2021 NZAE Virtual PhD Workshop

This initiative continues the tradition started with the Inaugural NZ Virtual PhD Workshop that was held in Sept 2020, when repeated lockdowns and disruptions to travel persisted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to offer another virtual edition of this PhD workshop, this time to take place in late Oct 2021. We look forward to lots of discussions around research, to high-quality presentations, and to welcoming guest speakers and panellists once more. Please join us for this event and do submit your work for inclusion in the program. We welcome participants interested in all facets of economics, from academia, public and private sectors alike.

This event is endorsed by the New Zealand Association of Economists (NZAE) and the Best Paper and the Best Presentation Prizes are generously sponsored by the NZAE Education Trust (*).

(*) Prizes for the best paper and the best presentation can only be granted to PhD students based in New Zealand.

For further information, please see here.

Vacancies within Waka Kotahi Investment Assurance closing 12 Sep 2021

Waka Kotahi encourage economists interested in working at Waka Kotahi in either a Lead Investment Advisor or Principal Investment Advisor role to enquire about the positions we currently have available.  There is also an exciting opportunity for a leadership role in relation to the Monetised Benefits & Costs Manual.  These roles could be based from our offices in either Auckland, Wellington or potentially Christchurch.  Please see our adverts and the relevant position descriptions here and here.

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.

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

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/

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

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

Call for papers by 30 August 2020 for NZEP special issue on COVID-19

Call for Papers
Special Issue on
“COVID-19: Economic Implications for New Zealand and the Pacific”

Guest Editors

  • David Fielding (University of Manchester and University of Otago)
  • John Gibson (University of Waikato)
  • Ilan Noy (Victoria University of Wellington)

Since the end of the Second World War, the world economy has not faced a more serious crisis than the COVID-19 induced recession. Most countries in the world have imported the virus and are now beginning to deal with the societal and economic effects.

This Special Issue of New Zealand Economic Papers will be devoted to the economic implications for New Zealand and the Pacific.

We will accept two types of submissions:

1. Research Notes (2,000-3,000 words, up to 4 display items, and up to 30 references)
2. Policy Papers (1,000-2,000 words, up to 2 display items, and up to 15 references)

Research Notes are based upon a swift analyses of preliminary data or the simulation of a theoretical model. All submissions should be based on primary or secondary data (for theoretical submissions this applies to the calibration/parameterization) and be related to the existing literature.

Policy Papers should highlight issues of public interest and inform policy makers. They can be provocative expert pieces evaluating the policy response to COVID-19 or suggesting policy changes. They should also set the policy agenda for the future.
We do welcome submissions on a wide range of economic topics and especially invite submissions from interdisciplinary teams (national and international ones).

In order to facilitate a timely publication, we change the traditional review process used by NZEP. Research notes will be sent out for external review, while Policy Papers will be reviewed by the Guest Editors. Decisions for research notes can be: accept, reject, or minor revision (mostly about verbal explanations or minor changes to the model/estimations). Policy Papers will either be accepted (bar minor editorial changes) or rejected. Major revisions will be rejected, but might be included in a subsequent regular issue.

We aim for a fast turnaround and intend to provide decisions on research notes within two months of the date of submission. For Policy Papers, we will provide a decision within one month. Accepted papers will be published online (in early view) quickly thereafter.

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

Submission Deadline: August 30, 2020.

Tentative (Print) Publication Date: End of 2020 or early 2021

Notice as pdf

Apr 2020 AI (#67) includes reflections on University of Canterbury Economics Department

Asymmetric Information Issue No. 67


  • Editorial
  • An interview with Bill Rosenberg (by John Yeabsley)
  • New Members
  • The ‘Five Minute Interview’ with Diana Cook
  • Reflections on the founding and evolution of the University of Canterbury Economics Department
  • Blogwatch (by Paul Walker)
  • 2B RED
  • Why are there more accidents on Mondays?
  • AUT Research Profiles

2020 NZEP Issue 1 includes NZ financial cycle

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 54, Issue 1, 2020 (available online or by subscription):

      • The New Zealand financial cycle 1968–2017 by Caitlin Davies & Prasanna Gai
      • Equity Market Performance and Public Debt: An Empirical Investigation by King Yoong Lim
      • Productivity in New Zealand: the role of resource allocation among firms by Lisa Meehan
      • A matching simulation to assess additional housing capacity in Auckland by Mario A. Fernandez
      • Stigma, risk perception and the remediation of leaky homes in New Zealand by Michael Rehm, Ka Shing Cheung, Olga Filippova & Dipesh Patel

NZAE Conference 2020 cancelled

Dear economics community,

Due to the ongoing and worsening COVID-19 situation, the NZAE Council has moved to cancel the 2020 Conference.

This decision was not taken lightly and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Please contact our conference managers On Cue with any queries. https://www.nzaeconference.co.nz/

Be safe, be kind


Peter Tait

President of the New Zealand Association of Economists

First Call for Papers at NZAE Annual Conference Jun/Jul 2020 Wellington

First Call for Papers:
61st New Zealand Association of Economists Annual Conference
To be held at Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington Tuesday 30 June to Thursday 2nd July 2020

NZAE PhD Student Workshop, 2020
To be held at Motu Economic & Public Policy Research office, Wellington Monday 29 June 2020

Stata Prize for Excellence in Graphics Communication
one of many prizes to be awarded at the Conference

Feel free to distribute the attached flyer to colleagues who may be interested in attending the Conference and or joining the Association. Further information can be found within the attached flyer and on the Conference website https://www.nzaeconference.co.nz/

Please email all conference enquiries to Ian Duncan or Jenna Collett at On-Cue or NZAE

Flyer: NZAE2020 first__call_for_papers