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Research projects in economics

Motivated by the importance of conducting inference in statistically adequate models, we focus on misspecification testing of alternative functional forms of their empirical model of capital flows. We show that their resolution of the Paradox relies on inference in a misspecified model. Competitive balance CB , how evenly teams are matched, is a central concept in the economic analysis of sports leagues. Several recent influential empirical studies have used simple models to attempt to identify the fundamental factors that underpin long-term growth and development.

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This empirical literature is characterised by the ingenious nature of many of the instruments used. However, scepticism remains about their ability to provide a valid basis for causal inference. This research examines the extent to which more emphasis on the statistical dimensions of selecting instrumental variables, through consideration of the statistical adequacy of the implicit reduced form, can usefully complement economic theory as a basis for assessing instrument choice.

Using panel time-series data for 26 industries over the period , this study examines the average effect of information and technology IT capital on labour productivity growth in New Zealand.

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Unlike the majority of the literature on the productivity effects of IT, the estimation and testing methods adopted allow for heterogeneous relationships between IT and labour productivity across industries, unobserved industry common factors and cross-section dependence, as well as non-stationary time-series properties of the data. Theoretical and micro-level studies suggest that improved health status has a positive effect on productivity.

However, recent work by Acemoglu and Johnson argues that, even though health improvements may directly enhance welfare, their effect on economic growth at the aggregate level does not significantly increase per capita income. This research project analyses different aspects of the two-way aggregate relationship between improvements in health status and economic growth using cross-section, time-series and panel data methods.

We hypothesise that where there is a greater sense of self-determination, or empowerment, that this will have positive health and happiness benefits.

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We believe this sense of empowerment can be captured by the entrepreneurial environment and the level of corruption that exists in that nation. We further hypothesise that happiness — which economists and others with interests in social policy are increasingly treating as an important economic outcome — will also be positively affected by this sense of empowerment.

For this study, we use a larger data set covering more than countries over the period to , and include data on different measures of health, well-being and happiness. War, terrorism and other catastrophic events such as the Chernobyl disaster are all found to have significant adverse effects on individual wellbeing. It has already been shown that terrorist attacks affect trust, stress level and well-being. Other unexpected catastrophic events include earthquakes which can be expected to affect individual well-being.

We take a social determinants of health perspective, paying particular attention to political and economic freedom, civil rights, economic justice and social capital as potential contributors to enhanced resilience, while controlling for more conventional determinants such as GDP, education and availability of health services. Health workers from overseas play a critical role in health service provision in NZ.

Specifically, the changing demography of NZ and many other developed nations has created a growing demand for elderly care workers. This demand is projected to significantly increase over time in correlation with the ageing population. How it will be met is critical to regional healthcare providers and government agencies who will need to contend with intensified demand on the system from the baby boomer generation. This study looks closely at the employment and retention mechanisms of overseas-born caregivers in the institutional elderly care sector in New Zealand NZ using both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies with the end goal of identifying some feasible solutions that Japan can adopt to address its serious labour shortage in this sector.

NZ has seen a growing reliance on overseas-born caregivers even without formally opening its labour market to them. Such move has both positive such as alleviating shortage and providing work to migrants and negative for example, high turn-over rate for caregivers, limited caregiving skills impacts in the elderly care sector.


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This study contributes to the literature by providing an empirical investigation of migrant elderly care workers from the perspectives of stepwise migration and migrant integration. Despite remarkable economic progress in India, aggregate female labour force participation rate still show a declining trend since the late s.

Traditional explanations such as decreasing fertility rates, rising wages and education levels could not completely explain this trend in female labour force participation. This study explores both the labour demand and supply side aspects in order to determine the cause of the decline in the female labour force participation rate in India.

This study explores the social and economic vulnerability of Filipino migrant communities in New Zealand and Japan following the Canterbury earthquakes in and the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami in We compare the 1 demographic, social and economic characteristics of migrants who stayed to help in the rebuild and recovery efforts in the disaster-struck areas and discuss the 2 self-help and mutual support coping strategies in post-disaster and recovery stages in Japan and New Zealand.

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Read Arlene's Staff Profile. The economic theory of regulatory capture predicts that industry groups will attempt to influence their regulators for example, by lobbying for rules that exclude competition. It has been suggested that the same logic applies to any powerful institution with the ability to affect industry profits. We demonstrate the empirical relevance of the phenomenon with a discussion of the food industry response to the obesity epidemic.

This paper places the modern spread of diet-related chronic disease in the United States within the context of more than a century of innovation in food processing technology, discovery in nutrition science, and corrective policy measures aimed at improving public health. We ask whether the current state of affairs represents a market failure, and—if so—what might be done about it. The appropriate policy response to such situations namely, verifiable quality standards is well known, but such policies are likely in the short run to reduce profits for existing large industrial producers of food.

This literature has been limited in the past by a lack of reliable measures of economic insecurity. In this paper we use the newly developed Economic Security Index to explain changes in U.

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Read Trent's Staff Profile. We take advantage of an unusual house-sales data set to estimate the short-run effects on sale prices and long-run effects on house and neighbourhood characteristics of local variation in natural and historical amenities. With funding from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology we take an inter-disciplinary approach to gain insight into householder decision-making with respect to adoption of energy efficient space and water heating technologies and practices. With funding from a University of Otago research grant we measured heating efficiency and improvements in a sample of houses that sold in The householders completed a choice modelling exercise to provide data for estimation of demand parameters.

This paper studies the impact of the industrialization of China on the U. A comparison of the predictions of open and closed economy models suggests that a common explanation of de-industrialization in the literature, which is based on increased productivity in industry relative to services in a closed economy setting, is not compelling. Counterfactual experiments show that if the Chinese economy had experienced productivity in industry equal to that of the U. The higher the elasticity of substitution between home and foreign industrial goods is the more accelerated structural transformation in the U.

The growth revival of the Sub-Saharan African SSA economy since the early s, following a long torpor, is now well known. What is less known is whether this growth path has translated into a gradual process of convergence to the U. With the benefit of major upgrades in the source data, we employ well—tested and familiar methods in the development literature to sort out the quantitative importance of the fundamentals behind the process of convergence.

While the SSA growth resurgence has triggered local pride, foreign envy, and enthusiasm from international policy makers, our results suggest a more sober tone. At the aggregate level, per capita income and labor productivity levels in relative to the U. Relative factor input endowments constitute the primary force that impedes SSA relative labor productivity—a major departure from conventional wisdom. While the story from the sectoral level remains broadly consistent with the one obtained at the aggregate level, additional insights emerge.

These include disproportionately lower relative levels of sectoral labor productivity that led to a considerably slow and atypical process of structural transformation. Although relative intersectoral labor productivity gaps have been reduced, sources of allocative inefficiency remain large. The provision of public infrastructure is often characterized by unexpected delays in implementation and escalation of costs, both in developed and developing countries.

In this paper, we analyse the consequences of time and cost overruns associated with the provision of public infrastructure in the context of a growing economy.

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Our results indicate that these delays generate too much consumption and too little private investment relative to the first-best optimum. We also show that the presence of unanticipated delays in the provision of public capital not only lowers equilibrium growth, but also leads to a diverging growth path relative to that implied by the canonical model without delays.

This suggests that delays in public capital provision may be a determinant of cross-country differences in income and economic growth. Central bank communication has changed dramatically over the last decades. This paper develops a new approach to identify and quantify the effects of central bank communication on asset prices and the real economy.

We use Twitter data to identify monetary policy announcements. Using tweets by the Federal Reserve Board we show that announcements significantly affect asset prices: they flattened the yield curve over the time span from to We then estimate a mixed-frequency VAR to identify real effects of central bank communication.


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  8. This paper establishes a causal link between labour market frictions and financial market frictions. We present empirical evidence about the relation between search and financial frictions. We argue that this link, being negative from to , had large effects on labour market outcomes and helps to explain the jobless recovery.