1,735 results for Working or discussion paper

  • The value of statistical life and cost-benefit evaluations of landmine clearance in Cambodia

    Cameron, Michael Patrick; Gibson, John; Helmers, Kent; Lim, Steven; Tressler, John; Vaddanak, Kien (2008-03)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Development agencies spend approximately US$400 million per year on landmine clearance. Yet many cost-benefit evaluations suggest that landmine clearance is socially wasteful because costs appear to far outweigh social benefits. This paper presents new estimates of the benefits of clearing landmines based on a contingent valuation survey in two provinces in rural Cambodia where we asked respondents questions that elicit their tradeoffs between money and the risk of death from landmine accidents. The estimated Value of a Statistical Life (VSL) is US$0.4 million. In contrast, most previous studies of landmine clearance use foregone income or average GDP per capita, which has a lifetime value of only US$2,000 in Cambodia. Humanitarian landmine clearance emerges as a more attractive rural development policy when appropriate estimates of the VSL are used.

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  • New Zealand kiwifruit export performance: Market analysis and revealed comparative advantage

    Bano, Sayeeda; Scrimgeour, Frank (2011-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper investigates the spectacular and successful growth of New Zealand kiwifruit production and exports between 1984 and 2009. It explores the evolution, current status, future prospects and challenges facing the industry where more than 90 percent of the output is exported. The study includes a statistical analysis of the production and consumption of kiwifruit in New Zealand and other countries, with a particular focus on Asia. The product life-cycle model is used to examine the pattern of evolution of New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry while revealed comparative advantage methodology is used to determine whether New Zealand has a comparative advantage in kiwifruit. Finally, econometric analysis is employed to identify and test the strength of key determinants of kiwifruit exports. Empirical analysis suggests that domestic and trading partner incomes, market size and distance are key determinants of kiwifruit export performance.

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  • The merits of using citations to measure research output in economics departments: The New Zealand case

    Anderson, David L.; Tressler, John (2011-05)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    In this paper we explore the merits of utilizing citation counts to measure research output in economics in the context of a nation-wide research evaluation scheme. We selected one such system for study: the New Zealand government’s Programme-Based Research Fund (PBRF). Citations were collected for all refereed papers produced by New Zealand’s academic economists over the period 2000 to 2008 using the databases of the ISI/Web of Science and, to a limited extent, Google Scholar. These data allowed us to estimate the time lags in economics between publication of an article and the flow of citations; to demonstrate the impact of alternative definitions of ‘economics-relevant’ journals on citation counts; and to assess the impact of direct citation measures and alternative schemes on departmental and individual performance. Our findings suggest that the time-lags between publication and citing are such that it would be difficult to rely on citations counts to produce a meaningful measure of output in a PBRF-like research evaluation framework, especially one based explicitly on individual assessment.

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  • The Companies Act 1993 and Directors’ Duties: Small and medium entities are not well catered for

    Bather, Andrea (2006-12)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    In 1993 New Zealand passed into law the Companies Act. The Act was a combination of work done by the New Zealand Law Commission and the Justice Department. It was anticipated that the Act would provide all the information necessary to enable a prospective director to understand what was required in incorporating and winding up a company, as well as the requirements to be met whilst doing business using that form. This paper contends that the Act does not contain the Law Commission’s original intentions in terms of directors’ duties, compliance with which is argued to be the quid pro quo of the right to incorporate, where the company is a small or medium entity. The paper further contends that amendments to the Act are necessary to take account of the needs of small and medium entities and suggests possible amendments, in light of case law emphasising the need for directors to maintain a company’s solvency, where failure to do so can trigger personal liability for directors.

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  • An illustration of the average exit time measure of poverty

    Gibson, John; Olivia, Susan (2002-09)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The goal of the World Bank is 'a world free of poverty' but the most widely used poverty measures do not show when poverty might be eliminated. The 'head-count index' simply counts the poor, while the 'poverty gap index' shows their average shortfall from the poverty line. Neither measure reflects changes in the distribution of incomes amongst the poor, but squaring the poverty gap brings sensitivity to inequality, albeit at the cost of intuitive interpretation. This paper illustrates a new measure of poverty [Morduch, J., 1998, Poverty, Economic Growth and Average Exit Time, Economics Letters, 59: 385-390]. This new poverty measure is distributionally-sensitive and has a ready interpretation as the average time taken to exit poverty with a constant and uniform growth rate. The illustration uses data from Papua New Guinea, which is the country with the highest degree of inequality in the Asia-Pacific region.

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  • Dynamic modelling of a three-sector transitional economy

    Lim, Steven; Harland, Derek (2001-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Rural industry provides inputs and markets for agriculture, which in turn provides inputs and markets for rural industry. As the mutually supportive linkages between rural industry and agriculture develop, the size of both sectors increases. Under certain conditions rural industry grows more rapidly than agriculture, resulting in the structural transformation of the rural sector. But the growth of rural industry may hurt the state-owned industrial sector if both sectors compete for similar resources and product markets. To protect their state enterprises, transitional economies have at times suppressed the growth of non-state rural industries. This can hurt the economy overall. We show how the growth rates of agriculture and rural industry may decline, and, surprisingly, how the growth of state industry might fall if rural industry is suppressed. This is especially so if agriculture supports state industry. By suppressing rural industry, agriculture is hurt. The decline in agriculture then hurts state industry, undermining the objective of protecting state industry. Depending on the magnitude of the relevant impacts, intervention to protect state industry may or may not be optimal, leaving governments with difficult policy decisions.

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  • Can we trust cluster-corrected standard errors? An application of spatial autocorrelation with exact locations known

    Gibson, John; Kim, Bonggeun; Olivia, Susan (2010-11)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Standard error corrections for clustered samples impose untested restrictions on spatial correlations. Our example shows these are too conservative, compared with a spatial error model that exploits information on exact locations of observations, causing inference errors when cluster corrections are used.

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  • Harnessing the private sector for rural development, poverty alleviation and HIV/AIDS prevention

    Lim, Steven; Cameron, Michael Patrick; Taweekul, Krailert; Askwith, John (2007-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    In resource-constrained developing countries, mobilizing resources from outside sources may assist in overcoming many development challenges. This paper examines the Thai Business Initiative in Rural Development (TBIRD), an NGO-sponsored program that brings together the comparative advantages and self-interest of rural villages, private sector firms and a facilitating NGO, to improve social and community health outcomes in rural areas. We analyze key issues in the program with data from Northeast Thailand. We find that the TBIRD program appears to improve the income earning and other prospects of the TBIRD factory workers. Further, TBIRD factory employment exhibits a pro-poor bias. A key impact is to provide jobs for people who might otherwise be at increased risk of HIV infection through poverty-induced decisions to migrate to urban centres and participate in the commercial sex industry. This program adds another important tool for development planners in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

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  • ASEAN-New Zealand trade relations and trade potential

    Bano, Sayeeda (2010-04)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper explores trade development by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) with a particular reference to New Zealand and in the context of free trade agreements and partnerships. It describes the history of ASEAN, its trade composition, diversity and intensity. The paper includes an analysis of Kojima indices of trade intensities, the trade potential index and a gravity trade model using panel data and multivariate analysis. Hypotheses derived from trade theories are then tested to identify the key determinants of trade and the implications for policy. Overall, the study shows that economic integration has had a positive impact on ASEAN nations and with New Zealand and with ongoing potential.

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  • Intra-industry trade and trade intensities: Evidence from New Zealand

    Bano, Sayeeda (2002-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This study analyses the development of intra-industry and inter industry trade between New Zealand, Australia, and the selected Asia-Pacific nations during the period 1990 to 2000. The study adapts mainly two approaches to examine these developments. First, an historical analysis of New Zealand trading patterns is presented. For this purpose, intra-industry trade development is examined. The Grubel-Lloyd and Aquino indices are used to calculate the intensity of intra- industry trade at the 3-digit SITC levels to determine the relative importance of intra-industry trade as opposed to inter-industry trade. IIT has been estimated across industries and for selected trading partners. A time series approach is used to estimate any trend in the ratio of intra industry trade to total trade in relation to Australia. Secondly, the paper examines the strength of trade relations between New Zealand and the other countries. For this purpose the intensity of trade index has been estimated for bilateral trade flows between these nations. These analyses are examined to consider how trade has changed in this period of trade liberalisation. The results show that intra-industry trade has increased between New Zealand and Australia. The results also suggest that bilateral trade flows between New Zealand, Australia and other countries has become more intense indicating trading relations are strengthening. In some cases bilateral trade flows have decreased. The results also suggest that the removal of trade barriers through bilateral and multilateral negotiations has positive impacts on intra-industry trade and the intensity of trade of these economies.

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  • The excellence in research for Australia Scheme: An evaluation of the draft journal weights for economics

    Anderson, David L.; Tressler, John (2009-07)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    In February 2008, the Australian government announced its intention to develop a new quality and evaluation system for research conducted at the nation’s universities. Although the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) scheme will utilize several measures to evaluate institutional performance, we have chosen to focus on one element only: the assessment of refereed journal article output based on ERA’s own journal weighting scheme. The ERA weighting scheme will undoubtedly shape the reward structure facing university administrators and individual academics. Our objective is to explore the nature of the ERA weighting scheme for economics, and to demonstrate how it impacts on departmental and individual researcher rankings relative to rankings generated by alternative schemes employed in the economics literature. In order to do so, we utilize data from New Zealand’s economics departments and the draft set of journal weights (DERA) released in August 2008 by ERA officials. Given the similarities between Australia and New Zealand, our findings should have relevance to the Australian scene. As a result, we hope to provide the reader with a better understanding of the type of research activity that influences DERA rankings at both the departmental and individual level.

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  • Batch-Incremental Learning for Mining Data Streams

    Holmes, Geoffrey; Kirkby, Richard Brendon; Bainbridge, David (2004)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The data stream model for data mining places harsh restrictions on a learning algorithm. First, a model must be induced incrementally. Second, processing time for instances must keep up with their speed of arrival. Third, a model may only use a constant amount of memory, and must be ready for prediction at any point in time. We attempt to overcome these restrictions by presenting a data stream classification algorithm where the data is split into a stream of disjoint batches. Single batches of data can be processed one after the other by any standard non-incremental learning algorithm. Our approach uses ensembles of decision trees. These tree ensembles are iteratively merged into a single interpretable model of constant maximal size. Using benchmark datasets the algorithm is evaluated for accuracy against state-of-the-art algorithms that make use of the entire dataset.

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  • Learning from the past with experiment databases

    Vanschoren, Joaquin; Pfahringer, Bernhard; Holmes, Geoffrey (2008-06-24)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Thousands of Machine Learning research papers contain experimental comparisons that usually have been conducted with a single focus of interest, and detailed results are usually lost after publication. Once past experiments are collected in experiment databases they allow for additional and possibly much broader investigation. In this paper, we show how to use such a repository to answer various interesting research questions about learning algorithms and to verify a number of recent studies. Alongside performing elaborate comparisons and rankings of algorithms, we also investigate the effects of algorithm parameters and data properties, and study the learning curves and bias-variance profiles of algorithms to gain deeper insights into their behavior.

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  • A logic boosting approach to inducing multiclass alternating decision trees

    Holmes, Geoffrey; Pfahringer, Bernhard; Kirkby, Richard Brendon; Frank, Eibe; Hall, Mark A. (2002-03)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The alternating decision tree (ADTree) is a successful classification technique that combine decision trees with the predictive accuracy of boosting into a ser to interpretable classification rules. The original formulation of the tree induction algorithm restricted attention to binary classification problems. This paper empirically evaluates several methods for extending the algorithm to the multiclass case by splitting the problem into several two-class LogitBoost procedure to induce alternating decision trees directly. Experimental results confirm that this procedure is comparable with methods that are based on the original ADTree formulation in accuracy, while inducing much smaller trees.

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  • Mining data streams using option trees (revised edition, 2004)

    Holmes, Geoffrey; Kirkby, Richard Brendon; Pfahringer, Bernhard (2004-01-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The data stream model for data mining places harsh restrictions on a learning algorithm. A model must be induced following the briefest interrogation of the data, must use only available memory and must update itself over time within these constraints. Additionally, the model must be able to be used for data mining at any point in time. This paper describes a data stream classi_cation algorithm using an ensemble of option trees. The ensemble of trees is induced by boosting and iteratively combined into a single interpretable model. The algorithm is evaluated using benchmark datasets for accuracy against state-of-the-art algorithms that make use of the entire dataset.

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  • Random model trees: an effective and scalable regression method

    Pfahringer, Bernhard (2010-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    We present and investigate ensembles of randomized model trees as a novel regression method. Such ensembles combine the scalability of tree-based methods with predictive performance rivaling the state of the art in numeric prediction. An extensive empirical investigation shows that Random Model Trees produce predictive performance which is competitive with state-of-the-art methods like Gaussian Processes Regression or Additive Groves of Regression Trees. The training and optimization of Random Model Trees scales better than Gaussian Processes Regression to larger datasets, and enjoys a constant advantage over Additive Groves of the order of one to two orders of magnitude.

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  • Which journal rankings best explain academic salaries? Evidence from the University of California

    Gibson, John; Anderson, David L.; Tressler, John (2012-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The ranking of an academic journal is important to authors, universities, journal publishers and research funders. Rankings are gaining prominence as countries adopt regular research assessment exercises that especially reward publication in high impact journals. Yet even within a rankings-oriented discipline like economics there is no agreement on how aggressively lower ranked journals are down-weighted and in how wide is the universe of journals considered. Moreover, since it is typically less costly for authors to cite superfluous references, whether of their own volition or prompted by editors, than it is to ignore relevant ones, rankings based on citations may be easily manipulated. In contrast, when the merits of publication in one journal or another are debated during hiring, promotion and salary decisions, the evaluators are choosing over actions with costly consequences. We therefore look to the academic labor market, using data on economists in the University of California system to relate their lifetime publications in 700 different academic journals to salary. We test amongst various sets of journal rankings, and publication discount rates, to see which are most congruent with the returns implied by the academic labor market.

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  • Scientific mobility and knowledge networks in high emigration countries: evidence from the Pacific

    Gibson, John; McKenzie, David (2013-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper uses a unique survey to examine the nature and extent of knowledge flows that result from the international mobility of researchers whose initial education was in small island countries. Current migrants produce substantially more research than similar-skilled return migrants and non-migrants. Return migrants have no greater research impact than individuals who never migrate but are the main source of research knowledge transfer between international and local researchers. Our results contrast with previous claims in the literature that too few migrant researchers ever return home to have much impact, and that there is no productivity gain to researchers from migration.

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  • The development impact of a best practice seasonal worker policy: New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme

    Gibson, John; McKenzie, David (2010-11)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Seasonal migration programs are widely used around the world, and are increasingly seen as offering a potential “triple-win”- benefiting the migrant, sending country, and receiving country. Yet there is a dearth of rigorous evidence as to their development impact, and concerns about whether the time periods involved are too short to realize much in the way of benefits, and whether poorer, less skilled households actually get to participate in such programs. We study the development impacts of a recently introduced seasonal worker program which has been deemed to be “best practice”. New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) program was launched in 2007 with an explicit focus on development in the Pacific alongside the aim of benefiting employers at home. A multi-year prospective evaluation allows us to measure the impact of participation in this program on households and communities in Tonga and Vanuatu. Using a matched difference-in-differences analysis based on detailed surveys fielded before, during, and after participation, we find that the RSE has indeed had largely positive development impacts. It has increased income and consumption of households, allowed households to purchase more durable goods, increased subjective standard of living, and had additional benefits at the community level. It also increased child schooling in Tonga. This should rank it among the most effective development policies evaluated to date. The policy was designed as a best practice example based on lessons elsewhere, and now should serve as a model for other countries to follow.

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  • Measurement error in long-term retrospective recall surveys of earnings

    Gibson, John; Kim, Bonggeun (2007-03)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Several recent studies in labour and population economics use retrospective surveys to substitute for the high cost and limited availability of longitudinal survey data. Although a single interview can obtain a lifetime history, inaccurate long-term recall could make such retrospective surveys a poor substitute for longitudinal surveys, especially if it induces non-classical error that makes conventional statistical corrections less effective. In this paper, we use the unique Panel Study of Income Dynamics Validation Study to assess the accuracy of long-term recall data. We find underreporting of transitory events. This recall error creates a non-classical measurement error problem. A limited cost-benefit analysis is also conducted, showing how savings from using a cheaper retrospective recall survey might be compared with the cost of applying the less accurate recall data to a specific policy objective such as designing transfers to reduce chronic poverty.

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