NZESG - New Zealand Economic Study Group

Meeting 24 Report

The 24th Meeting of the New Zealand Econometric Study Group (NZESG), 20-21 February, 2014, The Waikato Management School

The 24th Meeting of the New Zealand Econometric Study Group (NZESG) was held over 20-21 February 2014, hosted by the Department of Economics at the Waikato Management School, University of Waikato. Programme Chairs for the Meeting were Professor Peter Phillips (Sterling Professor of Economics and Professor of Statistics at Yale University and Distinguished Alumnus Professor, University of Auckland), and Professor Les Oxley (Professor of Economics, WMS).

The workshop has retained its unique features of a single stream of 20 minute presentations each followed by a formal 5 minute discussant session, and engaging audience participation in 5 minutes of questions and answers. Participation this year numbered around 32 with 5 additional attendees that were not presenting. Interest in this workshop continues to grow. The 24th Meeting attracted delegates from many overseas countries including Australia, Japan, Indonesia, USA, as well as having a strong New Zealand presence.

Twenty-six papers were presented over seven sessions, with themes covering a wide range of topics including healthcare, economic and financial bubbles, economic impacts, stochastic modelling, meta-analysis, total factor productivity and Monte Carlo simulations. According to longstanding practice, all papers received comments both from a formal discussant and from the floor. This tradition of the Meetings is widely accepted as a major strength and is a valuable feature with all comments from the floor being put forward and discussed in a collegial manner.

As has been the case in previous years, emphasis was placed on encouraging and supporting the achievements of emerging researchers. This year five students were eligible for the RBNZ-NZESG Awards. The Award is based on research presented at the meeting and the quality of the presentation, including discussion. This year’s Awards Committee consisted of Prof Peter Phillips, Prof Les Oxley, Prof Alfred Haug (University of Otago), Dr John McDermott (RBNZ) and Prof Stan Hurn (Queensland University of Technology).

The quality of the presentations and content was high with a varying range of interesting topic areas. Somi Shin, PhD student (graduating in April), Massey University and Mr Ivan Indriawan, PhD Student, Auckland University of Technology were presented with the 'NZESG Research Awards' for 2014, generously sponsored by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Somi Shin’s paper, focussed on how health care providers in New Zealand responded to the system reform that reintroduced a capitation scheme, which pays the providers a fixed amount per each enrollee, regardless of the actual usage. Somi Shin’s study results indicate that sicker patients are less likely to be treated by high-skilled providers since the reform and it also covers the movement of patients between providers depending on their severity of illness and location. Ivan Indriawan’s paper, co-authored with Prof Bart Frijins and Prof Alireza Tourani-Rad of Auckland University of Technology examined the impact of macroeconomic news announcements on price discovery of Canadian cross-listed stocks. Their results suggest that there is a difference in information-processing capability of the two markets, with the US market being better at processing information than the Canadian market during macroeconomic news announcements. These were both excellent presentations which were followed by thoughtful and well balanced discussions.

The organisers received strong positive feedback on the programme, the organisation of the meeting and the atmosphere within which the meeting was held. The 25th meeting of the Group is planned for February 2015.