When 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.
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.