NZESG - New Zealand Economic Study Group

Meeting 5 Report

Program Chairs: Peter C. B. Phillips and Jun Yu

This year’s winter meeting of the NZESG was held in Auckland on 24 July, 1999 and was hosted by the University of Auckland. The meeting involved a full day of sessions and was the fifth meeting of the Group. 12 papers were presented during a day which started at 9:30am and went on until 6:00pm. As in previous NZESG meetings, the papers covered a diverse range of theory and empirical topics and the formal discussions were of high quality. The papers also stimulated some intense and stimulating discussion from the floor, which, on one occasion, was so extensive that one paper overflowed into the following session. Although the winter meetings are generally smaller, we were delighted to have 27 participants in attendance overall, and a larger number for some sessions.

A special feature of the fifth meeting was the participation of some statisticians. Marco Reale, a statistician from the University of Canterbury, presented a paper dealing with the identification of VAR models using a graphical approach. Furthermore, as in the previous meeting held in Waikato, this meeting placed some emphasis on the New Zealand economy, with three papers specific to New Zealand data applications.

The Auckland meeting retained NZESG’s reputation for attracting international participation with papers and stimulating interaction from John Knight (University of Western Ontario), Jenny Lye (University of Melbourne), and Pierre Siklos (Wilfrid Laurier University), all first time attendees of NZESG.

In addition to organizing the presentation and discussion of econometric research, a General Meeting of NZESG was held. The first item of business was the Award of the A. R. Bergstrom Prize in Econometrics to Jun Yu, of the University of Auckland. The next item of business was an open discussion of the future of NZESG and organisation matters which could help the Group become self sustaining. There was an active floor participation throughout and it was resolved to continue the discussion via e-mail. The remainder of the meeting was devoted to discussing future venues and it was resolved to hold the next two meetings in Wellington and Canterbury, subject to the approval of the host institutions.

Overall, the Meetings were a great success for the Group. A congenial atmosphere prevailed throughout, with some high level formal discussions of the presented work and productive interactions in open session.

We continue to be eager to encourage additional participation in the NZESG from people within New Zealand and overseas. Any econometricians interested in attending NZESG and visiting New Zealand are invited to contact us and get on the NZESG mailing list to receive information about our future meetings. Within New Zealand, empirical economists and econometricians working in the academic, government and private sectors are encouraged to join our Group and participate in our activities. The NZESG Meetings offer a great opportunity for a wide range of involvement from anyone interested in empirical economic research in the New Zealand public and private Sectors. The NZESG meetings provide researchers with a chance to explain what they are doing to an informed group of interested professionals, get feedback on their work, meet visitors from overseas, and see some of the best young quantitative economists working in New Zealand.

Other activities of the NZESG (including contact addresses) can be obtained on the Auckland and Yale web sites at the following URL’s:

Special thanks go to NZESG’s institutional sponsors for their support of this meeting. We thank particularly the Department of Labour, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the University of Auckland, University of Canterbury, University of Otago, and Victoria University of Wellington.

The Conference Centre venue at the School of Architecture was superb and the fine weather was an additional bonus that helped all participants enjoy a very pleasant day in Auckland.

Peter C. B. Phillips and Jun Yu

28 July 1999