1,723 results for Working or discussion paper

  • Investigating the relationships between the yield curve, output and inflation using an arbitrage-free version of the Nelson and Siegel class of yield curve models

    Krippner, Leo (2005-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This article provides a theoretical economic foundation for the popular Nelson and Siegel (1987) class of yield curve models (which has been absent up to now). This foundation also offers a new framework for investigating and interpreting the relationships between the yield curve, output and inflation that have already been well-established empirically in the literature. Specifically, the level of the yield curve as measured by the VAO model is predicted to have a cointegrating relationship with inflation, and the shape of the yield curve as measured by the VAO model is predicted to correspond to the profile (that is, timing and magnitude) of future changes in the output gap (that is, output growth less the growth in potential output). These relationships are confirmed in the empirical analysis on 50 years of United States data.

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  • Mapping poverty in rural China: How much does the environment matter?

    Olivia, Susan; Gibson, John; Rozelle, Scott; Huang, Jikun; Deng, Xiangzheng (2008-09)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    In this paper, we apply a recently developed small-area estimation technique to derive geographically detailed estimates of consumption-based poverty and inequality in rural Shaanxi, China. We also investigate whether using environmental variables derived mainly from satellite remote sensing improves upon traditional approaches that only use household survey and census data. According to our results, ignoring environmental variables in statistical analyses that predict small-area poverty rates leads to targeting errors. In other words, using environmental variables both helps more accurately identify poor areas (so they should be able to receive more transfers of poor area funds) and identify non-poor areas (which would allow policy makers to reduce poverty funds in these better off areas and redirect them to poor areas). Using area-based targeting may be an efficient way to reach the poor since many counties and townships in rural Shaanxi have low levels of inequality, even though, on average, there is more within-group than between-group inequality. Using information on locations that are, in fact, receiving poverty assistance, our analysis also produces evidence that official poverty policy in Shaanxi targets particular areas which in reality are no poorer than other areas that do not get targeted.

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  • How pro-poor is the selection of seasonal migrant workers from Tonga under New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Program?

    Gibson, John; McKenzie, David; Rohorua, Halahingano Tu'akolo Siufanga (2008-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Temporary migration programs for unskilled workers are increasingly being proposed as a way to both relieve labour shortages in developed countries and aid development in sending countries without entailing many of the costs associated with permanent migration. New Zealand’s new Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) program is designed with both these goals in mind, enabling unskilled workers from the Pacific Islands to work in horticulture and viticulture in New Zealand for a period of up to seven months. However, the development impact on a sending country will depend not only on how many workers participate, but also on who participates. This paper uses new survey data from Tonga to examine the process of selecting Tongans to work in the RSE, and to analyze how pro-poor the recruitment process has been to date. We find that the workers recruited come from largely agricultural backgrounds and have lower average incomes and schooling levels than Tongans not participating in the program. We also compare the characteristics of RSE workers to those of Tongans applying to permanently migrate to New Zealand through the Pacific Access Category, and find the RSE workers to be more rural and less educated. The RSE therefore does seem to have succeeded in creating new opportunities for relatively poor and unskilled Tongans to work in New Zealand.

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  • Attributing returns and optimising United States swaps portfolios using an intertemporally-consistent and arbitrage-free model of the yield curve

    Krippner, Leo (2005-03)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper uses the volatility-adjusted orthonormalised Laguerre polynomial model of the yield curve (the VAO model) from Krippner (2005), an intertemporally-consistent and arbitrage-free version of the popular Nelson and Siegel (1987) model, to develop a multi-dimensional yield-curve-based risk framework for fixed interest portfolios. The VAO model is also used to identify relative value (i.e. potential excess returns) from the universe of securities that define the yield curve. In combination, these risk and return elements provide an intuitive framework for attributing portfolio returns ex-post, and for optimising portfolios ex-ante. The empirical applications are to six years of daily United States interest rate swap data. The first application shows that the main sources of fixed interest portfolio risk (i.e. unanticipated variability in ex-post returns) are first-order (‘duration’) effects from stochastic shifts in the level and shape of the yield curve; second-order (‘convexity’) effects and other contributions are immaterial. The second application shows that fixed interest portfolios optimised ex-ante using the VAO model risk/relative framework significantly outperform a naive evenly-weighted benchmark over time.

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  • Modelling the yield curve with Orthonormalised Laguerre Polynomials: A consistent cross-sectional and inter-temporal approach

    Krippner, Leo (2003-09)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This article proposes the orthonormalised Laguerre polynomial (OLP) model of the yield curve, a generic linear model that is both cross-sectionally consistent (that is, it reliably fits the yield curve at a given point in time), and inter-temporally consistent (that is, the cross-sectional parameters are shown to be consistent over time within the expectations hypothesis framework). The OLP model generalises the exponential-polynomial model for a single yield curve, as originally proposed by Nelson and Siegel (1987), and also allows for the simultaneous modelling of other same-currency yield curves that have instrument-specific differences (such as default risk), as in Houweling, Hoek and Kleibergen (2001). New Zealand data is used to illustrate the empirical application of the OLP model.

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  • Company formation in the Te Aroha mining district in the 1930s

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    During the early years of the Depression, a few investors sought to form companies to rework almost every portion of the Te Aroha Mining District. Some flotations failed, and even when companies were formed very little work was done. A wide variety of people were promoters and investors, very few of whom had any mining knowledge or access to capital. Competition for ground and low commercial morality led to conflicts and exaggerated claims (notably that Te Aroha’s lodes were linked to Karangahake and Waihi). The Mines Department, anxious to prevent misinformation about these ventures being used to extract money from the gullible and also anxious to defend the industry from harm, was concerned about fraudulent assays and misleading reports from self-proclaimed ‘experts’. All these under-capitalized ventures quickly failed, for what little development took place quickly revealed the poverty of the ore. These syndicates and companies are dealt with chronologically.

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  • Agglomeration externalities, innovation and regional growth: Theoretical perspectives and meta-analysis

    de Groot, Henri L. F.; Poot, Jacques; Smit, Martijn J. (2008-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Technological change and innovation and are central to the quest for regional development. In the globally-connected knowledge-driven economy, the relevance of agglomeration forces that rely on proximity continues to increase, paradoxically despite declining real costs of information, communication and transportation. Globally, the proportion of the population living in cities continues to grow and sprawling cities remain the engines of regional economic transformation. The growth of cities results from a complex chain that starts with scale, density and geography, which then combine with industrial structure characterised by its extent of specialisation, competition and diversity, to yield innovation and productivity growth that encourages employment expansion, and further urban growth through inward migration. This paper revisits the central part of this virtuous circle, namely the Marshall-Arrow-Romer externalities (specialisation), Jacobs externalities (diversity) and Porter externalities (competition) that have provided alternative explanations for innovation and urban growth. The paper evaluates the statistical robustness of evidence for such externalities presented in 31 scientific articles, all building on the seminal work of Glaeser et al. (1992). We aim to explain variation in estimation results using study characteristics by means of ordered probit analysis. Among the results, we find that the impact of diversity depends on how it is measured and that diversity is important for the high-tech sector. High population density increases the chance of finding positive effects of specialisation on growth. More recent data find more positive results for both specialization and diversity, suggesting that agglomeration externalities become more important over time. Finally, primary study results depend on whether or not the externalities are considered jointly and on other features of the regression model specification.

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  • Enemies at work

    Morrison, R. (2011-02-21)

    Working or discussion paper
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study investigates the link between perceptions of negative workplace relationships and organisational outcomes. Respondents (n=412) spanned a wide range of occupations, industries and nationalities. Data were collected using an Internet based questionnaire. Results indicated that those with at least one negative relationship at work were significantly less satisfied, reported less organisational commitment, were part of less cohesive workgroups and were significantly more likely to be planning to leave their job.

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  • Bringing nature back into cities: urban land environments, indigenous cover and urban restoration

    Clarkson, Bruce D.; Wehi, Priscilla M.; Brabyn, Lars (2007)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    1. The restoration of urban ecosystems is an increasingly important strategy to maintain and enhance indigenous biodiversity as well as reconnecting people to the environment. High levels of endemism, the sensitivity of species that have evolved without humans, and the invasion of exotic species have all contributed to severe depletion of indigenous biodiversity in New Zealand. In this work, we analysed national patterns of urban biodiversity in New Zealand and the contribution that urban restoration can make to maximising and enhancing indigenous biodiversity. 2. We analysed data from two national databases in relation to the 20 largest New Zealand cities. We quantified existing indigenous biodiversity within cities, both within the core built up matrix and in centroid buffer zones of 5, 10 and 20 km around this urban centre. We analysed the type and frequency of land environments underlying cities as indicators of the range of native ecosystems that are (or can potentially be) represented within the broader environmental profile of New Zealand. We identified acutely threatened land environments that are represented within urban and periurban areas and the potential role of cities in enhancing biodiversity from these land environments. 3. New Zealand cities are highly variable in both landform and level of indigenous resource. Thirteen of 20 major land environments in New Zealand are represented in cities, and nearly three-quarters of all acutely threatened land environments are represented within 20 km of city cores nationally. Indigenous land cover is low within urban cores, with less than 2% on average remaining, and fragmentation is high. However, indigenous cover increases to more than 10% on average in the periurban zone, and the size of indigenous remnants also increases. The number of remaining indigenous landcover types also increases from only 5 types within the urban centre, to 14 types within 20 km of the inner urban cores. 4. In New Zealand, ecosystem restoration alone is not enough to prevent biodiversity loss from urban environments, with remnant indigenous cover in the urban core too small (and currently too degraded) to support biodiversity long-term. For some cities, indigenous cover in the periurban zone is also extremely low. This has significant ramifications for the threatened lowland and coastal environments that are most commonly represented in cities. Reconstruction of ecosystems is required to achieve a target of 10% indigenous cover in cities: the addition of land to land banks for this purpose is crucial. Future planning that protects indigenous remnants within the periurban zone is critical to the survival of many species within urban areas, mitigating the homogenisation and depletion of indigenous flora and fauna typical of urbanisation. A national urban biodiversity plan would help city councils address biodiversity issues beyond a local and regional focus, while encouraging predominantly local solutions to restoration challenges, based on the highly variable land environments, ecosystems and patch connectivity present within different urban areas.

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  • Social capital and regional social infrastructure investment: Evidence from New Zealand

    Roskruge, Matthew James; Grimes, Arthur; McCann, Philip; Poot, Jacques (2010)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    In this paper we link unique data on local social infrastructure expenditure with micro-level individual survey data of self-reported social capital measures of trust and participation in community activities. We use both probit and tobit models to estimate the impact of social infrastructure expenditure on social capital formation. Our results imply that the links between social capital, demographic characteristics, human capital, geography and public social infrastructure investment are rather more subtle and complex than much of the literature implies. While we find evidence in support of many of the hypothesized relationships discussed in the social capital literature, our results also suggest that the impact of public social infrastructure investment is affected by both selection effects and free rider processes.

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  • Parallel programming with PICSIL1

    Pearson, Murray W.; Melchert, Matthew (1993-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper describes the background and development of PICSIL1 a visual language for specifying parallel algorithms using structured decomposition. PICSIL1 draws upon graphical and textual specification techniques; the first for high level structure of an algorithm, the second for more detailed functional specifications. The graphical specification techniques used in PICSIL1 are based on Data Flow Diagrams (DFDs) and are well suited to the assembly and interconnection of abstract modules. Minor modifications to DFDs have however had to be made to make them suitable for describing parallel algorithms. These include the ability to dynamically replicate sections of a diagram and change the structure of parts of a diagram dependent on data being processed. Work is proceeding on the development of an editor to allow the direct capture and editing of PICSIL1 descriptions. In the near future development of compiler and visual debugging tools are planned.

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  • David Mclean Wallace: a Waiorongomai blacksmith who founded an engineering firm

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Scotland and trained as a blacksmith, Wallace arrived in New Zealand in 1873, working at Ngaruawahia, Auckland, and Huntly before settling in Waiorongomai in 1885. Soon obtaining most of the available work, he acquired other blacksmiths’ businesses. Shifting to Te Aroha in 1892, his business grew steadily, and in 1912 a private company comprising Wallace and his sons was formed. With the arrival of the motor car, the firm adapted to repair these, an adaptability assisted by his inventive skills. After patenting a popular miners’ pick, he turned to inventions to benefit farmers. Wallace was involved in many aspects of community life, serving on several committees, and for a while was on the borough council where, occasionally, when opposed by other councillors, he was a belligerent member. But in general he was popular and highly respected.

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  • John Allan Dobson: a Te Aroha mine manager

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in 1830, Dobson was a life-long miner, first in Victoria and then Otago, Coromandel, Te Aroha (notable in the Tui district), and on other Hauraki fields. In 1882 he erected a boarding house in Te Aroha, on temperance principles, but probably his wife did most of the day-to-day management before her premature death after only 12 years of marriage. He was a miner and mine manager in several claims in the Te Aroha district, but after his wife’s death and the decline of local mining he worked on several Hauraki fields. After struggling with some of the examinations, he was awarded a certificate as a mine manager. Dobson was prominent in both the Coromandel and Te Aroha communities. In the latter, he encouraged the development of the district through being a member of numerous committees, including being chairman of the town board. After retirement, he suffered from miners’ complaint, the cause of his death. He was remembered as being a man of great integrity.

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  • Thomas Lawless: a publican at Waiorongomai and elsewhere

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    An Irishman whose father and mother were publicans, Thomas Lawless was one also for most of his life. After settling at Thames in 1867, he mined there for some years before moving to Coromandel, where he ran several hotels. Returning to Thames, he was a tobacconist for several years before settling at Waiorongomai and running a large new hotel there. With the fading of the goldfield, his financial struggles resulted in bankruptcy and having to sell his hotel. To survive, he had to take on other jobs before returning to Thames in 1887 to run an aerated water factory as well as some hotels. When living in Paeroa from 1891 until 1899 he was an ironmonger, but after settling in Waihi became a publican again, actively assisted by his wife. Subsequently he ran hotels in Taranaki and Whanganui. During most of these years he invested in mines and mining companies on many Hauraki goldfields. Lawless was prominent everywhere he settled, being actively involved in social, musical, sporting, and church activities along with varioys efforts to assist these communities. He was a notable cricketer, and in Thames was a Volunteer. His wives were also involved in social activities and the Catholic Church. His family life seems to have been a happy one, apart from the death of his first wife in a tragic accident. Lawless was a man for whom almost nobody had a harsh word, apart from his defense of the Catholic Church in an argument over religious education in public schools.

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  • Thomas Francis Long: a businessman who prospected at Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Tasmania, Thomas Francis Long worked as a carpenter and miner before settling in Waihi in the late 1890s. Subsequently he was a miner and contractor at Karangahake and Thames before settling in Gisborne, where his various business enterprises failed, partly because of lack of capital, and he became bankrupt. In 1912 onwards he did some prospecting, partly for base metals, and during 1915 and 1916 explored the Tui portion of the Te Aroha mountain, unsuccessfully. Despite being involved in several small companies, lack of money continued to be a problem, and he became bankrupt for a second time. In 1927 he investigated Waiorongomai, with the same lack of success; it was his last venture before his death at a relatively young age. He was no more successful as a prospector than as a businessman.

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  • Te Aroha: 1882 to 1889

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Despite a dip in mid-decade, the population of Te Aroha steadily increased as mining continued, farms were developed, and the tourist trade commenced. Businessmen set up shop because of the high expectations held for the district, and the township became lively both commercially and socially. Its development in these years is covered partly chronologically and partly thematically. The increasing numbers of tourists visiting the hot baths, especially after the arrival of the railway, encouraged the erection of excellent hotels and boardinghouses. Although they enjoyed the scenery and the baths, they, like the locals, had to cope with badly maintained roads and footpaths, roaming animals (notably pigs), and occasional gales and fires. But a bridge replaced the punts, and local government in the form of the domain board and the town board gradually addressed the community’s needs, although grumbles continued about the tenure of town sections. And the town was well supplied with newspapers. An active social life was assisted by the erection of a library and a public hall, the latter being used for a wide variety of entertainments provided by both residents and visitors. Dances, ‘rinking’, and sports were popular, and strengthened a sense of community in this young township.

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  • Physical and mental health issues in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Although Te Aroha was considered to be a healthy district, until the early twentieth century it lacked clean water or adequate sanitation. There were justifiable fears of typhus and other diseases being created by these lacks and by the common ‘nuisances’ caused by unsanitary behaviour. Many people had a poor diet, which was normal for men undertaking prospecting far from their homes. For miners, their working conditions were always unhealthy, and miners’ complaint was common, affecting battery hands also. Medical services remained inadequate until the twentieth century because doctors could not settle for long (for financial reasons) and there was no local hospital. Some doctors, nurses, and dentists visited, but the seriously ill had to be sent out of the district. For injuries, chemists and nurses did their best, as did a dubiously skilled local doctor. Self-medication was common. Examples are given of breakdowns in mental health, which sometimes led to physical attacks on others or to suicide.

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  • Children’s lives in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Exaggerated claims have been made about the joys experienced by children living on goldfields, but indeed many did have happy memories. Childhood for many included working to supplement the family income at quite a young age, and examples are given of the wide variety of work undertaken. Some jobs, as in the battery, was exhausting, none were highly paid, and not all young workers were well treated. Life could be dangerous, as illustrated by the variety of accidents, some fatal. The river claimed some lives, as did fires in homes. Ill health was common, with periodic epidemics causing deaths – some families experienced multiple deaths. Abandoned or uncontrollable children were sent to Industrial Homes, and some stepmothers lived up to their reputations, and several children suffered from cruel treatment. Although most juvenile crimes were of a minor nature, early experimentation caused moral panic amongst parents. Adults provided organized activities of an improving nature, especially sports and social gatherings, and some even went on trips to other places. Military cadets were formed, and it was possible to participate in arts and crafts, including music. And all children had ways to make their own, unorganized, fun. All of which suggests that for most children, while their life was not as idyllic as some would claim, it was generally happy.

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  • The temperance movement in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    As over-indulgence in strong drink was seen as a serious moral and social issue, some churches and the local newspaper publicized the temperance cause. Visiting temperance crusaders made some impact, but most of the work to promote the cause was done by the Te Aroha and Waiorongomai Bands of Hope. Details are given of the meetings and the leaders, the latter being crucial, as the cause flourished with good leaders but floundered without them. Attempts are made to estimate the success of the movement, which undoubtedly was less than some enthusiasts claimed. The law could be used to control hotels and to limit their numbers. Some enthusiasts went further still, advocating total prohibition. To illustrate the types of people who were involved and to show how they worked for the cause, the lives of some leading temperance advocates are examined.

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  • The drink problem in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper deals with the downside of drinking alcohol, not with its pleasures experienced by those indulging. Public drunkenness was always deplored, in part because it led to accidents and to criminal behaviour, in particular violence. Details of who became drunkards is given, with examples of some notable drunkards, one of them a leading businessman, and also of how women were affected by having drunken husbands. And two female drunkards are included. To control drunkards, prohibition orders were sometimes issued, but the thirsty had various ways of evading these. Sly grog seems to have been a minor problem, perhaps because there were so many hotels. Details are given of these and how they were conducted, along with accounts of the lives of several prominent publicans, some of whom became a prey to intemperance, an occupational hazard with significant consequences for their health. Because polite members of society and those suffering from drunkards wasting their family’s money were appalled by the behaviour described here, a strong temperance movement developed in response.

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