SENIOR ANALYSTS (MACROECONOMIST)

See Job Ad and Position Description at Central Agencies. Some detail copied below …

Do you want to undertake influential analysis on fiscal policy and macroeconomic issues?
  • Are you passionate about the economy & macroeconomics?
  • Interested in contributing to a wide-range of economic policy issues?
  • Do you hold a relevant post-graduate degree?

The Treasury is the New Zealand Government’s lead economic and financial advisor. Our vision is to be a world-leading Treasury working towards higher living standards for New Zealanders.

We have an opportunity for an Analyst/Senior Analyst (Macroeconomics) to join our Forecasting, Modelling & Research Teams. This role would suit an Analyst with a few years of experience who is interested in applying their excellent quantitative skills to help shape policy and analytical work. For appointment at the senior level you will have proven macroeconomic analysis experience and evidence of excellent communication and influencing skills. You will be joining one of our three macroeconomic teams, which together represent one of the largest groupings of macroeconomic expertise in New Zealand.

Together, our teams are responsible for:

  • Monitoring and quantitative analysis on international and domestic economic developments
  • Advising the Government on monetary and fiscal policy frameworks, and on its fiscal strategy
  • Producing the economic and fiscal forecasts and projections published in the Budget and regular Economic and Fiscal Updates, and the Long-Term Fiscal Statement
  • Contributing to a wide range of economic policy issues and discussions both within the Treasury and externally, including through original research and modelling

In this role you will be responsible for:

  • Leading and contributing to the development of analysis on relevant macroeconomic and fiscal policy issues
  • Developing/maintaining/updating Treasury’s policy and forecasting models
  • Providing model based forecasts/policy advise
  • Conducting research and analysis to influence/inform policy
  • Working across teams to provide technical/modelling support and shaping debate

About You

  • A passion for macroeconomics, especially macroeconomic modelling
  • A strong post-graduate tertiary qualification in macroeconomics or related disciplines (economics, statistics or equivalent)
  • Demonstrated experience in delivering research projects and working collaboratively with others
  • Highly developed communication skills with the ability to engage with non-technical audiences to convey findings
  • Some experience working in a policy modelling environment
  • Experience working with time series econometrics, experience with VAR models or structural modelling would be an advantage
  • Programming experience would be an advantage

In return we can offer you:

  • Excellent mentoring support and work within a supportive, collaborative and high-performing team
  • Interesting and exciting work across a range of areas
  • The opportunity to bring new ideas and contribute evidence into policy
  • Flexible work arrangements to suit personal circumstances

At the Treasury, we pride ourselves on the quality of our staff and understand the importance of fostering a working environment where excellence is recognised and where staff are encouraged to develop their own talents and potential.  The Treasury values diversity amongst its employees and encourages a positive work/non work balance.

Applications close – Tuesday 30 October, 2018. All applications must be made online.

Please see link at top of this page for further detail and for more information please contact, Peter Gardiner, Manager – Forecasting, Modelling & Research Peter.Gardiner@treasury.govt.nz

Vacancy for Senior Economist at Commerce Commission closes 4 Nov 2018

Senior Economist, Regulation

The Commerce Commission is New Zealand’s competition, consumer and regulatory agency. Our vision is that New Zealanders are better off.

Our Regulation Branch is looking for a Senior Economist to join their Economics team and contribute to developing and delivering quality economic advice. This is a full-time position, based in our Wellington office.

Secondments from other organisations within or outside New Zealand are welcome.

The role

The Regulation Branch aims to ensure the performance of regulated suppliers and markets produces long-term benefits for New Zealand consumers.

Our regulatory responsibilities currently cover telecommunications, electricity and gas networks, airports and dairy sectors. You will be working alongside other experienced economists in a purposeful, stimulating and collegial environment providing advice to decision makers within the Commission and will be a key member of project teams. This will provide an opportunity to work on projects that have an impact on New Zealand consumers, involving innovative issues to expand your knowledge.

What you will have

You will be leading the thinking on economic issues and directly advising Commissioners on a course of action so will need to demonstrate:

  • experience working within regulatory or competition economics (eg in a regulated industry, for a regulator, competition authority or economic consultancy)
  • an understanding of microeconomics including industrial organisation or financial economics
  • enthusiasm and a willingness to learn
  • strong team work skills as part of a multi-disciplinary environment
  • strong communication and influencing skills
  • an ability to identify the main issues, be pragmatic and manage own work.

A postgraduate qualification in economics or a closely related field is desirable.

What we offer

At the Commission we are passionate about the work that we do and having a culture where everyone is valued.

We look for energetic, dedicated, motivated people who understand the principles of competitive markets, and are interested in ensuring the Commission delivers the benefits of competitive markets to New Zealand’s consumers and businesses.

The Commission has a friendly and collaborative environment where people enjoy interesting and challenging work. We’re fully committed to our values of respect, accountability, good judgement, excellence and integrity which we view as part of our work behaviours.

We have modern central city offices in Wellington and Auckland. We value work/life balance and are committed to everyone’s well-being. We place a high value on learning and development so that everyone has the opportunity to develop to their full potential.

Read more about this role in the Senior Economist Position Description.

Apply now

To apply, email your cover letter and CV to work@comcom.govt.nz

For any queries, contact Kylie Savage on 04 924 3612.

Applications close 5pm on Sunday, 4 November 2018.

Apr 2018 AI (#61) includes research work at AUT

Asymmetric Information Issue No. 61 

Contents

  • Editorial
  • An interview with Leo Krippner (by John Yeabsley)
  • The ‘Five Minute Interview’ (Ronald Peters)
  • Blogwatch (by Paul Walker)
  • Obituaries: The Passing Parade
  • WEAI Conferences, Save the Dates
  • Introducing … The New Zealand Work Research Institute at AUT
  • (Motu) Retooling the Emissions Trading Scheme to ‘Decarbonise’ NZ (by Suzi Kerr, Catherine Leining, Joanna Silver, Phil Brown, Nigel Brunel, Sandra Cortes-Acosta, Stuart Frazer, Adrian Macey, Guy Salmon, and Paul Young)
  • Meanwhile … Activities of Possible Interest
  • NEW MEMBERS (for 2018 up to 1 April 2018)
  • Research in Progress (University of Canterbury)

Canterbury scientific integrity workshop 26-Oct-18

There is more and more evidence that findings from many scientific studies cannot be reproduced, casting doubt on the reliability of these studies. This will be discussed at a ‘Reproducibility and Integrity in Scientific Research’ workshop, University of Canterbury, October 26, 2018. Registration details at https://blogs.canterbury.ac.nz/intercom/2018/09/21/workshop-on-reproducibility-and-integrity-in-scientific-research/.

2018 NZEP Issue 2 includes whether state ownership is detrimental to performance

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 52, Issue 2, 2018 (available online or by subscription):

  • The fall (and rise) of labour share in New Zealand by Benjamin Bridgman & Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy
  • Business cycle accounting for New Zealand by Thakshila Gunaratna & Robert Kirkby
  • Artwork characteristics and prices in the New Zealand secondary art market, 1988–2011 by John Forster & Helen Higgs
  • New Zealand State-owned enterprises: is state-ownership detrimental to firm performance? by Kenny Ka Yin Chan, Li Chen & Norman Wong
  • Income effects and the elasticity of taxable income by John Creedy, Norman Gemmell & Josh Teng
  • The economists and New Zealand population: problems and policies 1900–1980s by Geoffrey T. F. Brooke, Anthony M. Endres & Alan J. Rogers
  • The effect of public funding on research output: the New Zealand Marsden Fund by Jason Gush, Adam Jaffe, Victoria Larsen & Athene Laws
  • Citation for John Gibson to mark his Distinguished Fellow Award by the New Zealand Association of Economists by Arthur Grimes

Housing Unaffordability special issue call for papers

Housing Unaffordability: An International Economic Problem

Guest Editors:
Peter Phillips peter.phillips@yale.edu
Ryan Greenway-McGrevy r.mcgrevy@auckland.ac.nz

Housing has become increasingly expensive in many urban centres around the world, creating a global economic problem with no easy policy solutions. Housing unaffordability has a pervasive influence on many aspects of economic life. It impacts intergenerational equity, affects retirement decisions, labour mobility and immigration, and raises major policy challenges at both local and national government levels.

This Special Issue of New Zealand Economic Papers will be devoted to addressing these questions using evidence based economic analysis. We welcome research on all aspects of this global economic problem, including its causes, consequences, and policy responses, as well as methodological approaches to its study and empirical analysis.

Ranking: Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) Journal Quality List – B ranking.

Submission: via the online portal at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rnzp

Please indicate that your paper is meant for the special issue on “Housing Unaffordability” during the submission process.
Selection of papers for the special issue will follow peer review.

Availability: New Zealand Economic Papers is a fully peer-reviewed scholarly journal published by leading international publishers Taylor & Francis (under the Routledge imprint) on behalf of the New Zealand Association of Economists.
The journal is indexed in leading international databases including EconLit, ABI/Inform and EBSCO.

Submission deadline: 31 March 2019

NZEP Call for papers Jun18

NZAE Conference 2018 abstracts due 2-Apr

THE NEW ZEALAND ASSOCIATION OF ECONOMISTS IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE A CALL FOR PAPERS FOR ITS 59TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE.

To be held at Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand on 27, 28 and 29 June 2018.

Please see attached detailed information re:
1. “Last Call for Papers” 59th Annual Conference
2. “Call for Papers” Symposium on Wellbeing
3. “NZAE PhD Student workshop, 2018”
nzae2018_last_call_for_papers

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 

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