65 results for Working or discussion paper, Modify

  • Understanding the Etiology of Electoral Violence: The Case of Zimbabwe

    Fielding, David (2015-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Recent theoretical and empirical work indicates that incumbent governments are likely to attempt to influence election outcomes by violent means (rather than by bribery and fraud) when their level of popular support is relatively low. However, evidence also suggests that in some countries electoral violence can be quite easy to thwart through peaceful means. This may seem surprising when the incumbent has control over an extensive and well-equipped state security apparatus. The analysis of Zimbabwean data in this paper suggests an explanation: the incumbent prefers to avoid the direct involvement of the state security apparatus when intimidating voters (perhaps because such involvement would undermine the incumbent’s legitimacy abroad), and relies instead on informal groups with very limited organizational capacity. One consequence in Zimbabwe is that the intimidation is heavily focused in places where the incumbent is relatively popular, ceteris paribus.

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  • Cheap Talk in a New Keynesian Model

    Wesselbaum, Dennis (2016-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper shows that the stance of fiscal policy does have significant impact on the conduct of monetary policy in the United States. Further, we document that the implied fiscal-monetary policy interactions are subject to regime instability, using a Markov-switching model. Then, we develop a microfoundation of regime switches using a cheap talk game between central bank and government. As a case study, we simulate the effects of regime switches within an otherwise standard New Keynesian model using the cheap talk game in the state-space of our model.

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  • Strategic Issues for GMOs in Primary Production: Key Economic Drivers and Emerging Issues

    Campbell, Hugh; Fitzgerald, Ruth; Saunders, Caroline; Sivak, Leda (2000)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    The Warrant of the Royal Commission of Enquiry into Genetic Modification asks a range of questions about the kinds of consequences (health, environmental, legal, cultural, ethical and economic) that might occur should GM technologies be commercially released in New Zealand. These are important questions, as New Zealand is one of only a few countries that rely on food exports to generate a major proportion of national revenue, but which have not yet released GMOs into commercial production of food, fibre or nutriceuticals. Focussing specifically on the economic consequences of commercial GM production, there is clearly both an opportunity for unique economic outcomes that must be considered, and also a series of major methodological challenges surrounding how we might quantify the nature of these opportunities given that such an exercise is entirely predictive (ie. we have no actual commercial production of GMOs to evaluate). This difficulty is evidenced by the level of claims-making taking place about the potential economic value to New Zealand of either avoiding or encouraging GM technologies in commercial production of food, fibre and nutriceuticals. There are clearly few certainties in this discussion. The New York Times reported in 1999 that even Monsanto had hired a group of independent consultants to try and estimate the nature of the biotechnology landscape in several decades time (‘Plotting Corporate Futures: Outlining What Could Go Wrong’ New York Times: 24/6/99). The consultants drew up three scenarios – one reasonably positive, one uncertain and contingent on the outcomes of many unpredictable variables, and one primarily negative for GM food. However, they were unable to recommend which one they considered the most likely to happen. Such caution is scarcely reflected in some of the recent claims-making in public fora about the presumed benefits and disadvantages of either a biotechnologically- driven or GM-free economic future for New Zealand.

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  • The New Zealand sustainability dashboard: unified monitoring and learning for sustainable agriculture in New Zealand

    Moller, Henrik; Barber, Andrew; Saunders, Caroline; MacLeod, Catriona; Rosin, Chris; Lucock, Dave; Post, Elizabeth; Ombler, Franz; Campbell, Hugh; Benge, Jayson; Reid, John; Hunt, Lesley; Hansen, Paul; Carey, Peter; Rotarangi, Stephanie; Ford, Stuart; Barr, Tremane; Manhire, Jon (2012)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    The New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard project will develop a sustainability assessment and reporting tool in partnership with five primary industry sectors in New Zealand. Internationally recognised frameworks and their key generic sustainability performance indicators (KPIs) will be co-opted to ensure that overseas consumers can benchmark and verify the sustainability credentials of New Zealand exported products. We will also design New Zealand and sector-specific KPIs to guide farmers and local consumers to best practices of special relevance to New Zealand society, ecology and land care. Monitoring protocols will be described, where possible for the farmers themselves to rapidly score their own performance across economic, social and environmental dimensions of food and fibre production. A multifunctional web application will be created that facilitates uploading of regular monitoring results and instantly summarises and reports back trends to the growers, to industry representatives, and to agriculture regulators and policy makers at regional and national government levels. Tests of the accuracy and statistical reliability of the KPIs will be coupled with ongoing research on how much the farmers use the tool, whether it changes their actions and beliefs for more sustainable agriculture, and whether stakeholders at all levels of global food systems trust and regularly use the tool. The Dashboard will be more than just a compliance and eco-verification tool – it will also provide a hub for learning to become more sustainable. It will create an information ‘clearing house’ for linking past data sources and at least five existing decision-support software applications so that growers can discover optimal choices for improved farming practice, should the Dashboard alert them that their KPIs are approaching amber of red alert thresholds. We will also design and test two new decision-support packages; one enabling farmers to calculate their energy and carbon footprint and how it can best be reduced; and a whole-farm ‘What if’ decision-support package that explores how investment in improving one sustainability KPI (eg. application of nitrogen fertilser) affects another (eg. farm profit). The Sustainability Dashboard will also include customisation capabilities for use in product traceability; for undertaking surveys of users; for estimating the value placed on different aspects of sustainability by growers, industry representatives, regulators and consumers; for comparing Māori and other communities’ values in sustainability assessments; and for identifying market opportunities and constraints. The Dashboard web application will be designed so it can be quickly integrated into an industry’s/sector’s existing IT platform and infrastructure and this will facilitate rapid uptake. Some host industries may force growers to use the Sustainability Dashboard as part of their existing Market Assurance scheme.

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  • Artificial Neural Networks and Aggregate Consumption Patterns in New Zealand

    Farhat, Dan (2012-11)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This study uses artificial neural networks (ANNs) to reproduce aggregate per-capita consumption patterns for the New Zealand economy. Results suggest that non-linear ANNs can outperform a linear econometric model at out-of-sample forecasting. The best ANN at matching in-sample data, however, is rarely the best predictor. To improve the accuracy of ANNs using only in-sample information, methods for combining heterogeneous ANN forecasts are explored. The frequency that an individual ANN is a top performer during in-sample training plays a beneficial role in consistently producing accurate out-of-sample patterns. Possible avenues for incorporating ANN structures into social simulation models of consumption are discussed.

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  • A New Test of Ricardian Equivalence Using the Narrative Record on Tax Changes

    Haug, Alfred (2016-07)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper empirically tests the Ricardian equivalence hypothesis with a narrative measure of tax shocks. The present value, at the time of legislation,for tax increases motivated solely by concerns for improving the fiscal health of the government is used for the tests. These tax news represent a switch from debt to tax financing that should have no effects on the economy if Ricardian equivalence holds as a good approximation. Such a tax increase seems to have positive e ects on real GDP in the post-1980:IV period. However, this is due to fiscal anticipation as many of the tax increases are implemented with substantial delays and distortionary taxes increase economic activity before taxes go up, which is caused by intertemporal substitution. Therefore, Ricardian equivalence is rejected.

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  • Dire Straits v The Cure: Emphasising the Problem or the Solution in Charitable Fundraising for International Development

    Clark, Jeremy; Garces-Ozanne, Arlene; Knowles, Stephen (2016-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We conduct a laboratory experiment to test the effect on charitable donations to international development NGOs (INGOs) of emphasising current deprivation in a developing country, versus emphasising the potential good a donation can achieve. Using a double-blind dictator experiment with earned endowments, we find that varying the information/emphasis has no significant effect on total donations, or on the probability of donating. An emphasis on current deprivation does, however, significantly raise the variance of donations, so that conditional on donating, it significantly raises donations compared to emphasising potential gains from the charity’s work.

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  • How do empowerment and self-determination affect national health outcomes?

    Garces-Ozanne, Arlene; Kalu, Edna Ikechi; Audas, Richard (2016-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    There remains a persistent gap in health outcomes between wealthy and poor countries. Basic measures such as life expectancy, infant and child mortality remain divergent, with preventable deaths being unacceptably high, despite significant efforts to reduce these disparities. We examine the impact of empowerment, measured by Freedom House’s ratings of country’s political and civil rights freedom, while controlling for per capita GDP, secondary school enrollment and income inequality, on national health outcomes. Using data from 1970-2013 across 149 countries, our results suggest, quite strongly, that higher levels of empowerment have a significant positive association with life expectancy, particularly for females, and lower rates of infant and child mortality. Our results point to the need for efforts to stimulate economic growth be accompanied with reforms to increase the levels of empowerment through increased political and economic freedom.

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  • Did the FED React to Asset Price Bubbles?

    Luik, Marc-Andre; Wesselbaum, Dennis (2016-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper investigates whether the U. S. Federal Reserve responds to asset price bubbles or not. We estimate a DSGE model featuring a financial accelerator and a process for asset price bubbles. We find evidence for a fairly strong reaction to bubbles. However, a counterfactual analysis shows that output is lower if the central banks reacts to the asset price bubble. Finally, we estimate an asymmetric version in which the central bank only reacts to positive price deviations. This version generates the best statistical fit. Including the bubble reduces the negative effects of the recent financial crisis but the symmetric response would have generated an earlier and stronger recovery.

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  • Bilateral foreign aid: How important is aid effectiveness to people for choosing countries to support?

    Cunningham, Harry; Knowles, Stephen; Hansen, Paul (2016-04)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We conduct a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to determine how important aid effectiveness is to people relative to other criteria for choosing countries to support with bilateral foreign aid. We find that aid effectiveness is important, on a par with recipient-country need as proxied by the level of hunger and malnutrition. Both criteria are more important than others.

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  • Combining Monetary and Fiscal Policy in an SVAR for a Small Open Economy

    Haug, Alfred; Jedrzejowicz, Tomasz; Sznajderska, Anna (2013-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper combines a monetary structural vector-autoregression (SVAR) with a fiscal SVAR for Poland. Fiscal foresight, in the form of implementation lags, is accounted for with respect to both discretionary government spending and tax changes. We demonstrate the importance of combining monetary and scal transmission mechanisms. However, ignoring fiscal foresight has no statistically significant effects. We calculate an initial government spending multiplier of 0.14, which later peaks at 0.48. The tax multiplier is close to zero. We also find that monetary policy in Poland transmits mainly through the real sector, that is through real GDP and the real exchange rate.

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  • Does Consistency Predict Accuracy of Beliefs?: Economists Surveyed About PSA

    Berg, Nathan; Biele, G; Gigerenzer, G (2013-04)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    When economists' subjective beliefs about the sensitivity and positive predictive value of the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test are internally consistent (i.e., satisfying Bayes' Rule), their beliefs about prostate cancer risk are less accurate than among those with inconsistent beliefs. Using a loss function framework, we investigate but cannot find evidence that inconsistent beliefs lead to inaccuracy, different PSA decisions, or economic losses. Economists' PSA decisions appear to depend much more on the advice of doctors and family members than on beliefs about cancer risks and the pros/cons of PSA testing, which have little to no joint explanatory power.

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  • Mapping Medieval and Modern Chauvinism in England

    Fielding, David (2014-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    There is evidence for the long-run persistence of geographical variation in tolerance towards other ethnicities. However, existing studies of tolerance use data from countries with long-standing patterns of ethnic diversity, so it is unclear whether the inter-generational transmission is in attitudes towards specific ethnic groups or in an underlying cultural trait of which such attitudes are just one expression. This paper presents evidence for the latter, identifying geographical variation in the intensity of anti-immigrant sentiment in England that has persisted over eight centuries, spans the arrival and departure of different immigrant groups, and is correlated with authoritarianism.

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  • Measurement of Competitive Balance and Uncertainty of Outcome

    Owen, P. Dorian (2013-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Prepared for: Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, John Goddard and Peter J. Sloane (eds), Edward Elgar, Cheltenham

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  • The Archives of Joseph William Mellor (1869-1938): Chemist, Ceramicist & Cartoonist

    Smith, Romilly (2015)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Joseph William Mellor (1869-1938) was an Otago graduate who became a ceramicist, a cartoonist, and, more importantly, a famous chemist. Indeed, his single-handed effort to complete his 16 volume definitive work A Comprehensive Treatise on Inorganic and Theoretical Chemistry (1922-1937), which amounted to over 15,000 pages and 16 million words, has never been equalled. From very humble beginnings and self-initiated study, Mellor obtained a place at the University of Otago, and then won a scholarship to study for a research degree at Owens College, Manchester. He then moved to Stoke-on-Trent, where he became principal of the Technical College (now part of Staffordshire University). During the First World War, Mellor’s research was directed towards refractories, high-temperature ceramics relevant to the steel industry and thus the war effort. It was for this work that he was offered a peerage, which he turned down. In 1927 he was elected to the Royal Society for work related to ceramics, the only other being Josiah Wedgwood in the eighteenth century. Mellor retained a boyish sense of humour all his life, and he was dubbed by colleagues the ‘Peter Pan of Ceramics’. He was also a skilled cartoonist and his Uncle Joe’s Nonsense (1934) contains a collection of humorous stories illustrated with clever pen sketches. Just before Mellor died in May 1938, he received a C.B.E.

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  • Is Zimbabwe More Productive Than the United States? Some Observations From PWT 8.1

    İmrohoroğlu, Ayşe; Üngör, Murat (2016-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    In Penn World Table (PWT) 8.1, several developing countries stand out as outliers with high total factor productivity (TFP) levels relative to the United States (U.S.). For example, in 2011, Zimbabwe and Trinidad and Tobago are reported to have 3 and 1.6 times higher TFP levels than the U.S., respectively. In addition, for several other countries, such as Turkey and Gabon, the stated levels of TFP are very similar to that of the U.S. level (1.01 and 1.11 times the U.S. levels, respectively). Estimates for some of these countries seem rather unlikely when compared with other measures of productivity (such as output per worker). While in the construction of TFP levels PWT does use country-speci c factor shares we show that their results are very similar to calculating TFP levels with a Cobb-Douglas production function where capital and labor shares are assumed to be the same across all countries, i.e., using a constant labor share of 2/3 for all countries. A simple modi cation, using a constant labor share of 2/3 for developed countries and 1/2 for developing countries, generates more \plausible" estimates for TFP levels.

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  • The Lion on the Move Towards the World Frontier: Catching Up or Remaining Stuck?

    Ungor, Murat; Harchaoui, Tarek M. (2016-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    The remarkable growth spurt reported by the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) economy since the mid-1990s offers the opportunity to revisit the narrative of its economic development experience. We investigate whether the SSA economy has initiated a gradual process of convergence which reverses the long-term fall so far behind the U.S. frontier. Our framework begins with a top-down approach that performs a nested development accounting exercise. This aggregate analysis complements a bottom-up approach that tracks the sectoral origins of the SSA aggregate relative labor productivity performance. The application of this framework to a representative sample of the SSA economy over the 1970-2010 period suggests the following set of results. After one-quarter of a century of falling behind the U.S. level of real income per capita, the SSA economy observed a swift turnaround towards the end of the 1990s, yet without showing any sign of catch-up. Second, parallel to favorable demographic developments, SSA reports a startling relative labor productivity gap which accounts for much of its relative income per capita gap. Third, the use of the concept of cognitive skills reveals that human capital considerations have worsened o_ over time, making total factor productivity no longer the biggest part of the story underlying relative labor productivity differences. Fourth, the sectoral evidence points to the coexistence of headwinds (negative within- and reallocation-effects) and tailwinds (between-effects) which tend to cancel out each other, thus preventing SSA aggregate economic performance to get anywhere closer to the world frontier even during the growth spurt period.

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  • Robert Graves: Poeta 1895-1985. Works by Robert Graves in Special Collections, University of Otago Library

    Kerr, Donald (2012)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    On the headstone that marks his grave at Deyá, Marjorca, there is the simple: ‘Robert Graves Poeta 1895-1985’. And it was this aspect that attracted Charles Brasch, editor, patron and poet, to the works of Graves, calling him ‘among the finest English poets of our time, one of the few who is likely to be remembered as a poet.’ Indeed, not only did Brasch collect his own first editions volumes written by Graves, but he encouraged the University of Otago Library to buy more. Thanks to Brasch, Special Collections at the University of Otago now has an extensive collection of works (poetry, novels, essays, children’s books) by him. Born at Wimbledon in 1895, Graves had an Irish father, a German mother, an English upbringing, and a classical education. Enlisting in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, Graves faced the horrors of World War I. He was wounded by shrapnel, left for dead and later able to read his own obituary in The London Times. In 1929, he penned Goodbye To All That, his war-time autobiography which gave him success and fame. And aside from his regular output of poetry books, he wrote historical novels such as I Claudius (1934) and Claudius the God (1934), The White Goddess (1948), the heady study on matriarchal worship and poetry that in the sixties became a source book for readers of the Whole Earth Catalog, and the very successful The Greek Myths (1955). By 1975, effectively the end of his writing career, he had written a total of some 135 books, including The Golden Fleece (1944), Seven Days in New Crete (1949), his critical The Crowning Privilege (1956) and Oxford Addresses on Poetry (1964), and Collected Poems of 1975. If nothing else is claimed for him, this unkempt (thick curly hair, broken nose, an irregular face), honest, independent, sometimes truculent, unorthodox romantic wrote for a living and to support himself as a poet. The Robert Graves Collection in Special Collections consists of first and second editions, signed limited publications, reprints, translations, and illustrative editions, all of which reveal the full scope and range of topics that Graves dealt with. They also reflect his sheer industry. And there is the all-important poetry, at first about the war, then to the three loves of his life: Nancy Nicholson, Laura Riding, and Beryl Pritchard. The collection is by no means complete, and when possible volumes will be added to it. To date, there are no manuscripts.

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  • Credit Booms, Financial Fragility and Banking Crises

    Fielding, David; Rewilak, Johan (2015-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Recent evidence indicates that surges in capital inflows and credit booms can increase the probability of a subsequent banking crisis. Using a new country-level panel database on financial fragility, we take this analysis further by exploring the interaction of surges, booms and fragility. We find that booms and fragility are both important, but booms increase the probability of a crisis only in financial systems with a relatively high level of fragility. Booms appear not to be dangerous in countries with a robust banking system.

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  • Incunabula in Special Collections, University of Otago Library

    Kerr, Donald (2010)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Special Collections, University of Otago Library, houses 42 examples of pre-1501 early printed books that represent 15th century printmanship from Italy, German, Switzerland, and France. There is one highly unusual English sample: four binding fragments printed by William Caxton, and John Lettou, about 1480 and bound in a 1481 edition of Nicolas de Lyra’s Commentaria in bibliam (no.7). There is a selection of printers, ranging from Johann Amerbach, Peter Drach, Ulrich Han, and Georg Husner to Anton Koberger, Aldus Manuitus, Johann Mentelin, and Johannes Trechsel. Operating from European towns such as Basel, Speyer, Rome, Strassburg, Nuremberg, Venice, Strassburg, and Lyon, their productions reflect their expertise and resources in this burgeoning industry. Typefaces, style, and quality of printing and bookmaking also vary. Indeed, the collection contains items that are typographical masterpieces (no. 7); others are downright pedestrian. Barring one book in German and another in Latin and Greek, all of the other books are in Latin, the predominant language for the printed word before 1500. Given that most of the books are tied to established bibliographies, the descriptions attached are brief. However, the descriptions are grounded in the books at Otago, especially to condition and provenance. There has been some modernization of letters. References used follow the catalogue listing, as do printer and location indexes. Images accompany most entries, offering a brief glimpse of the book and its make-up. They highlight bindings, decorations such as woodcut initials and illustrations, title-page samples, rubrications, typefaces, colophons and printer’s devices, and provenance and bibliographical information (often on endpapers). Notable highlights include Liber chronicarum (The Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493), Boccaccio’s De genealogiae deorum gentilium, an encyclopedia of pagan gods, a book of medical aphorisms translated from Arabic in to Latin (1484), the Aldine printing of Institutiones Graecae Grammaticae (1497), and a leaf of the Nuremberg Bible, printed by Anton Koberger, 1483. The prime purpose of this descriptive list is to raise the awareness of the existence of these books in New Zealand (and at the University of Otago, Dunedin) and encourage scholarly use in them. Like their vellum counter-parts, the medieval manuscripts, these survivors of a bygone age have their own distinct beauty and specific usefulness, be it textual or physical. They stand as very useful resources, especially to Early Modern scholars. Special thanks to Dr Christopher de Hamel (Parker Library, Cambridge); John Goldfinch (British Library); Dr Falk Eisermann (State Library, Berlin); Klaus Graf (University of Freiburg), Michael Laird (Texas), Bettina Wagner (Bavarian State Library, Munich); and Anthony Tedeschi (University of Melbourne Special Collections). No list is without flaws. To this end, feedback is appreciated, either through email, letter, or in person. I welcome comments and suggestions.

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