6,014 results for Scholarly text

  • Fertility and HIV risk in Africa

    Yao, Yao (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper examines the role of social and cultural norms regarding fertility in women’s HIV risk in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fertility, or the ability to bear children, is highly valued in most African societies, and premarital fertility is often encouraged in order to facilitate marriage. This, however, increases women’s exposure to HIV risk by increasing unprotected premarital sexual activity. I construct a lifecycle model that relates a woman’s decisions concerning sex, fertility and education to HIV risk. The model is calibrated to match Kenyan women’s data on fertility, marriage and HIV prevalence. Quantitative results show that fertility motives play a substantial role in women’s, especially young women’s, HIV risk. If premarital births did not facilitate marriage, the HIV prevalence rate of young women in Kenya would be one-third lower. Policies that subsidize income, education, and HIV treatment are evaluated. I find that education subsidy would reduce young women’s HIV risk most effectively by raising the opportunity cost of premarital childrearing.

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  • Higher education expansion, economic reform and labor productivity

    Yao, Yao (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper studies the impact of higher education expansion, along with economic reform of the state sector, in the late 1990’s in China on its labor productivity. I argue that in an economy such as China, where allocation distortions widely exist, an educational policy affects average labor productivity not only through its effect on human capital stock, but also through its effect on human capital allocation across sectors. Thus, its impact could be very limited if misallocation becomes more severe following the policy. I construct a two-sector general equilibrium model with private enterprises and state-owned enterprises, with policy distortions favoring the latter. Households, heterogeneous in ability, make educational choices and occupational choices in a threeperiod overlapping-generations setting. Counterintuitively, quantitative analysis shows an overall negative effect of higher education expansion on average labor productivity (by 5 percent). Though it did increase China’s skilled human capital stock significantly (by nearly 50 percent), the policy had the effect of reallocating relatively more human capital toward the less-productive state sector. This also directed physical capital allocation toward the state sector and further dampened average labor productivity. It was the economic reform that greatly improved the allocation efficiency and complemented educational policy in enhancing labor productivity (by nearly 50 percent).

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  • I Love Ali: a Telefeature

    Arapai, Arnette Makimou (2009)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    One man's quest to meet his idol 'Muhammad Ali', the Greatest boxer of all time...

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  • Polynomial Invariants of the Euclidean Group Action on Multiple Screws

    Crook, Deborah (2009)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In this work, we examine the polynomial invariants of the special Euclidean group in three dimensions, SE(3), in its action on multiple screw systems. We look at the problem of finding generating sets for these invariant subalgebras, and also briefly describe the invariants for the standard actions on R^n of both SE(3) and SO(3). The problem of the screw system action is then approached using SAGBI basis techniques, which are used to find invariants for the translational subaction of SE(3), including a full basis in the one and two-screw cases. These are then compared to the known invariants of the rotational subaction. In the one and two-screw cases, we successfully derive a full basis for the SE(3) invariants, while in the three-screw case, we suggest some possible lines of approach.

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  • Consensus Gained, Consensus Maintained? Changing New Zealand's Electoral Law 1927-2007

    Christmas, James (2010)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In the eighty years between the passage of New Zealand's first unified Electoral Act in 1927, and the passage of the Electoral Finance Act 2007, the New Zealand Parliament passed 66 acts that altered or amended New Zealand's electoral law. One central assumption of theories of electoral change is that those in power only change electoral rules strategically, in order to protect their self-interest.1 This thesis is an investigation into the way New Zealand governments effect and have effected their desired changes to the electoral law through the legislative process, and the roles self-interest and the active search for consensus between political parties have played in that process. It argues that, while self-interest serves as a compelling explanation for a great deal of electoral law change in New Zealand, altruistic motivations and the development of parliamentary processes influenced behaviour to an equal, and perhaps even greater, extent.

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  • In Search of Effective Principal Appraisal

    Chapman, Patricia (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The board of trustees of each New Zealand state and integrated school is responsible for the performance appraisal of its principal. Empirical data on the effectiveness of the appraisal for principals and boards is scarce. This research set out to describe principal appraisal within a region containing approximately one tenth of New Zealand schools. A survey to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the 2006 appraisal was completed by the principal and/or chair of just under half the schools in the region. The results suggest four critical success factors: the way in which the appraiser is selected and their personal qualities; the fairness and clarity of the process; the specific expectations that principals and chairs have of the outcome; and the completeness and congruity of principals' and chairs' understanding of appraisal. The reported experiences were mostly positive. However, understanding and resourcing of effective practice was found to be limited. A professional external appraiser and good interpersonal chemistry are dominant contributors to a satisfying appraisal experience. A functioning process with adequate resourcing and time for evidence gathering and evaluation, appear to be important appraisal prerequisites but do not guarantee a satisfying outcome. Unsatisfying appraisal experiences can be traced to a lack of clear understanding of appraisal aims and practice, together with resources to support their development. It is further compounded by the transient nature of boards. Four key action programmes are suggested to address shortcomings and recommendations are outlined for key stakeholders.

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  • Reviving Hedonism about Well-Being: Refuting the Argument from False Pleasures and Restricting the Relevance of Intuitive 'Evidence'

    Turton, Daniel Michael (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Throughout the vast majority of its history, hedonism about well-being has been perennially unpopular (Feldman 2004). The arguments in this essay take steps towards reviving the plausibility of hedonism about well-being. The main argument currently used to refute hedonism about well-being, the Argument from False Pleasures, is shown to lack sufficient evidence to be compelling. The main evidence provided for the Argument from False Pleasures comes in the form of two thought experiments, the Experience Machine (Nozick 1974) and the Deceived Businessman (Kagan 1998). These thought experiments typically produce strong intuitive responses, which are used to directly support the Argument from False Pleasures. This essay investigates how theories of well-being are currently evaluated by moral philosophers, with a specific focus on the place our intuitions have in the process. Indeed, the major role that moral intuitions play in evaluating theories of well-being, despite their sometimes dubious epistemic credentials, leads to an in-depth enquiry into their inner workings and potential for containing normatively significant information. The investigation, which draws on the work of Woodward and Allman (2007), concludes that intuitions about unrealistic thought experiments should not play an important role in evaluating theories of well-being. Rather, they should only act as a warning sign, highlighting moral propositions for further analysis. Based on these findings, a new method for assessing theories of well-being is suggested and applied to a specific internalist account of hedonism about well-being to show how the Deceived Businessman and Experience Machine thought experiments lack normative significance, leaving the Argument from False Pleasures without sufficient evidence to be compelling. Indeed, this essay concludes that the Argument from False Pleasures should no longer be thought to provide any good reason to believe that hedonism about well-being is implausible. This result is only one step on the road to reviving hedonism about well-being, but it is a very important one.

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  • Strengthening the Effectiveness of Aid Delivery in Teacher Education: A Fiji Case Study

    Ruru, Donasiano Kalou (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    As a result of increasing development challenges and higher aid allocations to the Pacific, questions of aid effectiveness have become increasingly important. Efforts to professionalise aid delivery tools have been accompanied by debates over whether delivery tools are effective and compatible with more democratic and empowering relationships with beneficiaries. My research examines the effectiveness of international aid to teacher development, using the AusAID funded projects at Lautoka Teachers' College as a case study and the Fiji College of Advanced Education as background study. The conditions governing aid delivery mechanisms are explored, including logical frameworks, participatory processes, and financial probity. These conditions have been drawn from the 'Paris Declaration of Aid Effectiveness' and each is considered to be critical if aid effectiveness is to be enhanced and the investment sustained. Based on participatory research methodology, carried out through 'talanoa sessions', semià à ¢ structured interviews, and analysis of programme documents, the study explored the extent to which aid programmes and management practices are constrained by donor conditions, succeed in meeting their stated aims, and what sort of unintended consequences are generated. Further, the research identified how aid can best improve future aid to the Fiji education system through its delivery, impact and sustainability for national development, as laid out in the Pacific Principles of Aid Effectiveness The study also highlights the growing convergence between the 'aid donors' interests' and 'aid recipients' needs'. The debate on this relationship is necessary to reinvigorate thinking on the effectiveness of aid delivery for Fiji. The study draws up a practical framework, an aid bure designed as a heuristic device to assess the effectiveness of aid delivery for Fiji. The model may also be relevant to the wider Pacific context, and contribute to the global quest for a concrete guide to best practice which above all will continue to foster more sensitive, effective and enduring links between recipient countries and international aid donors.

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  • Local authority liability for flooding: Where should loss fall?

    Brennan, Sean (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Flooding is New Zealand’s most frequent natural hazard the cost of which is outdone only by the recent Canterbury earthquakes. Local authorities are the bodies primarily tasked with protecting communities against flooding through a range of measures including physical works such as stopbanks. This essay explores the extent to which a local authority can be liable in tort where those physical works fail, causing damage. Direct liability and non-delegable duties are discussed, the latter addressing whether a local authority can nevertheless be liable having outsourced the construction of flood works to independent contractors. Additionally, whether local authorities should be liable for such damage or whether individual property owners ought to protect their own interests through insurance is discussed.This essay recommends that property owners should purchase private insurance, but that local authorities should remain liable at least for their own negligence.

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  • Banking crises, sudden stops, and the effectiveness of short-term lending

    Chang, Chia-Ying (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper sheds light on the linkages between banking crises and sudden stops and discusses the effectiveness of short-run lending in their prevention. It develops an overlapping generations framework and incorporates the possibilities of bank runs and moral hazard of financial intermediaries. Consequently, I find that the strategy to overcome liquidity problems could worsen banks’ positions and cause bank runs and sudden stops. A small liquidity shock may still lead to a banking crisis through the depositors’ expectation. A large shock would require short-run lending to prevent an immediate bank run, but the repayment obligation may worsen moral hazard problems.

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  • SpEx: A Tool for Visualising and Navigating Speech Audio

    Abdulhamid, Fahmi (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Audio is a ubiquitous form of information that is usually treated as a single, unbreakable, piece of content. Thus, audio interfaces remain simple, usually consisting of play, pause, forward, and rewind controls. Spoken audio can contain useful information across multiple topics and finding the information desired is usually time consuming. Most audio players simply do not reveal the content of the audio. By using the speech transcript and acoustic qualities of the audio, I have developed a tool, SpEx, which enabled search and navigation within spoken audio. SpEx displayed audio as discrete segments and revealed the topic content of each segment using mature Information Visualisation techniques. Audio segments were produced based on the acoustic and sentence properties of speech to identify topically and aurally distinct regions. A user study found that SpEx allowed users to find information in spoken audio quickly and reliably. By making spoken audio more accessible, people can gain access to a wider range of information.

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  • An Investigation of the Health Information Needs and Behaviors of the Samoan Community in Porirua, New Zealand

    Sasagi, Fiona (2011)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This study focuses on identifying the sources and the barriers to health information for the Samoan population in New Zealand. It also looks at solutions to improve access to health information. Survey questionnaires were used to solicit data from the participants. Results found that young Samoan participants prefer to search the internet for health information while older participants prefer to consult the doctor for their health. Challenges that emerged from the findings show a gap between young and older generations and their health information behavior. These challenges may need to be looked into in future studies.

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  • The French Contribution to the Exploration of the Pacific in the Eighteenth Century

    Dunmore, John (1961)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    THIS THESIS is an attempt to examine and correlate the voyages of the French in the Pacific Ocean during the latter part of the eighteenth century. So far, no study of this kind has been attempted, most recent research work in France and Australia being directed towards problems of colonisation and administration. Existing modern works on eighteenth-century French voyages are very sparse, usually limited to broad accounts of individual voyages or to biographies, with little recourse to unpublished sources. Even studies of importance, such as the Swedish historian Dahlgren's work on trading voyages, remain little known: it is still customary, for instance, to refer to Bougainville as the first French captain to complete a circumnavigation, whereas in fact he was the eleventh.

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  • The Role of Analogy in Adaptive Explanation

    Currie, Adrian Mitchell (2010)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Cases of 'convergence' (traits which have independently evolved in two or more lineages) could play an important role in the construction and corroboration of adaptive hypotheses. In particular, they could inform us about the evolutionary histories of novel traits. However, there is a problem of causal depth in the use of analogies. Natural Selection's affect on phenotype is constrained by phylogenetic history to a degree that we are unfounded in projecting adaptive stories from one lineage to another. I will argue for two approaches to resolve this issue. First, by constraining our catchment area to closely related lineages we can control for developmental noise. Second, by integrating analogies into explanations which incorporate other streams of evidence or bootstrapping an analogous model across many instantiations, we can overcome the problem of causal depth.

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  • Bishop Hobhouse: the Nelson episcopate (1859-1865) of the Rt. Rev Edmund Hobhouse D.D., first bishop of Nelson, New Zealand

    Clarke, Timothy Peter (1977)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In 1841 New Zealand became a diocese of the United Church of England and Ireland and the Rev. George Augustus Selwyn, a former student and tutor of Eton, was consecrated as its bishop. Throughout the colony's earliest years Selwyn laboured alone to create for it a comprehensive episcopal system of ecclesiastical organisation. In 1856 he was joined by an old friend, the Rev. Henry John Chitty Harper who accepted the new bishopric centred on J.R. Godley's Church of England settlement in Canterbury. Further division of Selwyn's over-large diocese in 1858 created new dioceses in what had been the New Zealand Company's settlements at Wellington and Nelson and the Ven. Charles Abraham and the Rev. Edmund Hobhouse were appointed as their bishops. At the same time the volcanic plateau and east coast of the North Island became the missionary diocese of Waiapu with the Ven. William Williams as its bishop.

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  • The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation and the Conflict in Southern Thailand

    Waesahmae, Paoyee (2012)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The current wave of insurgency in the southern provinces of Thailand, where the majority of population are Muslim, sparked up in 2004 but shows no sign of ending in the near future. The insurgency caused by the conflict in the region which, along the time, has risen and fallen depending on surrounding circumstances. Given the scale and intensity of the conflict, it has increasingly attracted the attention of the outside world especially the Islamic world since the conflict is believed to be connected with religious elements. Despite of this, no specific Islamic countries have played a direct role in intervention in the conflict. The only intervention involved in the conflict was carried out by the OIC, a representative of 57 Islamic countries. This essay attempts to examine the intervention of the OIC into the conflict in the southern provinces of Thailand in the name of Islamic countries in order to protect the rights of Muslim minorities as it claims and will explore the consequences of the tension between the OIC’s mission to uphold these rights and sovereign states.

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  • Tax and volunteering: empirical evidence to support recommendations to solve the current problems surrounding the tax treatment of volunteers’ reimbursements and honoraria in New Zealand

    Tan, Letisha; Dunbar, David; Cordery, Carolyn Joy (2008)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    On I November 2007 the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Revenue asked for submissions on ways to simply the current law on the taxation of reimbursement and honoraria paid volunteers in the non-profit sector. A number of proposals were outlined in a Inland Revenue Department issues paper released on 1 November. This working paper presents the results of a survey of 1537 individuals and 224 organisations who replied to a web based questionnaire that was conducted in August and September 2007. The results have been used to support a number of recommendations towards simplification and clarification of current tax law.

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  • Using Photographs and Human Body Diagrams as Visual Aids to Help Children Talk About Bodily Touch

    Barton, Rachel (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The present study aimed to examine whether using two separate visual aids (Human Body Diagram vs. photograph of subject) for different purposes (to clarify/elaborate reported touches vs. elicit unreported touches) effected the accuracy and amount of touch-related information reported by children aged between 5 and 6 years. It was found that children reported more correct touches from the scripted event when they were interviewed using a photograph of their bodies. Contrary to expectations though, the amount and accuracy of touch-related information did not significantly differ between interviewing conditions. Additionally, all children reported the most accurate information prior to touch-inquiry before visual aids were introduced. In light of these findings, it is suggested that visual aids may not provide any more substantial benefits compared to verbal prompting alone. Given the risks associated with their use (i.e., leading to increases in reported errors) the present study endorses future research that seeks to develop more effective verbal interviewing techniques, which assist in the retrieval of more complete and accurate statements from children.

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  • Reducing Parabolic Partial Differential Equations to Canonical Form

    Harper, J F (1994)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A simple method of reducing a parabolic partial differential equation to canonical form if it has only one term involving second derivatives is the following: find the general solution of the first-order equation obtained by ignoring that term and then seek a solution of the original equation which is a function of one more independent variable. Special cases of the method have been given before, but are not well known. Applications occur in fluid mechanics and the theory of finance, where the Black-Scholes equation yields to the method, and where the variable corresponding to time appears to run backwards, but there is an information-theoretic reason why it should.

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  • Doing Dirty Work?: Sponsors of Community Service

    Pack, Margaret (1989)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    With the introduction of the Criminal Justice Act 1985 and its orientation toward the provision of community based sentencing options, there is a growing awareness of the importance of encouraging a wide range of sponsoring organizations and individuals to become involved in administering community based sentences. This paper presents the results of an exploratory research project carried out in 1986, which asked people sponsoring community service sentence what they liked about the sentence and how they thought it could be improved, drawing on their experiences as sponsors.

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