NZESG - New Zealand Economic Study Group

Meeting 22 Report

The 22nd Meeting of the New Zealand Econometric Study Group (NZESG), 23-24 February 2012, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Wellington

The 22nd Meeting of the New Zealand Econometric Study Group (NZESG) was held at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in Wellington on Thursday 23 – Friday 24 February 2012. The meeting was hosted and supported by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Victoria University of Wellington School of Economics and Finance.

Professor Peter Phillips (Yale University, The University of Auckland, University of Southampton and Singapore Management University), Dr Leo Krippner (Reserve Bank of New Zealand), and Dr Yiğit Sağlam (Victoria University of Wellington) composed the Programme Committee. The NZESG Awards Committee consisted of the former two members and Professor Alfred Haug (University of Otago).

Continuing the tradition established since its founding in February 1997, the Meeting mixed a wide range of theoretical and applied econometric topics into a two day, 24 paper programme. The eight sessions included Time Series Methods and Applications, Diagnostics and Testing, Macroeconomic Applications, Time Series Methods, Assorted Methods and Applications, Bayesian and Copula Methods, Assorted Applications, and Monetary Policy Applications. Participants numbered around 30, with domestic participants from New Zealand universities and policy institutions, a strong contingent from Australia, and other international participants from Canada, the Philippines, and Singapore. The Meeting also retained the single stream of presentations with a discussant assigned to each paper, but this time in 25 minute slots. Comments from the floor were collegial and thought-provoking for all, with the usual encouragement and support for emerging researchers.

This year, six presenters were eligible for the RBNZ-NZESG Awards, which are financially supported by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and awarded on the basis of the research presented at the meeting and the quality of the candidates’ presentations, including the discussions. The overall standard of presentations was high and, after much deliberation, joint Awards were made to Isabelle Sin (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research) and Ping Yu (University of Auckland). Isabelle’s paper “Book Translations as Idea Flows: The Effects of the Collapse of Communism on the Diffusion of Knowledge” used novel data on 800,000 translations in conjunction with difference-in-differences regressions to estimate the various ways the end of Communism in Eastern Europe altered international translation patterns. The results help us to understand how institutions shape the international diffusion of knowledge, a longstanding and important topic. Ping’s paper “Identification in Regression Discontinuity Designs with Measurement Error” investigated how different combinations of the nature of the forcing variable in experimental design and its measurement error can influence the identification and bias when evaluating treatment effects. The theoretical asymptotic analysis was supported by Monte Carlo results.

The organizers received very positive feedback on the quality of the programme, the organization of the meeting, and the ambience and interactions at Monsoon Poon for the conference dinner. Even the Wellington weather came to the party, shaking off a wet and windy start to the conference for a fine contribution to pleasant waterfront walking in the evening.

The next meeting of NZESG will be held in Auckland in 2013, hosted by Dimitri Margaritis and colleagues at the University of Auckland.