Research in economics

Economics research at the AUT Business School covers a broad range of areas, from mathematical decision theory to economic history, but has a particular focus on applied research that is informed by data. Much of our work is empirical, and our academics are actively engaged with many aspects of public policy. We also have strong links with the New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI).

Our academic staff have expertise in the following areas:

  • Monetary policy and inflation expectations
  • Forecasting of macroeconomic variables
  • Climate change policy
  • New Zealand economic history
  • International trade economics
  • Tax system design
  • Policy evaluation
  • Measurement of productivity
  • Competition policy
  • Measurement of well-being
  • Behavioural economics

Our research

Measuring the persistence of technical inefficiency among New Zealand District Health Boards

(Antony Andrews)
Using Bayesian Dynamic Stochastic Frontier models, this study investigates the degree of efficiency in New Zealand hospitals. This study will inform policymakers on appropriate strategies that might be helpful in raising efficiency performance of hospitals.

Measuring inequality with geospatial data

(Jaqueson Galimberti)
An important challenge in studying economic inequality is limited data availability, which is particularly problematic for developing countries. This project proposes a new measure of inequality constructed by merging information from global geospatial datasets on night-time lights and gridded population.

Astrology and firms’ decisions

(Jaqueson Galimberti & Saten Kumar)
What determines firms’ investment decisions? Economic theory points to a key role for expectations of future profits and macroeconomic conditions, but what drives these expectations? This project surveys New Zealand firms about the role of astrological consultations in their investment decisions.

Online prices and expectations formation

(Saten Kumar)
Using three years data on daily online prices, this project will explore the price setting mechanisms in online markets. A sample of firms will be surveyed to understand how they form their expectations.

Design of optimal voting rules

(Matthew Ryan)
Different voting rules generate different collective decisions. For example, innocent defendants are more likely to be convicted if conviction requires unanimity rather than a simple majority. This project examines the impact of voting rules on decision quality using laboratory experiments.

The economic impacts of Covid-19

(Rahul Sen)
Estimation of the economic impacts of Covid-19 on Asia-Pacific economies, including New Zealand, by applying general equilibrium modelling and policy simulations. The project will analyse the economy-wide and sector-specific effects of the pandemic in both the short-term and long-term.

Earnings losses of bereaved parents: New Zealand evidence on the impact of youth suicide

(Peer Skov)
Existing empirical research shows long-lasting effects on bereaved parents, including increased risk of divorce and weaker labour market attachment. This project augments this literature by focusing specifically on the effects of youth suicide on parental labour supply in New Zealand.

Determinants of income inequality in developed countries: Does globalization matter?

(Sadhana Srivastava)
An empirical study using panel co-integration analysis for a group of OECD member countries to understand the long-run impact of globalization on OECD members across different geographical regions over the period 1970-2016.

Monetary Policy, Investment and firm heterogeneity

(Philip Vermeulen)
Through what channels does monetary policy affect firm investment? In this project the heterogeneity of the reaction of firm investment to monetary policy shocks is used to identify the different channels through which monetary policy operates

Climate policy analysis

(Niven Winchester)
Development of an economy-wide model linked to a distributional impacts module to evaluate climate policies. The tool suite will be used by the Climate Change Commission and other government agencies to recommend policies to meet New Zealand’s climate goals

Prominent recent publications

  • Berardi, M., & J.K. Galimberti (2017). Empirical calibration of adaptive learning. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 144, 219-237. [A*]
  • Brooke, G., & L. Cheung (2019). An empirical analysis of competition in print advertising among paid and free newspapers, Economic Record, 95(310), 325-342. [A]
  • Buca A. & P. Vermeulen (2017). Corporate Investment and bank-dependent borrowers during the recent financial crisis, Journal of Banking and Finance, 78(C), 164-180. [A*]
  • Coibion, O., Y. Gorodnichenko, & S. Kumar (2018). How do firms form their expectations? New survey evidence, American Economic Review, 108, 2671-2713.  [A*]
  • Coibion, O., Y. Gorodnichenko, S. Kumar & M. Pedemonte (2020). Inflation expectations as a policy tool? Journal of International Economics, 124, Article 103297. [A*]
  • Das, S.B., R. Sen & S. Srivastava (2017). A partial ASEAN customs union post 2015? Singapore Economic Review, 62(3), 593-617. [B]
  • Galimberti, J.K. (2020). Forecasting GDP growth from outer space, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, in press. [A]
  • Galimberti, J.K. (2019) .An approximation of the distribution of learning estimates in macroeconomic models, Journal of Economic Dynamics & Control, 102, 29-43. [A*]
  • Gillitzer, C., & P.E. Skov (2018). The use of third-party information reporting for tax deductions: evidence and implications from charitable deductions in Denmark. Oxford Economic Papers, 70(3), 892-916. [A]
  • Kreiner, C.T., D. Reck & P.E. Skov (2020). Do lower minimum wages for young workers raise their employment? Evidence from a Danish discontinuity, Review of Economics and Statistics, 102(2), 339-354. [A*]
  • Jiang, N., & A. Andrews (2020). Efficiency of New Zealand's district health boards at providing hospital services: A stochastic frontier analysis. Journal of Productivity Analysis, 53, 53-68. [A]
  • Anchugina, N., M. Ryan & A. Slinko (2019). Mixing discount functions: Implications for collective time preferences, Mathematical Social Sciences, 102, 1-14. [A]
  • Ryan, M. (2018). Uncertainty and binary stochastic choice, Economic Theory, 65(3): 629-662. [A*]
  • Vermeulen, P. (2018). How fat is the top tail of the wealth distribution? Review of Income and Wealth, 64(2), 357-387. [A]
  • Winchester, N. & J.M. Reilly (2020). The economic and emissions benefits of engineered wood products in a low-carbon future, Energy Economics, 85, Article 104596. [A*]
  • Winchester, N. & K. Ledvina (2017). The impact of oil prices on bioenergy, emissions and land use, Energy Economics, 65, 219-227. [A*]
  • School of Economics staff have editorship roles at Foreign Trade Review, History of Economics Review, Journal of Global Economic Analysis, Journal of Happiness Studies, and New Economics Papers on Econometric Time Series. :

The School of Economics also operates a Working Paper Series that publishes research by staff and postgraduate students in the School and the NZWI.

International collaborations and engagement

We have extensive connections with international and domestic institutions. Significant collaborations and engagements include:

  • Jaqueson Galimberti is a Research Associate at the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis at the Australian National University, and a Research Fellow at the KOF Swiss Economic Institute at ETH Zurich.
  • Saten Kumar is an Affiliate at the National Bureau of Economic Research NBER Affiliate, a Visiting Fellow at the University of Californian at Berkeley, a Visiting Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, and has strong links with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Reserve Bank of Australia
  • Rahul Sen represents the School of Economics in the United Nations’ Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network and is an Honorary Advisor for Infinite Sum Modeling Inc.
  • Stephanié Rossouw is co-creator of the Gross National Happiness Index for New Zealand, Australia and South Africa; and Vice-President of the Finance International Society for Quality of Life Studies.
  • Niven Winchester is a Principal at Vivid Economics, a Senior Fellow at Motu Economic & Public Policy Research, a Research Collaborator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has strong links with the Climate Change Commission and the Ministry for the Environment.

Contact us

Malliga Rassu
School Co-ordinator
Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext 5057

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