Dr Richard Meade

profile image

Senior Research Fellow

Phone: +64 9 972 4592

Email: richard.meade@aut.ac.nz


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Industrial Organisation and Regulation, Toulouse School of Economics, 2014
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil/DEEQA) in Economic Theory and Econometrics, Toulouse School of Economics, 2011
  • Master of Science (MSc/Master 2) in Economic Theory and Econometrics, Toulouse School of Economics, 2010
  • Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc (Hons)), First Class, in Statistics and Operations Research (with Economics and Finance), Victoria University of Wellington, 1991
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Statistics and Operations Research, Victoria University of Wellington, 1990
  • Bachelor of Commerce and Administration (BCA) in Economics and Finance, Victoria University of Wellington, 1989

Memberships and Affiliations:

Member, New Zealand Association of Economists, www.nzae.org.nz.
Member, Asia-Pacific Industrial Organisation Society, www.apios.org.au.
Member, European Association for Research in Industrial Economics, www.earie.org.
Vice President Auckland, Law & Economics Association of New Zealand www.leanz.org.nz.
Member, New Zealand Institute of Forestry, www.nzif.org.nz.


Richard originates from Wellington, where he graduated with degrees in economics and finance, and statistics and operations research. He began investment banking in 1992, specialising in mergers and acquisitions, privatisations, and valuation. Since 1992 he has also advised numerous iwi on Treaty settlements. Richard is Principal of economic consultancy, Cognitus, which he founded in 2002. Through Cognitus he services public, private and Maori organisations in a wide range of sectors.

Richard was a Research Principal at the New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation, to which he was associated over 2001-2011. His research there focused on the organisation and regulation of sectors such as electricity and agriculture, as well as climate change policy. He regularly presented on these themes at academic workshops and conferences, and to policy-oriented public audiences. Over this time Richard also lectured in finance, corporate governance and Maori governance at Victoria University of Wellington.

In 2014 Richard completed his PhD in Industrial Organisation and Regulation at Toulouse School of Economics, after enjoying five years in France. He lives in Auckland with his wife and three children, and keenly enjoys badminton, electric guitar, photography, things French, and wine.

Teaching Areas:

Industrial organisation
Environmental economics
Corporate finance

Research Areas:

  • Industrial organisation
  • Empirical industrial organisation
  • Regulation
  • Competition/antitrust
  • Contract theory/theory of incentives
  • Institutional economics

Research Summary:

Richard applies the theory and empirical tools of industrial organisation and contracting to problems of industry organisation, regulation and antitrust. He focuses on utility sectors such as electricity, gas and water, but increasingly also on other sectors (e.g. banking, social services).

Richard’s empirical focus is on both performance evaluation and discrete choice demand estimation. The former examines how different forms of ownership affect incentives and the resulting trade-offs between multiple objectives. Applications include utility regulation, and benchmarking in other sectors with multiple objectives (e.g. social services, Maori organisations).

Discrete choice demand estimation predicts consumer behaviour based on product and consumer characteristics. It enables the estimation of demand for new or existing products, price elasticities across products, willingness to pay for product attributes, and welfare (e.g. for merger analysis).

Richard aims to produce research that is grounded in theory and empirics, but which is also valuable for policy and business decisions.

Current Research Projects:

Richard is currently refining theoretical and empirical papers for publication regarding how customer ownership affects incentives and trade-offs in various sectors. This includes the trade-off between cost and quality in utilities such as electricity, gas or water distributors. It also includes the trade-off between deposit rates, loan rates and loan ratios in banking, involving discrete choice demand estimation.

He is also completing a theoretical paper for publication on the pro-competitive effects of forward contracting. His work shows that forward trading enables downstream firms in a vertical industry (such as electricity, gas or gasoline) to engage in strategic forward overbuying. This can be used to combat a raising rivals’ costs strategy exercised by vertically integrated rivals.


In 2017 Richard intends to attend and present at industrial organization, energy and applied microeconomics conferences, workshops and seminars in New Zealand, Australia and Europe.

As in 2015 and 2016, he expects to be hosted by University of Gothenburg in Sweden, while working on papers with one of his co-authors, Magnus Söderberg. He might also work with Magnus while he is visiting at University of Adelaide.

Throughout the year he will be organising public seminars on behalf of the Law & Economics Association of New Zealand (LEANZ), of which he is Vice President, Auckland. Richard is also organising public and private presentations in March by Professor Justus Haucap of Dusseldorf University, who is LEANZ’s 2017 Friedlander Visiting Scholar.


Selected working papers:
  • Utility Firm Performance with Heterogeneous Quality Preferences and Endogenous Ownership, with Magnus Söderberg (University of Gothenburg), December 2016. In submission.
  • Welfare Costs of Coordinated Infrastructure Investments: The Case of Competing Transport Modes, with Arthur Grimes (Motu), December 2016. In submission.
  • U.S. Savings Banks' Demutualization and Depositor Welfare, with Mattia Girotti (Bank of France), November 2015. 
  • Incentives, Efficiency and Quality in Regulated Monopolies under Customer Ownership, July 2014.  
  • Strategic Forward Overbuying as a Counterstrategy against Raising Rivals’ Costs, May 2014.
  • The Effects of Vertical Integration, Forward Trading and Competition, on Investment and Welfare, in an Imperfectly Competitive Industry, September 2011.
  • Vertical Integration and Market Power in Electricity Markets, with Seamus Hogan, February 2007.
  • Real Options and Transmission Investment: The New Zealand Grid Investment Test, with Glenn Boyle and Graeme Guthrie, February 2006.
Journal articles:
  • “Structural Separation versus Vertical Integration: Lessons for Telecommunications from Electricity Reforms”, with Howell, B. and S. O’Connor, Telecommunications Policy, 34(7), August, 2010, 392-403.
  • “Intra-Country Regulation of Share Markets: Does One Size Fit All?", with G. Boyle, European Journal of Law and Economics, 25, 2008, 151-165.
  • “Valuing the Impact of Climate Change Policies on Forestry”, New Zealand Journal of Forestry, 51(1), May, 2006, 14 – 18.
  • Forest Valuation under Carbon Pricing: A Real Options Approach, with Fiuza, G., Lu, A., Boyle, G. and L. Evans, VDM Verlag, 2009, 190pp.
  • Alternating Currents or Counter-Revolution? Contemporary Electricity Reform in New Zealand, with L. Evans, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2005, 346pp.
Book chapters:
  • “Comparison of Long-Term Contracts and Vertical Integration in Decentralised Electricity Markets”, with S. O’Connor, in Competition, Contracts and Electricity Markets: A New Perspective, Glachant, J.-M., Finon, D. and A. De Hauteclocque (eds.), Edward Elgar, 2011.
  • “Electricity Investment and Security of Supply in Liberalized Electricity Systems”, in Development of Electricity Markets, Series: The European power supply industry, W. Mielczarski (ed.), Technical University of Łódż, 2005.
  • Economic Analysis of Financial Transmission Rights (FTRs) With Specific Reference to the Transpower Proposal for New Zealand, with L. Evans, New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation, 2001.
Commissioned studies:
  • Ownership of Tertiary Education Institutions, with B. Howell, for the New Zealand Productivity Commission, September 2016.
  • GPS User Preferences Exploratory Work, with L. Cheung, examination of how to apply discrete choice demand analysis using travel survey data to estimate transport users' willingness to pay for non-price transport attributes, for the New Zealand Ministry of Transport, July 2016.
  • Regulation 2025: Spectrum of Regulatory Responses, with L. Evans, research report prepared for the New Zealand Ministry of Transport, surveying regulatory approaches and rationales, July 2015.
  • Economics of Social Services, technical appendix prepared for the New Zealand Productivity Commission, providing a microeconomic framework for analysing how best to organise social service delivery, with an emphasis on the theories of incomplete and complete contracting, 2015.
  • Optimal Ownership of an Electricity Lines Business (and Possibly Other Network Infrastructure Assets) in an Urbanising New Zealand Rural Area, for the New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation, 2010.
  • Forest and Forest Land Valuation – How to Value Forests and Forest Land to Include Carbon Costs and Benefits, with Fiuza, G. and Lu, A., and the assistance of Boyle, G. and L. Evans, for the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 2008.
  • Maori Impacts from the Emissions Trading Scheme: Detailed Analysis and Conclusions, with C. Insley, for the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment, 2008.
  • The Effect of Industry Structure and Institutional Arrangements on Growth and Innovation in the New Zealand Agriculture Sector, with L. Evans, for the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 2007.
  • The Role and Significance of Cooperatives in New Zealand Agriculture: A Comparative Institutional Analysis, for the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, with L. Evans, 2005.
  • Economic Appraisal of Minister of Commerce’s Arguments for Making a Declaration regarding Unlisted under section 36D of the Securities Markets Act 1988, for Efficient Market Services Ltd (trading as Unlisted), with G. Boyle, 2005.
Selected conference or other papers/presentations:
  • Using Choice Modelling to Measure Transport User Preferences, presented at the Transport Knowledge Conference 2016: Customer Focused Transport, Wellington, November 2016.
  • Infrastructure Investments across Competing Freight Modes: Implications of Upstream and Downstream Cost-Reducing Investments, presented to the Government Economics Network (GEN), at the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE), Wellington, August 2016.
  • Comparison of Long-Term Contracts and Vertical Integration in Decentralised Electricity Markets, with S. O’Connor, invited paper, LARSEN/EUI workshop “Efficiency, Competition and Long Term Contracts in Electricity Markets”, Florence, 2009.
  • Demarcating Electricity Sector Regulation and Competition Policy over Time: The Efficiency of Institutional Change, 31st IAEE International Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, 2008.
  • The Multinationalisation of New Zealand Agri-Businesses: Drivers, Implications, Issues and Opportunities, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society 52nd Annual Conference, Canberra, Australia, 2008.
  • Vertical Integration and Market Power in Electricity Markets, with S. Hogan, 30th IAEE Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, 2007.
  • Effect of Changes in Regulatory Quality on Electricity Line Investment and Reliability in New Zealand, 29th IAEE International Conference, Potsdam, Germany, 2006.
  • Ownership vs. Regulation in Electricity Reform: The Role of Governance, “The European Electricity Market EEM-05: Challenge of the Unification” conference, Lodz, Poland, 2005.
  • Decentralization and Re-centralization of Electricity Industry Governance in New Zealand, “The European Electricity Market EEM-04: Challenge of the Unification” conference, Lodz, Poland, 2004.


  • Best Paper Award in Economics, 3rd BPF PhD Camp, ESCP Europe, 2014
  • Victoria University of Wellington Money and Finance Association Scholarship, 1991
  • Reserve Bank of New Zealand Scholarship, 1990 – Economics
  • Reserve Bank of New Zealand Scholarship, 1990 – Accounting
  • Victoria University of Wellington Senior Scholarship, 1990
  • Deloitte Ross Tohmatsu Prize, 1990 – Financial Statement Analysis
  • Jarden Morgan Scholarship, 1989 – Finance
  • Price Waterhouse Scholarship, 1989
  • South Pacific Merchant Finance Prize, 1989 – Financial Policy and Management
  • Martin Jarvie Underwood and Hall Prize, 1989 – Information Systems
  • Makower McBeath and Co. Ltd. Staff Prize, 1986 – Economics