Alan E. Bollard awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Alan E. Bollard  CNZM, PhD, LLD(hon), D Com(hon), FRSNZ

At the end of the school year in 1968, Mr Murray Nairn, the then Headmaster at Mt Albert Grammar School, wrote a testimonial for one of the senior leaving students. In that testimonial he stated:

“He has a tremendous capacity for independent work, and is thoroughly reliable. He is a boy of good appearance, well mannered and well spoken. He is of the soundest character and will develop exceptionally well.”

While Headmaster Nairn was clearly an astute judge of character, little did know just how exceptionally well that boy would in fact develop. But 54 years on, we have the benefit of hindsight, and we can attest to the accuracy of the forecast made by Headmaster Nairn. Who today could ever doubt that Alan Bollard did in fact proceed to “develop exceptionally well;” arguably an understatement given Alan’s career and contributions. 

Of course, the headmaster’s prediction was grounded in some solid empirical evidence. Alan had been dux of the school, as had his father before him. Much later when Alan was inducted into the school’s Hall of Distinction, he joined his father as the only father and son to have been both dux and inductees in the Hall of Distinction.

Alan’s studies at the University of Auckland culminated in his PhD thesis on the responses of agricultural producers to technical change on Atiu in the Cook Islands. While PhD theses are typically seldom read by more than the academic supervisor and the external examiners, Alan’s 1977 thesis presages much of what is to characterise his subsequent career. It is a rich blend of economics and anthropology, with sensitive treatment of the historical, social and cultural context. The most advanced and relevant analytical frameworks of the time for individual decision making and risk modelling are applied to a rich data set, collected after months of careful and detailed survey work on the island.  A 135 page technical appendix attests to Alan’s solid grounding in mathematics and econometrics. Current students of technological change would do well to read this thesis.

After a spell at the South Pacific Commission in New Caledonia, Alan ventured further, and drawing on his background in technical change, worked in London at the Intermediate Technology Development Group (currently named Practical Action). Much of his work focused on the role for appropriate technology to enhance employment. But there were two important additional themes addressed by Alan. Notably, a concern that economic analysis should encompass distributional consequences; in short, people matter. And long before it was fashionable, he was writing on the importance of energy conservation.

1984 saw Alan repatriate and join the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research where he was subsequently appointed the Director. A key activity of the Institute was the long running Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion, and Alan served as its editor for this key cornerstone product of the Institute for over five years.

The years immediately following his return saw economic policy in New Zealand go through one of the most substantial transformations in the country’s history. This provided fertile ground for the work of the Institute. Through Alan’s leadership and his own research and writings, there followed a substantial series of reports and books covering many aspects of the reforms: changes in the labour market, reductions in the tariff regime and import licensing, the regulation of industry, the restructuring of the telecommunications, gas and electricity sectors. Alan paid particular attention to the impact of reforms and regulation the business sector. Given much overseas interest in the economic liberalisation undertaken by New Zealand, the work of the Institute, and in particular books authored, co-authored and edited by Alan, provided a wide international audience with a broad understanding of the processes and outcomes of the economic reforms.

This work, in part, laid the ground for Alan’s appointment in 1994 as Chairperson of the Commerce Commission. As the Commission was established under the Commerce Act only in 1986, Alan arrived to lead an organisation that was still in its relatively early years. The Commission has a wide-ranging mandate to ensure markets are competitive; to regulate selected markets where there is limited competition (including gas, telecommunications, electricity); and to protect consumers from unfair trading practices. The Commission needed to achieve a balance between its regulatory and compliance roles while not impeding efficiency and economies of scale. Alan was acutely aware of the trade-offs.

There were a number of important, high profile cases, not the least being the acquisition of Ansett Airlines by Air New Zealand. The health sector had been restructured, separating purchasers from providers. The Commission, focusing on education, ran a series of seminars to explain the application of the Commerce Act to the health sector, and to promote awareness of compliance. 

The Commission had just under 70 staff and a prodigious workload of enforcement of both the Commerce and Fair Trading Acts. To ensure the Commission was operating efficiently, Alan introduced a series of output and quality indicators, and initiated systems for monitoring awareness, acceptance and compliance with the Acts, so enhancing the ability of the Commission to, in Alan’s own words: “assess its own performance more effectively.”

For five years from 1998, Alan was the Secretary of the Treasury. His appointment marked an important change. Until that time, all previous Secretaries had been appointed from within the department. The appointment of an outsider was seen as a healthy development and one supported by Ministers. Soon after his appointment, the Fourth Labour government was elected. Their leadership had made no secret of their somewhat disparaging view of the Treasury.  Alan undertook the task of rebuilding the government’s confidence in its principal economic advisor. In time, a much closer relation with the government was restored. 

At the same time Alan recognised two aspects of the Treasury that he viewed as shortcomings. He felt that the Treasury should have more cooperation with the academic community. To this end he established an Academic Linkages Programme involving, scholarships, internships and visiting academics who would spend time working in the Treasury on topics of mutual interest. An important element in the linkages programme was the Guest Lecture Series which continues after more than two decades, and has seen leading academics from New Zealand and overseas deliver an invited lecture at the Treasury. 

Furthermore, he was concerned that the Treasury’s own capacities in economic research were not at a level commensurate with keeping the organisation at the frontier of good practice. To address this, he appointed a number of former academics to provide a more solid foundation for the Treasury’s policy work in taxation, macroeconomics and productivity. It should also be noted that Alan commissioned a major history of the Treasury: 1840-2000, an important legacy of his tenure.

In 2002, Alan accepted the position as Governor of the Reserve Bank, a position he was to hold for the next 10 years. Alan’s contributions during his time as Governor extended well beyond the basic mandate of achieving price stability. In fact, by the time of his appointment the inflation rate was down to around 2%, a factor contributing to enhanced credibility of monetary policy. Alan saw this as an opportunity to provide greater scope for a somewhat more flexible approach. With this, the Bank could “look through” short term volatility and achieve the mandated level of price stability over the medium term. This was encapsulated in the 2002 Policy Target Agreement signed by Alan. At the same time, continued attention was given to output and employment in the formulation of monetary policy.

While the OCR system had been adopted in 1999 as a central mechanism of monetary policy, during Alan’s tenure it was firmly embedded. Furthermore, Alan emphasised the importance of communicating with, and providing forward guidance to the markets. An important feature of Alan’s tenure was the increased role for prudential supervision of the banking and financial sector. He gave particular attention to the governance of local banks operating in New Zealand which were part of their large Australian parent banks. The dividends arising from these moves were amply demonstrated in the resilience of the banking system at the time of the Global Financial Crisis.

In yet another major appointment to a senior leadership role, in 2012 Alan was named Executive Director of the Secretariat for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) based in Singapore. He would go on to be the first Director of APEC to serve two terms. Traditionally APEC had focussed on a range of impediments to trade in the region including border barriers, tariff barriers and  non-tariff barriers at the border. But new challenges and opportunities arose throughout Alan’s directorship. While earlier APEC sessions had identified behind-the-border barriers, additional emphasis was sustained during Alan’s term together with a concomitant new focus on regulatory harmonisation. Furthermore, additional new policies were needed to promote great integration in the fast growing trade in services.

Currently Alan is a Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Wellington School of Business and Government, and the inaugural holder of the Chair for Pacific Region Business. He is the Chairperson of the Advisory Board for the Centres for Asia-Pacific Excellence and Chair of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC). In addition, he chairs the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission. He is a Director of China Construction Bank. Allied to his keen interest in painting, he Chairs the New Zealand Portrait Gallery.

No synopsis of Alan’s career and contribution would be complete without reference to his efforts to highlight the life and work of New Zealand born economist, A.W.H. (Bill) Phillips. Phillips, in the immediate post WWII years invented an hydraulic machine to solve a set of economic relationships, then beyond the analytical capacity of any existing computer. A small number of the so-called MONIAC (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer) machines were made. An important legacy of Alan’s efforts is that New Zealand now has a working machine, originally housed at NZIER, and currently installed in the Museum of the Reserve Bank, another contribution of Alan’s time as Governor.

Despite holding a succession of senior leadership roles, Alan has always found time to write: at last count some 14 books authored or co-authored, and numerous essays. What is remarkable is the breadth of his writings, covering economic history, a personal saga of the global financial collapse, the life and times of Bill Phillips, numerous essays and novels.  These writings, and his continuing contribution to economic debate in New Zealand attest to his role as a communicator.

Few if any, could match the extraordinary breadth of his contributions to economic policy, both in New Zealand and more widely. This award is made in recognition of his outstanding contributions to a wide range of economic policies, for his leadership of all of New Zealand’s major economic institutions, for his focus on governance, and for his role in fostering trade, economic growth and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. The New Zealand Association of Economists is pleased to make the award of Distinguished Fellow to Dr Alan Bollard.

Grant M Scobie

 

Bibliography: A Selection of works by Alan Bollard and co-authors.

Small Beginnings: New roles for British businesses, 1983: Intermediate Technology Publications.

Industrial Employment through Appropriate Technology, 1983: Intermediate Technology Publications.

Just for Starters: A Handbook of Small-Scale Business Opportunities, 1984: Intermediate Technology Publications.

Less Fuel More Jobs: Promotion of Energy Conservation in Buildings 1985: Policy Studies Institute (with Mayer Hillman).

Markets, Regulation, and Pricing, 1985: New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Research Paper 31 (Co-edited with B. Easton).

As Though People Mattered: A prospect for Britain, 1986: Practical Action Publishing (with John Davis) Revised edition 2013.

Economic Liberalisation in New Zealand, 1987: Allen & Unwin/Port Nicholson Press. (Co-edited with R.A. Buckle).

Research and development in New Zealand : a public policy framework, 1987: New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Research Monograph 39 (with David Harper and Margriet Theron). 

The Economics of the Commerce Act, 1989: New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Research Monograph 52 (Editor).

Productivity and quality in New Zealand firms: Effects of deregulation, 1989: New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Research Monograph 46 (with C.Campbell and J.Savage) 

Turning It Around: Closure and Revitalization in New Zealand Industry, 1991: Oxford University Press (Co-edited with John Savage). 

Dismantling the Barriers: Tariff Policy in New Zealand, 1992:  New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Research Monograph 57 (with R.G. Lattimore and I. Duncan)

How Economically Stressed Firms Adjust, 1992: NZIER Working Paper 92/11(with L. Fraser Jackson).

Economic Stress in the New Zealand Business Sector: 1975-1992, 1992: NZIER Working Paper 92/12 

 An Analysis of Change at the Level of the Firm: A Prelude to a Definition of Stress, 1992: NZIER Working Paper 92/23 (with L. Fraser Jackson).

New Zealand: Economic Reforms, 1984-1991 (Country Studies) 1992: Ics Pr Publishers.

A Study of Economic Reform: The Case of New Zealand (Contributions to Economic Analysis) 1996: North Holland (Co-edited with B. Silverstone and R.G. Lattimore).

Chapter 6: pp. 69-84 in The Coming of Age of Competition Law in New Zealand. (1996) Commerce Commission, Wellington. 

The Structure and Dynamics of New Zealand Industries, 1998: Dunmore Press (Co-edited with M. Pickford)

Succeeding in the world economy: New Zealand outward direct investment: causes, patterns and effects, 1999: Dunmore Press.

Flexibility and the limits to inflation targeting, 2008: Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, 71:3 (with T. Ng)

Crisis: One Central Bank Governor and the Global Financial Collapse, 2010: Auckland University Press (with Sarah Gaitanos).

What I have learned from the Global Financial Crisis, 2012: 11th Annual Sir Leslie Melville Lecture, Australian National University, Canberra.  https://crawford.anu.edu.au/news-events/events/1169/11th-annual-sir-leslie-melville-lecture-what-i-have-learned-global-financial.

The Rough Mechanical: The Man who Could, 2012: Xlibris.

Economic Disruptions in The Asia-Pacific, 2016: Public Lecture, Centre for Banking and Finance Law, National University of Singapore,

Changes Afoot in the APEC Economy, 2016: Guest lecture, The Treasury.

A Few Hares to Chase: The Life and Times of Bill Phillips, 2016: Oxford University Press.

Globalisation Challenges and New Zealand’s Upcoming APEC Hosting 2021, 2017: Guest lecture, The Treasury.

The Code-Cracker and the Tai-Chi Dancer, 2018: Xlibris.

New Zealand as a Leaky Economy: Are we responding to changes in globalisation? 2019: Guest lecture, The Treasury.

Economists at War: How a Handful of Economists Helped Win and Lose the World Wars, 2020: Oxford University Press.

Who wants to be an economic policymaker in a crisis? 2020: Institute of Public Administration,https://ipanz.org.nz/Story?Action=View&Story_id=150595

Weaponization of Money: Could this be the First Economic World War? 2022: https://iai.tv/articles/the-weaponization-of-money-auid-2077 

Economists in the Cold War: How a handful of Economists Fought the Cold War of Ideas, forthcoming, Oxford University Press.

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McKinnon, M. (2003) The New Zealand Treasury: 1840-2000. Auckland University Press.

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.

References
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

Stephen Jenkins awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Stephen JenkinsStephen Jenkins is Professor of Economic and Social Policy at the London School of Economics. He is one of the world’s leading scholars in the economics of inequality and poverty. He has contributed significantly to applied econometrics and in doing so, his work has addressed topics such as the rise in top incomes and their contribution to recent increases in inequality, how to measure poverty persistence and assess which factors trigger exits from a poverty spell. Stephen has also researched related topics such as labour market participation and the tax and benefit system. An honours graduate from the University of Otago, Stephen held a junior lectureship at Massey University. He then obtained his doctorate from the University of York, UK on Inequality and Intergenerational Continuities in Lifetime Income (1983) which was supervised by Tony Atkinson. Thereafter followed a range of university appointments at the Universities of Bath, Essex (as Professor of Economics at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), and ISER Director) and Swansea (Professor of Applied Economics). In addition to this, Stephen has held a number of notable positions that includes Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Economic Inequality (2014–17), President of the International Association for Research on Income and Wealth (2006–8) and of the European Society for Population Economics (1998) as well as the R.I. Downing Fellow, University of Melbourne in 2009. Stephen has maintained close links with researchers in New Zealand. He has served as a consultant to the New Zealand Treasury in 1994, and took part in a Treasury-organised conference in 2016. An examination of his very impressive list of publications to date underlines both the quality and impact of his outstanding research. Stephen has collaborated extensively not only with Tony Atkinson, but he has also written with other leading scholars in his field such as Andrea Brandolini and François Bourguignon. His work has appeared in a long list of leading Economics journals that includes Economica, Economic Journal, Health Economics, Journal of Population Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Review of Income and Wealth and many more. Stephen has also published several influential books including Changing Fortunes: Income Mobility and Poverty Dynamics in Britain (2011) and The Great Recession and the Distribution of Household Income (co-edited with Brandolini, Micklewright and Nolan in 2013). Stephen’s considerable influence on colleagues’ thinking is underlined by the extent to which his work has been cited. According to Google Scholar, his research receives over a thousand citations a year. He has almost fifty publications (journal articles, books and book chapters) that have been cited at least hundred times. If one considers the Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) worldwide citation rankings for almost 60000 authors, Stephen comfortably sits inside the top 0.5 per cent. The New Zealand Association of Economists is delighted to bestow upon Stephen Jenkins a Distinguished Fellow award.

References
Jenkins, S., Changing Fortunes: Income Mobility and Poverty Dynamics in Britain, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011.
Jenkins S., Brandolini A., Micklewright J. and B. Nolan (eds.), The Great Recession and the Distribution of Household Income, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013.

Julia Lane awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

New Zealand produces many innovative minds. In economics, we often think of innovation in terms of a revolutionary theoretical insight or the creation of a new empirical test. But – just as important as these innovations – are innovations in producing the data that we require to subject our theories to scientific test. This year’s New Zealand Association of Economists Distinguished Fellow has contributed to a revolution in the way that empirical work is conducted in the United States, New Zealand and globally.

Professor Julia Lane has been a pioneer in micro-data analysis. From the late 1990s onwards, Julia worked with John Abowd and others to enable the use of large administrative unit record micro-data for economic research purposes. Julia was not only an early user of micro-data, she also pioneered the protocols for its use by other researchers. This is evidenced by her co-authored publications between 1999 and 2004 of a range of influential books on the topic and by an AER paper: ‘Integrated Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data for the United States.’ (Abowd, Haltiwanger, & Lane, 2004) She published important papers in the AER (Haltiwanger, Lane, & Spletzer, 1999) and the Journal of Labor Economics (Burgess, Lane, & Stevens, 2000) at the turn of the millennium using the new micro-data to demonstrate the heterogeneity of productivity outcomes and the nature of worker flows across firms.

In addition to these important contributions to the profession, Julia is a leading international researcher on the impacts of science and innovation policy. She holds the post of Provostial Fellow for Innovation Analytics at New York University (NYU), where she also holds the positions of Professor, Wagner School of Public Policy, and Professor at the Center for Urban Science and Policy. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the U.S. Census Bureau and at the Office of Management and Budget at the White House. From 2008 to 2012, Julia was program director for the Science of Science and Innovation Policy Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF). She led the NSF’s STAR METRICS program,1 which was led by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation under the auspices of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The programme was designed to document the outcomes of science investments to the public. As with her work using and enabling micro-data, Julia’s work in the ‘science of science’ field has been heavily cited including her publications in Nature (Lane, 2010) and Science (Lane & Bertuzzi, 2011).

Julia’s other posts have included: Senior Managing Economist for the American Institutes for Research (AIR) International Development Program; Senior Vice President and Director, Economics Department at NORC/University of Chicago; Director of the Employment Dynamics Program at the Urban Institute; Full Professor at American University; Consultant for the World Bank; and Associate Professor of Economics at University of Louisville.

Julia has published over 70 articles in leading journals, and has authored three and edited seven books. She is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Statistical Institute and is the recipient of the Warren E. Milller, the Julius Shiskin, and the Roger Herriot awards. She co-chaired the Science of Science Policy Interagency Group for the White House National Science and Technology Council, was a Member of the Founding Committee for the International Data Forum and has edited special issues of a range of well-known journals. In addition, she has received many other fellowships and awards across multiple continents.

While having been based in the U.S.A. since the early 1980s – following her initial BA in Economics and Japanese at Massey University – Julia has retained research and policy links with New Zealand. She was the guest co-editor of the New Zealand Economic Papers special issue on micro-data use in June 2002 and has also acted as a referee for NZEP. She has received grants from the NZ Department of Labour for micro-data work resulting in the 2002 NZ conference on Data Integration and Linked Employer-Employee Data. Julia was a keynote speaker to the New Zealand Association of Economists conference in 2002 and has been a keynote speaker at several other New Zealand conferences. She has held visiting positions at Victoria University of Wellington and at the Department of Labour.

Professor Julia Lane’s outstanding contributions across multiple fields amply demonstrate that she has the credentials required for the award of Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Notes

1 STAR-METRICS: Science and Technology in America’s Reinvestment – Measuring the Effects of Research on Innovation, Competitiveness and Science.

References

  • Abowd, J. J., Haltiwanger, J., & Lane, J. (2004). Integrated longitudinal employer-employee data for the United States. American Economic Review, 94(2), 224229. doi: 10.1257/0002828041301812 
  • Burgess, S., Lane, J., & Stevens, D. (2000). Job flows, worker flows, and churning. Journal of Labor Economics, 18(3), 473502. doi: 10.1086/209967
  • Haltiwanger, J. C., Lane, J., & Spletzer, J. (1999). Productivity differences across employers: The roles of employer size, age, and human capital. American Economic Review, 89(2), 9498. doi: 10.1257/aer.89.2.94 
  • Lane, J. (2010). Let’s make science metrics more scientific. Nature, 464(7288), 488489. doi: 10.1038/464488a
  • Lane, J., & Bertuzzi, S. (2011). Measuring the results of science investments. Science, 331(6018), 678680. doi: 10.1126/science.1201865

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

David Teece awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

TeeceBioProfessor David Teece is Professor of Business Administration and Thomas W. Tusher Chair in Global Business at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. He is also Director of the Tusher Center for the Management of Intellectual Capital. As an economist, he is renowned for his research on industrial organisation, technological change and innovation, particularly as it relates to competition policy and intellectual property.

Professor Teece gained a BA and MCom(Hons) (1971) from the University of Canterbury, before completing an MA and PhD (1975) at the University of Pennsylvania. He has held teaching and research positions at University of Canterbury, University of Oxford, Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania. He holds honorary doctorates from St. Petersburg State University, Copenhagen Business School, Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland) and the University of Canterbury.

Professor Teece has a long and distinguished research record. His first publication appeared in New Zealand Economic Papers in 1971 (Falvey & Teece, 1971). He has published over 200 books and articles, including articles in American Economic Review, Economic Journal, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Economic Perspectives and Journal of Economic Literature. According to the Science Watch index of Scientific Research in Economics and Business, his Strategic Management Journal paper, ‘Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management’ was the most cited paper worldwide across these fields in the decade to 2005. He has been recognised by Accenture as one of the world’s top-50 business intellectuals.

Professor Teece’s research includes empirical tests of existing theories, especially in relation to transactions cost economics; new insights into the theory of the firm, such as the dynamic capabilities approach to the determinants of ongoing firm success; and synthesis of ideas from numerous fields to form new theories that are much greater than the sum of the parts.

A brief selection of papers illustrates some of the key intellectual approaches within his work. Professor Teece was one of the first economists to develop the Panzar–Willig concept of economies of scope to show that product diversification by a firm may be efficient if based on common and recurrent use of proprietary know-how (Teece, 1980). In his paper ‘Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management’ (Teece, Pisano, & Shuen, 1997) (cited over 25,000 times), he analysed the sources and methods of wealth creation and capture by private firms operating in environments of rapid technological change. As in his work on economies of scope, this work emphasised the importance of firms’ proprietary and difficult-to-trade knowledge assets in generating firm wealth. In a paper published in 2007 (Teece, 2007), he emphasises that a firm’s dynamic capabilities – which enable the firm to generate wealth on an ongoing basis – derive from an entrepreneurial approach that sees firms innovate and collaborate with other enterprises and institutions. It is through the resulting ongoing transformation that firms may escape the zero-profit condition so beloved by neo-classical economists. In recent work (Teece, 2014), Professor Teece has returned to a topic that he first visited in the 1980s applying the dynamic capabilities framework to explain the success of multi-national enterprises. At the core of all these contributions is the search for insights about the process of wealth creation at the firm level.

In addition to his prodigious and influential research output, Professor Teece is renowned for his ability to express complex ideas in non-technical language, making his ideas available to a broad public. His ability to think across fields and to relate his ideas to a broad audience has been of considerable use in the field of management consulting. He is Chairman and Principal Executive Officer of Berkeley Research Group, and was Co-Founder of LECG where he was Chairman (1988–2007) and Vice-Chairman (2007–2009).

Despite being based in the United States, David has kept close research, business and philanthropic links to New Zealand. He co-authored a paper in Journal of Economic Literature on New Zealand’s economic reforms (Evans, Grimes, Wilkinson, & Teece, 1996). He is a member of the Editorial Board for New Zealand Economic Papers and is an Honorary Member of LEANZ (Law and Economics Association of New Zealand). In addition, he is Chairman of the University of Canterbury Foundation Board of Trustees, and President of the University of Canterbury Foundation in America. Professor Teece was a co-founder of Kea (Kiwi Expatriates Abroad). In 2013, he became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

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

References

  1. Evans, L., Grimes, A., Wilkinson, B., & Teece, D. (1996). Economic reform in New Zealand 1984-95: The pursuit of efficiency. Journal of Economic Literature, 34(4), 1856–1902.
  2. Falvey, R.E., & Teece, D.J. (1971). The determination of residential section prices in some South Island Centres. New Zealand Economic Papers, 5, 100–106.
  3. Teece, D.J. (1980). Economies of scope and the scope of the enterprise. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 1(3), 223–247.
  4. Teece, D.J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18(7), 509–533.
  5. Teece, D.J. (2007). Explicating dynamic capabilities: The nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strategic Management Journal, 28(13), 1319–1350.
  6. Teece, D.J. (2014). A dynamic capabilities-based entrepreneurial theory of the multinational enterprise. Journal of International Business Studies, 45(1), 8–37.

Arthur Robson awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

arthurrobsonArthur Robson holds the Canada Research Chair in Economic Theory and Evolution at the University of Simon Fraser.  He has made an extraordinary contribution to economic theory, particularly microeconomic theory in the context of change brought about by competitive evolutionary pressures. His scholarship has been prodigious and has shaped the direction of enquiry by economists and, to some degree, certain biological science.

Professor Arthur Robson gained a BSc(Hons) First Class in Pure and Applied Mathematics from Victoria University of Wellington in 1968; when he won the Robert Stout award for the best degree. In 1969 he entered the Pure Mathematics PhD programme at MIT, but after two years of course work switched to a PhD in economics that he completed at MIT in 1974. His thesis was on the contemporary topic “Congestion, Pollution and Urban Structure”. His research publications – of which there are more than 60 in the upper echelon of economics journals – reveal an early interest in inter-temporal strategies and consequent effects incorporating uncertainty. By the 1990s Arthur’s publications show his strong interest in evolutionary processes and from that time a large number of publications that apply the logic of mathematical economics to the evolution of economic systems and their primitives – such as preferences. They include the effect of selection among agents that face different sorts of uncertainty. As an aside, some recall the paper – “Status, the Distribution of Wealth, Private and Social Attitudes to Risk,” Econometrica 60 (1992), 837-857, presented at Victoria – that held the result that purchase of lottery tickets can be rational if the prize is big enough.

Arthur has brought a unique insight to evolutionary game theory. We discuss two of his contributions here, selected based on being both important and easy to explain. Perhaps it is because so many of us are economists, but we game theorists do seem to have an underlying belief that a decentralized optimizing process like evolution should lead to efficient outcomes much of the time. Be that as it may, most evolutionary models do not lead to efficiency. Arthur is responsible for two of the most important papers showing how evolution can lead to efficiency. One of these is “Efficiency in Evolutionary Games: Darwin, Nash and the Secret Hand-shake,” Journal of Theoretical Biology 144 (1990), 379-396. In this paper, Arthur allows for a mutation that does two things. It leads the recipient to show a visible ‘signal’ (the secret hand-shake) that this mutation has occurred. It also leads the recipient of the mutation to make a cooperative choice when interacting with another individual who also shows this signal. In this manner, the mutants are able to benefit from cooperation when facing each other, while still being able to make an optimal choice when faced with non-mutants. Mutants with ‘secret hand-shakes’ quickly take over a population when the interactions within that population are such that cooperative behavior does not leave an agent exposed to exploitation.

Arthur tackles the fundamental mystery of human intelligence in “The Evolution of Rationality and the Red Queen,” Journal of Economic Theory 111 (2003), 1-22. Our high intelligence is clearly useful in the complex societies in which we dwell. On the other hand, our high intelligence is necessary for the formation of our complex societies. It has been argued that our exceptionally high intelligence is unnecessary for dealing with the external environment that existed prior to the formation of our societies. Many who have made this argument suggest that our societies and intelligence evolved together. However, such arguments ignore the different time scales required for evolution and the development of a society. Arthur shows how competition between humans can lead to an arms race in which we need ever greater and greater intelligence in order to succeed against other humans.  A nice feature of this approach is that as humans get smarter, the evolutionary pressure for intelligence increases. On the other hand, if intelligence occurred because of the external environment, then evolutionary pressure on intelligence would decrease the smarter humans became.

Arthur’s outstanding research achievements and scholarship are reflected in his post-PhD long-term and short-term appointments.  He started his post-PhD academic career at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in 1975, moving to Simon Fraser University in 2003.  He overlapped with John McMillan  – NZAE Distinguished Fellow 2005 – at UWO during a very academically lively period for that economics department. Arthur has had myriad short term academic engagements in prominent institutions in North America, Europe the UK, as well as the Middle East and Australia and New Zealand.   He has received visiting Fellowships and is a Fellow of the Econometric Society among others. Arthur has been in international demand for his research per se, but also for his seminars and organisation of conference sessions and workshops on evolutionary economics.

Arthur has held continued interest in New Zealand and visited this country from time to time, including in his role of Adjunct Professor at Victoria University for 2005-2008. He has outstanding credentials for the award of Distinguished  Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Lewis Evans and Jack Robles

David Giles awarded Distinguished Fellow

davidgilesOf all fields in economics, New Zealand is probably most renowned for producing top level econometricians. One distinguished contributor in this field is David Giles. Born in the United Kingdom in 1949, David moved to New Zealand as a young child. He went on to complete all of his university education in New Zealand at the University of Canterbury. Like many top New Zealand economists of his generation, he initially undertook a B.Sc. (majoring in mathematics and statistics) before completing the “Knight’s Move” to complete an M.Com in economics in 1971. He joined the staff of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1971, remaining there until 1977. During this period he had a secondment to the Task Force on Economic and Social Planning. He also took a two year break from the Bank over 1973-1975 to undertake his PhD at Canterbury. His thesis topic, supervised by Tony Rayner, was “Bayesian Applications in Econometrics”.

His initial publications included contributions to the Bank’s large-scale econometric modelling project. These were published in the Bank’s Research Paper series in 1972. His first journal publication1 appeared in New Zealand Economic Papers in 1974 and in the following year he published an aspect of his PhD studies relating to Bayesian econometrics in the Journal of Econometrics.2 A number of his early published papers dealt with issues of urban and regional economics, now considered of major importance in development and growth theory, and being especially important for New Zealand.

In 1977, Dr Giles joined Monash University as a Lecturer in Econometrics, and was appointed Professor in 1978 (aged 29). He returned to the University of Canterbury as Professor of Econometrics in 1986. From 1994 onwards, he has been Professor of Econometrics at University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

His rapid rise to Professor reflected his prodigious research output. To the start of 2014 he has written two books, edited four others, contributed 16 book chapters, and published 132 refereed journal articles (not counting review articles and a host of other publications). His publications have appeared in journals such as: Econometrica, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Journal, International Economic Review, and Journal of Econometrics.

David is ranked in the top 5% of authors by REPEC on almost all their metrics, and there are currently approximately 3,000 citations to his publications. He has an h-index of 25 (meaning that 25 of his papers have been cited at least 25 times). His most cited works cover a range of his research interests covering econometric theory, applied econometrics, and statistics. His book with V.K. Srivastava on seemingly unrelated regressions3 has been cited over 300 times, and other heavily cited fields of work include his numerous influential papers on pre-test estimation, his modelling of the hidden economy across a number of countries (including New Zealand), and his recent work examining the maximum likelihood estimator of parameters across a range of distributions. He has also been well cited for his econometric analyses of the pop music industry and the demand for British rugby league!

In addition to his own research contributions, David has been active as a journal editor. He edited New Zealand Economic Papers (volumes 21-22) over 1987-1988, and has been North American Editor of Journal of International Trade and Economic Development since 1996. He has also served on numerous editorial boards including those of Econometric Theory and Journal of Econometrics. Importantly, David has been an active supervisor of post-graduate research. While at the University of Canterbury, he supervised research papers and theses by a number of students who are now prominent in New Zealand’s economic community.

His development of key fields of theoretical econometrics coupled with his applied econometric outputs, and his contributions to the development of other researchers through his journal editing and thesis supervision, underlies David Giles’ distinguished contributions to economics. Accordingly, the Association is delighted to honour him with this award of Distinguished Fellow.


1 Giles, D.E.A., 1974, “The Almon Estimator and Serially Correlated Disturbances”, New Zealand Economic Papers, 8, 138-150.
2 Giles, D.E.A., 1975, “Discriminating Between Autoregressive Forms: A Monte Carlo Comparison of Bayesian and Ad Hoc Methods”, Journal of Econometrics, 3, 229-248.
3 Srivastava, V.K. and D.E.A. Giles, 1987, Seemingly Unrelated Regression Equations Models: Estimation and
Inference
(Marcel Dekker, New York).

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.

Stephen Turnovsky awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Stephen TurnovskyStephen Turnovsky is an outstanding academic economist. His academic career spans over 40 years, with a distinguished publication record which has kept him in the very top echelon of the profession’s academic journal publishers over a particularly long time period.

Early foundations for Stephen’s academic career were laid with a BA in Mathematics and Economics and an MA with 1st class honours in Mathematics from Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). These degrees were conferred in 1962 and 1963 respectively, and during that period he also held positions of part-time research assistant at NZIER and the Applied Mathematics Laboratory of DSIR, and as a Junior Lecturer in Mathematics at VUW. As a signal towards the now over 236 journal publications to come, he quickly had a joint publication in 1964 in the NZ Journal of Geology and Geophysics on the statistics of New Zealand earthquakes, and an econometric case-study of Disequilibrium in the NZ Automobile Market in the June 1966 issue of the Economic Record. The latter study was completed early in Stephen’s time at Harvard University.

Stephen’s PhD from Harvard was conferred in 1968, and led to positions at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Toronto. He was Professor of Economics at the ANU from 1972 to 1982, including as Chairman of the Department of Economics for 3 ½ years, and was then IBE Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois from 1982 to 1988. He has been Castor Professor of Economics at The University of Washington in Seattle since 1993, following his appointment in 1988 as Professor of Economics at that University. Since 2010, he has also been Adjunct Professor of Economics at VUW.

Stephen’s publications through to the early 1970s included three important contributions to the then emerging empirical evidence on price and wage expectations, published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, Economica, and the Review of Economics and Statistics. However, the distinctive features of Stephen’s on-going research became the use of mathematical tools and economic concepts to model problems in the areas of economic growth and dynamics, including applications to optimal macroeconomic policies. Moreover, as befits his having lived and worked for lengthy periods in Australasia and Canada, a great deal of his modelling has been of (small) open economies. The diverseness of Stephen’s publications is reflected not only in the range of core macroeconomic areas addressed and quantitative tools utilised, but also through the number of coauthors with whom he has published – for example, from his September 2011 CVi, I counted an extraordinary number of 77 different journal co-authors and 8 book-related co-authors, for the period since 1969.

Of his 13 books solely or jointly authored or co-edited, there are academics throughout the world who can attest to finding his 1977 Macroeconomic Analysis and Stabilisation Policy, and his 1995 and 2000 editions of Methods of Macroeconomic Dynamics particularly valuable for their graduate macro courses. I’m not going to single out particular articles or journals from Stephen’s CV – suffice to say that by the late 1970s, he had cracked every top-ranked economics journal at least once, with many acceptances since then in these and the best of more recently established journals.

However, recognition for outstanding achievement does not always follow from publications alone, and in this respect it is important to detail the considerable wider recognition of Stephen’s professional achievements.

His Professional Honours include Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (elected 1976), Fellow of the Econometric Society (1981), President of the Society of Economic Dynamics and Control (1982-84), and President of the Society of Computational Economics (2004-06).

He has held visiting positions of distinction over many years, including at the University of California-Berkeley, Nuffield College (Oxford), Academia Sinica (Taipei), IAS Wuhan University, IAS Vienna, CESifo (University of Munich); and has been awarded Doctorat, Honorary Causa by the University of Aix-Marseille II (2005) and an Hon DLitt by Victoria University of Wellington (2009).

The unusual breadth and depth of Stephen’s Editorial Board activities, and hence his indirect influence on and contributions to developments in the macro-theoretic economics literature, can be illustrated by his having been variously Associate Editor, Editor and Advisory Editor of the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control continuously since 1978, Joint Editor of the Economic Record for the period 1973-77, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking (1977-2010), the Journal of Public Economics (1982-87), the Journal of Public Economic Theory (from 2000), Macroeconomic Dynamics (from 2001), and the Journal of Human Capital (from 2006). He has been on the Editorial Advisory Board of New Zealand Economic Papers since 2007.

Finally, against the background of Stephen’s outstanding global academic achievements, let me record his most recent contributions to the economics profession in New Zealand: invited keynote speaker to the NZAE/ESAM08 50th Anniversary Symposium, honouring the tradition of A W H (Bill) Phillips; invited keynote speaker to the 1st and 2nd NZ Macroeconomic Dynamics Workshops (April 2011, April 2012), and to the Southern Workshop in Macro (SWIM, April 2012). Recently, he also endowed the Stephen Turnovsky Visiting Fellowships, to be held in the School of Economics and
Finance at VUW.

It gives me great pleasure to provide this citation for sustained and outstanding contributions to the development of economics, to Castor Professor Stephen Turnovsky, Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Viv Hall

Leslie Young awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Leslie Young is Wei Lun Professor of Finance and Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute of Business at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is an outstanding economist by any yardstick. Leslie’s interests span finance, international trade political economy and, the interaction among culture, political economy and economic performance. His standing is indicated by his holding the prestigious V.F Neuhaus Professorship in Finance and the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) where he was also Professor of Economics between 1985 and 1992, in which year he took up the position of Professor of Finance and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In this position he has been the Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Institute of Business since 1993 in which capacity he has enlarged the extent and standing of its programs across a range of countries. Leslie has held Visiting Professorships at universities that include University of California at Berkeley and MIT. He is the longest serving member of the Editorial Board of the American Economic Review having completed four consectutive terms.

From the outset, Leslie’s outstanding facility with mathematics never got in the way of insightful analysis of economic issues expressed in a lively interesting manner. He has a stable of papers on the implications of uncertainty for aspects of international trade and finance: they appear in such journals as the Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of International Trade and Review of Economic Studies. Further work in trade and uncertainty produced papers evaluating the welfare effects of trade restrictions of various sorts. In the 1980s and early 1990s Leslie produced papers on the political economy of trade policy, particularly with Stephen Magee, a colleague at UTA, and William Brock. The most well-known work was their highly commended book Black hole Tariffs and Endogenous Redistribution Theory, Cambridge University Press, 1990, which set out an “interest group” general equilibrium with respect to the determination of trade policy. Leslie’s interest in the interaction between economic and legal processes are reflected in two papers with James Andersen1 where they examine the optimal enforcement of contracts when contracts must be incomplete and enforcement differs. His interest in governance is illustrated by papers concerning the separation of ownership and control in listed corporations in different cultures.2 The interaction among law, culture and economic behaviour is suggested to be critically important by Leslie’s foregoing works and it has has been an ongoing interest of his. Leslie argues that differences across countries in these characteristics are reflected in different langauge and other institutional rules that affect economic and financial performance, including crises. His comparison of the economies of India and China3, and Asia and Western4 economies illustrate his position.

Leslie was born in Guangzbou and came to New Zealand at the age of two. His family were market gardeners in Levin, where he attended Horowhenua College. He came to Victoria University at 16 as a Junior Scholar. In his first two years, he completed his B.Sc. but this progress was too rapid for him to graduate under University statutes. In his third year, he completed a Bsc. with First Class Honours in mathematics, plus a paper in Mathematical Logic with the Philosophy Department. He was awarded a Senior Scholarship, an Alexander Crawfod Scholarship, a NZ Sugar Company Scholarship, and a Postgraduate Scholarship and Commonwealth Scholarship. While waiting to go to Oxford, he completed an M.Sc. with distinction in mathematics by August 1969. He later learnt from his Supervisor, Wilf Malcolm (by then VC of Waikato) that a seminar that he had given from his thesis was the origin of the Algebra/Logic seminar that the Victoria University of Wellington Mathematics Department ran in the 70’s and 80s. Shortly after his arrival in Oxford, Dr. Malcolm wrote to say that the external examiner (Dr. R. A. Bull of Canterbury) had recommended his M. Sc. thesis for a Ph.D. However, during the first year at Oxford Leslie completed a different doctoral thesis (just before his 21st birthday) that was subsequently awarded a Senior Mathematics Prize by Oxford University. While waiting to complete his residence requirements for his D.Phil, he was introduced to Professor James Mirrlees (Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1996), who, along with Nicholas Stern (at that time holding an academic postion at Oxford) induced Leslie to write essays. After a year of this activity, he escaped by taking up a Junior Research Fellowship in Economics at Lincoln College, Oxford, thence to the University of Canterbury’s economics department in 1975. His next appointment was at UTA.

Leslie modestly attributes a good deal of his success to the tolerant, friendly, interested people-environment in which he was brought up in New Zealand. His stimulating, engaging presentations have been a high-impact feature of Leslie’s visits to Wellington over the past 15 years.

Papers referred to

1. Andersen, James E. and Leslie Young, Trade Implies Law: The Power of the Weak, NBER Working Paper 7702, 2000, pp.30; and Andersen, James E. and Leslie Young, “Trade and Contract Enforcement”, Contributions to Economic Analysis & Policy (2006), Vol 5 (1), Article 30.

2. Faccio, M., Lang L. H. P. and Young, L., ‘Dividends and expropriation’, American Economic Review, Vol. 91, 2001, pp. 1–25; and Gadhoum, Yoser, Larry H.P. Lang and Leslie Young, “Who Controls US?”, European Financial Management, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2005, 339-363.

3. Young, Leslie, Economic Development in China and East Asia: Lessons for India, address, (https://www.slideserve.com/Albert_Lan/economic-development-in-china-east-asia-lessons-for-india-leslie-young-professor-of-finance-executive-director-asia) accessed May 30 2012.

4. Young, Leslie, ‘Comment on: “Why Are Saving Rates So High in China?”‘ chapter in NBER book, Capitalising China, Joseph Fan and Randall Morck eds., Chicago University Press, 2009.

Don Brash awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Donald T BrashThere can only be the barest handful of New Zealand economists who have had a career that is both as distinguished and varied as that of Don Brash. His career has spanned that of a research economist, an international bureaucrat, an orchardist, a corporate chief executive, a company director, the chair of important government task forces, a central banker, a Member of Parliament and Leader of the Opposition.

It is especially fitting that this award is being conferred in Christchurch. Don grew up here and received his schooling and graduated from the University of Canterbury. His father was a Presbyterian minister, who played a leading role in church governance. He served as General Secretary of the National Council of Churches and as moderator of the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand. Don’s grandfather, TC Brash, had been one of the very first lay moderators of the Presbyterian Church. So with his ecclesiastical antecedents it would not have been surprising had Don chosen a career in the church, so depriving us of his contributions as one of this country’s leading economists.

In fact it was a close call. Undoubtedly under some influence from his father, Don did consider a calling to the church. However he told his father (no doubt most respectfully) that God seemed to have an ample supply of ministers, but lacked Christian economists. And furthermore the thought of having to compose two sermons each Sunday did not appeal. One can only speculate whether Don subsequently called on divine inspiration when composing his Monetary Policy Statements every 6 weeks during his long term as Governor of the Reserve Bank.

Don performed well academically throughout his schooling. We can gain insight into his early appreciation of economics from the story of how he withdrew from a school essay contest, after learning that the prize was not 100 pounds as he had thought, but merely the interest on 100 pounds. This keen understanding of the role of incentives was to characterise many of his later approaches to economic policy.

An undergraduate arts degree in history and economics followed with an A in every paper. At the same time he was a leader in the Student Christian Movement, and keenly concerned for the welfare of others, whether in New Zealand or globally. But his left wing leanings and inclinations to the Labour Party were often the source of internal conflicts for the young undergraduate. In the words of Alan Blinder, he was seeking to combine a hard head with a soft heart.

Don arrived at the Reserve Bank in November 1961 and by March 1962 had completed his thesis for an MA in Economics. His supervisor at Canterbury was Wolfgang Rosenberg whose Marxist views had influenced Don’s early thinking about economic issues. The thesis was awarded first class honours. What is notable is the view he espoused in that thesis: that New Zealand’s reliance on foreign capital was a prescription for being exploited by foreign corporations.

After a short subsequent spell on the staff of the Reserve Bank, Don set off for the ANU to do a PhD thesis further pursuing the question of whether foreign investment was really desirable. The outcome was a reversal of his earlier views and a study which underscored the benefits to Australia. Notable is the fact that this was published by Harvard.

It was at this point that Don launched into what was to become an outstanding career as an economist. His appointment to the elite Young Professionals Programme of the World Bank was another early indication of the qualities that others were quickly recognizing.

In the ensuing years, Don gained an enormous amount of experience and recognition at very high levels, including working closely with Lester Pearson on the Commission on International Development and in Robert McNamara’s staff department at the World Bank. At this point all indications were that he seemed set for a meteoric career in international development. But a young family and tempting offers from home drew him back to New Zealand and the banking sector.

His interest in politics was always latent, and in 1980 and 1981 he unsuccessfully contested the East Coast Bays electorate, ironically perhaps as a National candidate and even more ironically defeated by Social Credit.

His subsequent career took him through senior leadership roles in the corporate, export and banking sectors. While in every case Don distinguished himself, perhaps more notable was that these years were punctuated with a large number of committee appointments both under the Labour and National administrations. It was here that Don maintained a close interest in and detailed knowledge of public policy issues, across a wide spectrum of economic policy.

This included taxation in the rural sector, accrual taxation, taxation of life insurance, inflation accounting and the design of the GST. He still regards his role as chairman of the committee which designed New Zealand’s GST as one of his most important contributions to public policy in this country. His roles also extended to chairmanship of the Economic Monitoring Group, which provided independent advice to the government, and as a member of the Planning Council.

But from his career in economics, it is surely the 14 years as Governor of the Reserve Bank that must stand out as a major highlight. On his watch we saw the RBNZ pioneer a radically new approach to independence, become the first central bank in the world to formally adopt inflation targeting, and set up a new form of contractual relationship with government. But above all we saw the inflation rate come down and recall Don constantly contributing to the economic policy debate and reminding us of the pernicious and regressive effects of high inflation.

From the perspective of the Association, it is Don’s contribution to economic policy that alone establishes his claim for this award. This contribution is not only confined to the obvious field of monetary policy. It extends far more widely. When taken in conjunction with his contribution to tax policy, a freer trade policy, exchange rate policy and banking regulation, Don is surely a very worthy nominee for recognition by the Association as a Distinguished Fellow.

Grant M Scobie

Peter Lloyd awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Peter LloydWhen Professor Peter Lloyd was awarded his Distinguished Fellow’s award from the Australian Economic Society, the citation was co-authored by Max Corden (Corden and Jayasuriya (2006)). In trade research terms that is akin to a northern hemisphere economist being honoured by Jagdish Bhagwati or Harry Johnson. This immediately raises the issue as to why it has taken so long for our Association to honour this favourite son? There is no truth to the rumour that Peter has been semi-ignored because Australia has claimed him – just like Phar Lap and Russell Crowe (at least Anna Paquin had the sense to be claimed by Canada!). The truth is that our Distinguished Fellows Award is very new.

Peter is one of the best economists New Zealand has produced and certainly one of the two best international trade economists – his Festschrift is being published in two volumes. His work encompasses the full palette of theorist, empiricist and policy advisor to governments and international organisations around the world (WTO, UNCTAD, OECD and the World Bank). Professor Lloyd has had an illustrious career in the mould of the famous J.B. Condliffe.

Peter did not begin work as a customs official unlike some other famous trade economists. However, perhaps not coincidentally, Professor Lloyd did begin professional life at Statistics New Zealand, just like that other famous NZ trade economist, Condliffe. Care with data has been a hallmark of both of them. Indeed, if I might digress for a moment – Statistics NZ has a golden opportunity here for a new recruitment campaign featuring them both.

Peter was born in Manaia and completed his undergraduate and Masters degrees at Victoria University, and his Ph.D at Duke. Peter returned to Victoria University and subsequently held positions at Michigan State University, the Australian National University and finally the University of Melbourne – where he continues to work as an Emeritus Professor.

Professor Lloyd first gained international recognition for his work (sometimes with Grubel) on inter-industry trade in the early 1970’s. This work is one of the clearest demonstrations of the “Lloyd approach”. He carefully noted in the data that an increasing amount of Australian international trade was being conducted in intermediate goods – traded internationally between firms in the same industry. Peter then developed theory to explain such behaviour and followed that up by building a CGE model of inter-industry trade (with Whalley).

Here, as in many other areas, his research target was policy advice – trying to make a difference to our understanding of the real world. As Corden and Jayasuriya recount, Peter was not in the game of theory for its own sake. The other characteristic that is important in Professor Lloyd’s work is his meticulous approach to the data. Peter has a detailed understanding of where the data came from and the institutional environment that generated it – accordingly, he has an excellent understanding of what the data (and subsequent models) can and cannot tell you.

International trade and trade policy have been a key focus for Professor Lloyd and he is well known in policy circles for his long involvement in trade (and related) policy advice in an Asia-Pacific context. That has included extensive work on Australian and New Zealand issues, ANZCERTA, the WTO, APEC and many other arrangements.

Professor Lloyd has made a number of other important contributions to trade theory over the last thirty years and they are well summarised in a number of references (Corden and Jayasuriya, his Festschrift volumes edited by Jayasuriya (2005a and b) and his own volume, Lloyd, 1999.

His work has not been confined to trade, however, and Peter’s research has ranged very widely from production economics to the history of economic thought. Peter is a truly modern economist in the mathematical tradition.

For his many contributions to economics in the international and New Zealand professional arenas and his contributions to policy advice, Professor Peter Lloyd is a most deserving recipient of the award of Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

References

Corden, W. Max and Sisira Jayasuriya (2006). “Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Society of Australia, 2005: Peter Lloyd”. The Economic Record 82(256) 77-80.

Jayasuiya, Sisira (2005a). Trade Theory, Analytical Models and Development. Essays in honour of Professor Peter Lloyd. Volume 1. UK: Edward Elgar.

Jayasuiya, Sisira (2005b). Trade Policy Reforms and Development. Essays in honour of Professor Peter Lloyd. Volume 2. UK: Edward Elgar.

Lloyd, Peter (1999). International Trade Opening and the Formation of the Global Economy. Economists of the Twentieth Century Series. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Ralph Lattimore

John Gould awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

John Gould brought a new professionalism to the study and promotion of economic history in New Zealand. The New Zealand university economics curriculum had long had a component of economic history, and New Zealand economists in the first half of the twentieth century made serious and significant studies of history. John Gould, however, introduced a much stronger base of integration with international thinking in economic history itself. He did so without, as happened in some

European centres of economic history, losing the advantages of the earlier homespun linking of economic history with economics as a whole. While consistently denying that he is an economist, he used economic thinking to advance knowledge, taught economists the value of understanding the historical context in which they worked, and himself added to knowledge of important economic processes in both New Zealand and internationally.

John’s education in London and Bristol was extended by war service. His final examinations extended in the English manner to material studied several years earlier and separated by demanding military duties. That nevertheless provoked nothing more than a wry smile as he listened and responded with his characteristic deliberation and fairness to student complaints about the extension of examinations over a few weeks. He even retained his equanimity as he listened to complaints about two examination papers being scheduled on one day, having himself sat 10 papers in 5 days within an 8 day period.

John’s first employment was in what was then called “adult education”. He brought to it a social passion which has never been extinguished and which sometimes surprised colleagues who thought that his courteous manner and apparent caution were indicators of political conservativism. He also brought to it a scholarly insistence on enquiry and respect for empirical observation. Among his earliest publications was a careful study of exactly who was most likely to participate in university opportunities for mature students.

It was a post in Adult Education at the University of Auckland which brought John to New Zealand. However, he maintained his research in economic history. His first studies were in Tudor and Stuart economic history, involving many hours in libraries and archives, and focusing on locating and interpreting evidence which enabled one to discriminate among competing hypotheses about economies very different from modern ones. But there were links to modern economic thinking too – one of John’s early discoveries was that Thomas Mun’s England’s Treasure by Foreign Trade, an important precursor of the thought that came to dominate modern economics as the theory of comparative advantage, was written about 40 years earlier than commonly thought and owed a great deal to commercial experience in England in the 1620s. Most of the big discoveries in economics have come from studying the world with economic knowledge rather than from seeking to resolve puzzles in the literature. More generally, the institutional thinking which so strongly influenced economic theory from the 1970s onwards came as no surprise to those who were introduced by John to the economic history of Tudor and Stuart England. His work in the area culminated in his The Great Debasement (1970) which would still be enormously valuable to many who write about seignorage and inflation taxes. His insistence on clarifying different questions is exemplary.

So was the way he kept abreast of his discipline. While inclined to call himself a “steam-age” economic historian, his response to new applications of economic and statistical techniques was to assimilate their results into knowledge, recognising their merits and exploring their limitations. His “comment” on an early piece of econometric history, in which he relied on logic, arithmetic and respect for historical sources, was unanswerable. It was also positive in advancing knowledge, not destructive of innovatory techniques.

His continued research and growing reputation in economic history led to John’s transition in 1961 to a Senior Lectureship in Economics at Victoria University of Wellington. In 1963, when a second chair of Economics was established, he was appointed as New Zealand’s first Professor of Economic History. For over twenty years, he developed courses in economic history which served the subject itself and also kept it alive for economists, historians and others with an intelligent interest in human affairs. He also played significant administrative roles, eventually being a member of the University Grants Committee and then writing a history of its first 25 years, which gained added significance when those proved to be almost the same as the UGC’s last 25 years.

John’s scholarly interests turned towards New Zealand economic history and the international experience of economic growth. His acquaintance with the leading edge of scholarship in economic history, especially his expertise in combining theoretical constructs with documentary sources, enabled him to make significant advances in our understanding of how New Zealand grew economically. So we gained new knowledge about how pasture formation related to capital formation in the nineteenth century, and we learned a new perspective on how the distribution of landholdings related to both market incentives and political campaigns. While the “bursting-up of the Great Estates” as the triumph of certain politicians lives on in romantic nostalgia, scholarly knowledge was changed forever by John’s work. His article in the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand remains one of the best vehicles for distinguishing romanticism from historical reality in assessing the impact of the First Labour Government and his studies of The Rake’s Progress: The New Zealand Economy Since 1945 (1982) and The Muldoon Years (1985) will endure as informed and judicious analyses.

Although he always put New Zealand in its international context, John’s research interests also extended directly to experience elsewhere. His Economic Growth in History (1972) is a major achievement in bringing historical knowledge to bear on the major issue of the time, the experience of economic growth. It is essentially an application of the production function approach to the historical record and it can be seen as being in the tradition of Belshaw’s study of the consumption function and the earlier tradition of an interest by leading New Zealand economists in historical experience. But it is interesting to compare Economic Growth in History with Simon Kuznets Modern Economic Growth (1966), the culmination of Kuznets’ work on the empirical record of national income accounting over time, The Kuznets work is rightly celebrated but here is more sense of change over time in Economic Growth in History. It is a product of its time, and later developments have altered the balance of attention to be given to the decisions of producers relative to the choices of consumers, and to the responsibility of governments to manage risk relative to utilization of market instruments, but interest in Economic Growth in History will never be entirely confined to antiquarians.

In John’s study of both New Zealand economic history and the international experience of economic growth, migration was especially significant. He had both a personal and a professional interest in the process of migration. As always the professional dominated. John’s studies of migration were appropriately nuanced on questions such as whether receiving economies always benefited, but there was relatively little tension between personal and professional interests as he explored the motivations, mechanisms and consequences of international migration as a whole. His five linked articles in Journal of European Economic History constitute a monumental achievement.

Since his formal retirement, John has continued to research and publish on significant issues which attract his attention and interest. His work is always characterized by rigorous logic and careful observation. That remains true when venturing into an area which can be controversial and even incendiary such as how we define and measure the number of Maori and other issues of ethnicity.

John says that he has investigated and written about whatever interests him. He has also said that his first preference was to be a concert pianist but that he rightly accepted advice that he would have more material comfort in other pursuits. Nevertheless, he characteristically retained his skills as a pianist, and has recently combined his interests and skills by analyzing the repertoires of piano recitals in the nineteenth century.

We have benefited from John Gould’s wide interests and varied expertise and even more from his ability to bring them to bear on whatever interested him and which also contributed significantly to our understanding of New Zealand and its place in the world. John Gould is rightly acknowledged as a Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Gary Hawke

John McMillan awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE (d. 2007)

 

John McMillanI’m delighted to read this citation, largely written by John Gibson, for John McMillan, the Jonathan B. Lovelace Professor of International Management and Economics at Stanford University.

John McMillan has made major contributions to the international literature on applications of modern microeconomic theory. Especially prominent strands of his work focus on the economics of auctions, economic reform and transition, and the broader role of market institutions. His work has been influential in the design of policies that have raised billions of dollars for governments around the world through the auctioning of spectrum and other rights. His international standing in the profession is shown by his tenure as editor of the Journal of Economic Literature from 1997-2004.

Even with his international success, John has never forgotten his New Zealand roots. Throughout his career he has kept a close interest in local issues, and has been a frequent visitor to local economics departments, especially Canterbury, and a contributor to NZAE conferences. He also publishes on New Zealand issues, including recent work on the management of economic change, the rate of creative destruction in the economy, and, of course, the economics and strategy of rugby!

John’s contributions also show the importance of economics departments attracting outstanding students from other disciplines. After gaining a Junior Scholarship in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and English, he started in undergraduate Chemistry and Mathematics at Canterbury before making the Knights move into an MCom degree in Economics, which he completed with First Class honours in 1973. John then followed Richard Manning to the University of New South Wales where he completed his PhD in 1978. A series of papers on public goods, and especially public intermediate goods, resulted from this work.

After completing his PhD, John moved to the University of Western Ontario where he remained for almost a decade. He was soon joined there by Preston McAfee and a very successful collaboration began with a series of papers on auctions and bidding. Their JEL survey on this topic remains widely used, with over 400 citations in the last decade. Both authors, along with other theorists, were called in to provide advice on spectrum auctions, which is one of the outstanding policy applications of modern microeconomic theory.

The reforms in the centrally planned economies that began with the liberalization of agriculture in China in 1978 soon made their way on to John’s research agenda. Issues of asymmetric information and strategic behaviour that matter in auctions are even more important in reforming economies where weak institutions often fail to protect property rights. This phase of John’s research, carried out at both San Diego and Stanford, ultimately led to his popular book, Reinventing the Bazaar. Understanding why markets work well in many places, but badly in others, is a key to improved prosperity around the world. We can all be pleased that it is a question that continues to be asked by John McMillan, who is to become a Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

It’s especially pleasing and a great privilege for me who has known John as a student to honour him for his work. Economics at Canterbury had a strong focus on microeconomics with the arrival of Bert Brownlie in the Chair and it’s very gratifying that the bulk of John’s work is in this area. No less satisfying for me is to read his academic ventures into developing countries. Despite his considerable academic achievements, John McMillan remains the quintessential Kiwi bloke, modest and charmingly unassuming. As a student, he combined native brilliance with intellectual focus and curiosity. Not many would know that he was awarded the J B Condliffe scholarship as a student. It is fitting that we honour a man from Canterbury whose fame equals, if not surpasses, that of Condliffe, also a graduate of Canterbury and who was Professor of Economics at both Canterbury and Berkeley, California.

Frank Tay

Gary Hawke awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Gary HawkeGary Hawke’s distinction was apparent as a student in the Economics Department of Victoria University of Wellington in the early 1960s. The judgement of his VUW teachers that he was first class was endorsed when he was awarded a Doctorate in Philosophy at Oxford in 1968. He fortunately decided to return and pursue his academic career in New Zealand. He was rapidly promoted from Lecturer to Professor of Economic History at VUW between 1968 and 1974. Since then, his academic status has been reflected in visiting appointments at a number of leading overseas universities and learned institutions and membership of academic review committees of several Australian universities.

Professor Hawke’s publications are impressive in quantity, range and quality. His major publications include an excellent general economic history of New Zealand and important books on the history of the Reserve Bank and the National Bank. His emphasis on the importance of stronger links between economists and historians is reflected in the useful contribution he made to this objective in his Cambridge book on Economics for Historians.

Gary has used his strong academic base in economics and economic history to make major contributions to professional and public discussion of major issues of economic, social and educational policy in New Zealand over the last 25 years.

He played a leading role in the publications of the Economic Monitoring Group of New Zealand Planning Council in the early 1980s, and in other publications of that Council as its Chairman from 1986 to 1991. During his term, the Council promoted much useful research, publication and discussion, especially through its monitoring groups, on social, demographic and Maori issues, as well as on economic developments.

He made a major personal contribution to establishing the reputation of the Institute of Policy Studies as a centre worthy of outside support for independent research and informed discussion of public policy as its Director from 1987 to 1998. Under his leadership, with a very small core staff, that Institute produced a remarkable output of publications, conferences and seminars on most of the significant policy issues confronting New Zealand, such as public sector reform, taxation policy, regulatory management, education policy, the future of the welfare state and biculturalism. The newsletters of the IPS during his term as its Director demonstrate his remarkable capacity to distil the essence of the contributions made to academic and policy seminars and conferences.

Building on work that he began in the IPS on New Zealand’s relationships with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Gary has become well-known and respected throughout the region for his contributions to the work of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council and the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. He Is currently Chair of the New Zealand Committees of those organisations.

Professor Hawke has served Victoria University of Wellington with distinction, not only in research and teaching, but also in a variety of administrative positions, culminating in his appointment in 2002 as the foundation Head of the School of Government.

He also made a significant contribution to the development of the NZ Association of Economists in the mid-1970s, as a member of its Council and as Editor of New Zealand Economic Papers. His recognition as one of its Distinguished Fellows is well justified.

Frank Holmes

Lewis Evans awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Lewis EvansHow did a farm adviser on “technical and financial matters” become one of New Zealand’s finest academic economists; an economist who has published in top international journals and who has been involved centrally in domestic public policy issues?

Professor Lew Evans worked for five years as a farm adviser with the Department of Agriculture following his BAgrSc degree at Lincoln in the 1960s. After completing his Masters at Lincoln, he took the then relatively unusual step of departing New Zealand to study at a top US department, the University of Wisconsin. There he undertook an MA in Agricultural Economics, followed by an MS and PhD in Economics, in which he gained top honours awards.

Since graduation, he has been based chiefly at Victoria University of Wellington, where he was appointed Professor of Economics in 1988. In 1998 he established the New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation, attached to – but separate from – the university. The ISCR set a new benchmark for independent research organisations in this country. Under Lew Evans’s leadership, ISCR undertook high quality, non-aligned academic research targeted at a particular set of public policy issues. He attracted both private and public sector financial support as well as highly rated researchers.

Research produced by Professor Evans has played a key role in competition policy and in consideration of network economics issues within New Zealand. He has examined issues of competition policy, market dominance, mergers, contract design, performance measurement, investment evaluation, pricing and rental issues. His advice has covered a variety of sectors, including electricity, gas, telecommunications, dairy, railways, health, insurance and road transport.

The aim of ISCR was to conduct work capable both of informing public policy and of being published in reputable journals, thus passing a stern peer review test for quality. That he was successful in achieving the second leg (as well as the first) is apparent from Professor Evans’s publications in the field of “Firms, Markets and Law”. He has authored (or co-authored) 11 journal articles and book chapters in this field alone since 1999, many appearing in top journals of the field – both in economics and in law.

A mark of New Zealand economists, and of New Zealanders generally, is their ability to cover a range of subjects – we tend to be generalists rather than specialists. The publications section of Professor Evans’s CV covers “Finance”, “Econometrics: Theory and Applications”, “New Zealand: General Economics” as well as “Firms, Markets and Law”. In New Zealand terms, he is regarded as a specialist in each of these diverse fields.

I first became aware of Lew as a modeller. He co-supervised Gareth Morgan’s stunningly original PhD modelling thesis, a structural model with explicit dynamic disequlibria. Almost simultaneously, Lew (together with Graeme Wells) was researching and publishing in the then novel (and apparently ‘competing’) field of reduced form vector autoregressive models (VARs). This work built on his joint work with Graeme on causality testing (that had resulted in a paper in Journal of Econometrics as well as New Zealand Economic Papers). Within three years of Sims’ pathbreaking VAR paper, Evans and Wells had published a paper in Economics Letters on new methods of simulating VARs (“push-button” VAR packages were not then available!). They followed this paper with publications in Economic Record and Econometrica. It was extremely rare for any New Zealand economist, let alone one working still within New Zealand, to publish an Econometrica paper.

Across his fields of research, Professor Evans has published in other top-flight journals: Amercian Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, International Economic Review, Games and Economic Behaviour, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization, Canadian Journal of Economics, International Journal of Industrial Organisation, The Antitrust Bulletin, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Regulatory Economics, and Journal of Banking and Finance. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Economic Literature and Contemporary Economic Policy, and edited New Zealand Economic Papers from 1987-1989.

Few, if any, domestically-based New Zealand economists can match his prolific and highly-rated output. Yet Professor Evans has, and chooses to have, a low public profile. He is extraordinarily influential in the profession and behind the scenes in relevant policy institutions. He has proved to be an outstanding mentor and superviser for graduate students and younger colleagues. Ultimately, his research is driven by a search for knowledge rather than for some ideological or other purpose.

The pattern for this commendable approach was set in his early days, which takes us back to the question posed at the outset. While still employed as a farm adviser, Lew completed an MAgrSc at Lincoln. There, he studied under Bob Townsley (a PhD graduate from the highly rated Iowa State Agricultural Economics department). Townsley stimulated his student’s interest in, and appreciation of, the application of theory to real world issues. He provided the impetus for the young farm adviser to study for his own PhD.

While studying for his PhD at Wisconsin, Lew Evans was lucky enough to study under Art Goldberger who influenced him heavily. Professor Evans’s description of Goldberger’s qualities perfectly describes his own qualities and approach: “a wonderfully clear lecturer who took his teaching and the ‘pursuit of truth’ in teaching and research very seriously.” Fortunately for New Zealand, we are priveleged to continue to share Professor Evans’s insightful scholarship in all its forms.

Arthur Grimes

Brian Easton awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Brian EastonThis Distinguished Fellowship award is made to the most popular economist to the New Zealand public over the last thirty years. The only recognisable New Zealand economist to most people on the street would be Dr Brian Easton. For his long running Listener articles and the research that backed them up, Brian Easton is a most worthy recipient of this highest honour of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Brian Henry Easton was born in Christchurch and like many famous economists, first trained in mathematics (with an economics minor) at Canterbury. He graduated from Victoria University in economics in 1966 while working at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, an institution he would return to direct from 1981 to 1986. Brian lectured early in his career at the University of Sussex and for twelve years at Canterbury University.

Brian’s capacity to write fortnightly economics articles for the Listener for 27 years is a signal to his commitment to understand the New Zealand economic and social environment, and to publicly communicate on an extremely wide range of issues in both micro and macroeconomics. It points to his 27 page CV of research and consulting papers that underpinned his guest lectures, honorary fellowships, travel awards and public commentary in print, radio and television.

In 2003, the University of Canterbury awarded him the degree of Doctor of Science for his research on the political economy of New Zealand. Political economy was well chosen because Brian has never been restricted by the neo-classical paradigm like so many with this pedigree. He eclectically mixed the mainstream paradigm Keynesianism, Institutionalism and work from other social sciences.

In his twenty years since leaving NZIER, Brian has been an independent researcher, and economic commentator, while holding positions at one time or other in five of New Zealand’s universities, currently including an Adjunct Chair at the Institute for Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology. He has also held visiting fellowships at the University of Melbourne, where he was Richard Downing Research Professor, and Georgetown and Harvard Universities, as a Fulbright New Zealand Distinguished Visiting Fellow.

Brian published eight books on macroeconomics, public policy, and political economy. He edited or jointly wrote another four books and he has published over thirty research monographs and reports.

His research career started with income distribution, but it widened into areas of social policy, health economics, macroeconomics, economic growth, and history.

Much of Brian’s research began with what the numbers emanating from statistical offices really mean. Few can match his understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of New Zealand’s official statistics. Brian is a quantitatively oriented, applied economist – a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a Chartered Statistician – and he is on advisory committees to the Statistics New Zealand and The Treasury. He is currently the economist on the Growth and Innovation Board; the private sector advisors to the Prime Minister and Cabinet on the government’s economic policy.

For his engagement with the economics profession, with policy makers and with the public, Brain Easton is a very suitable candidate for the award of distinguished fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Peter Phillips awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Peter C B PhillipsPeter C B Phillips is an outstanding economist and econometrician.

Peter is in many ways a product of the New Zealand education system at its best. He was dux of Mt Albert Grammar School, and went to Auckland University with a scholarship. As might be expected, he won prizes in both mathematics and economics, but more telling was his decision to take Latin to fulfil the language requirement for an arts degree. Doing his masters, Peter was at Auckland when the economics department was strong, and he was especially fortunate to have as his thesis supervisor Rex Bergstrom – a unique teacher and researcher with the highest intellectual standards. The result of their collaboration was stylish piece of work, eventually published in Econometrica in 1972[1], the first of around 170 published articles Peter has produced to date[2].

The range of these is notable; for instance, in addition to the expected stream of technical pieces advancing the frontiers of econometrics, Peter has published poetry in Landfall[3]. But a special mention must be made of a charming reflective piece in 1994[4], where he muses about his life and the place of his family, in the guise of thinking about the day.

After this sound beginning, in 1971 Peter set off for the world, and the path has taken him via the London School of Economics (where he completed his PhD entitled “Problems in the Estimation of Continuous Time Models,” supervised by Denis Sargan) a teaching stint alongside Rex Bergstrom at the University of Essex. – where we worked on modelling the New Zealand economy together – through his first professorship at the University of Birmingham and on to the commanding heights of Yale’s Cowles Commission. He is now the Sterling Professor of Economics and Professor of Statistics at Yale University. In addition, he has been returning to New Zealand regularly for years and is University of Auckland: Alumni Distinguished Professor of Economics, as well as University of York: Adjunct Visiting Professor of Economics.

Peter is founding editor and a prolific contributor to Econometric Theory, where his wide ranging intellect and eager enthusiasm can be seen in a bewildering set of contributions from formal papers to interviews of eminent econometricians.

Peter’s awards and prizes are many, and it is hard to single several out for noting. But to select a few, we note particularly his election to membership of four distinguished scholastic bodies: the New Zealand Royal Society, the Econometric Society the American Statistical Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has won the New Zealand Royal Society medal in science and technology as well as the NZIER Qantas economist of the year. But I suspect that among his own preferences would be awards he has received as teacher of the year and advisor of the year from the Yale University Graduate Economics Club.

As this necessarily brief history and his awards suggest, but do not prove, Peter is much more than an outstanding technician; he is a lively and enthusiastic person who lives a full life and enjoys a variety of pursuits. He is indeed an fine individual to know, and a deserving distinguished fellow of the NZAE.

[1] The dissertation was “The Structural Estimation of Stochastic Differential Equation Systems,” and the published piece, “The Structural Estimation of a Stochastic Differential Equation System,” Econometrica, Vol. 40, No. 6, November 1972, pp. 1021-1041.

[2] See https://korora.econ.yale.edu/phillips/

[3] Making the present Auckland economics department surely unique locally in having two professors who have published in New Zealand’s leading literary magazine.

[4] “Reflections on the Day,” Journal of Economic Surveys, Vol. 8, No. 3, September 1994, 311-316.

John Yeabsley