61 results for Working or discussion paper, 2008

  • Which households are most distant from health centers in rural China? Evidence from a GIS network analysis

    Gibson, John; Deng, Xiangzheng; Boe-Gibson, Geua; Rozelle, Scott; Huang, Jikun (2008-12)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    In this paper we have two objectives - one empirical; one methodological. Although China’s leaders are beginning to pay attention to health care in rural China, there are still concerns about access to health services. To examine this issue, we use measures of travel distances to health services to examine the nature of coverage in Shaanxi Province, our case study. The mean distance by road to the nearest health center is still more than 6 kilometers. When we use thresholds for access of 5 and 10 kilometers we find that more than 40 (15) percent of the rural population lives outside of these 5 (10) kilometer service areas for health centers. The nature of the access differs by geographical region and demographic composition of the household. The methodological contribution of our paper originates from a key feature of our analysis in which we use Geographic Information System (GIS) network analysis methods to measure traveling distance along the road network. We compare these measures to straight-line distance measures. Road distances (produced by network analysis) produce measures (using means) that are nearly twice as great as straight-line distances. Moreover, the errors in the measures (that is, the difference between road distances and straight-line distances) are not random. Therefore, traditional econometric methods of ameliorating the effects of measurement errors, such as instrument variables regression, will not produce consistent results when used with straight-line distances.

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  • The distributional impact of KiwiSaver incentives

    Gibson, John; Hector, Christopher James; Le, Trinh (2008-03)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    New Zealand’s approach to retirement incomes profoundly changed with the recent introduction of KiwiSaver and its associated tax incentives. Previous policy reduced lifetime inequality but KiwiSaver and its tax incentives will increase future inequality and lead to diverging living standards for the elderly. In this paper we evaluate the distributional effects of these tax incentives. Using data from a nationwide survey conducted by the authors, we estimate the value of the equivalent income transfer provided to individuals by the tax incentives for KiwiSaver participation. Concentration curves and inequality decompositions are used to compare the distributive impact of these tax incentives with those for New Zealand Superannuation. Estimates are reported for both initial and lifetime impacts, with the greatest effect on inequality apparent in the lifetime impacts.

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  • Meta-analysis of empirical evidence on the labour market impacts of immigration

    Longhi, Simonetta; Nijkamp, Peter; Poot, Jacques (2008-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The increasing proportion of immigrants in the population of many countries has raised concerns about the ‘absorption capacity’ of the labour market, and fuelled extensive empirical research in countries that attract migrants. In previous papers we synthesized the conclusions of this empirical literature by means of meta-analyses of the impact of immigration on wages and employment of native-born workers. While we have shown that the labour market impacts in terms of wages and employment are rather small, the sample of studies available to generate comparable effect sizes was severely limited by the heterogeneity in study approaches. In the present paper, we take an encompassing approach and consider a broad range of labour market outcomes: wages, employment, unemployment and labour force participation. We compare 45 primary studies published between 1982 and 2007 for a total of 1,572 effect sizes. We trichotomise the various labour market outcomes as benefiting, harming or not affecting the native born, and use an ordered probit model to assess the relationship between this observed impact and key study characteristics such as type of country, methodology, period of investigation and type of migrant.

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  • International trade negotiations and the trans-border movement of people: A review of the literature

    Strutt, Anna; Poot, Jacques; Dubbeldam, Jason (2008-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    We review the international and New Zealand literatures on the two-way interaction between international migration and agreements designed to enhance cross-border trade or investment. Benefits and costs of migration, to the extent that these may feature in trade and migration negotiations, are discussed. While trade and migration can be substitutes in some contexts, they will be complements in other contexts. Liberalisation of services and the movement of people are likely to offer much more significant gains than liberalisation of remaining barriers to goods trade. Significant scope for liberalisation under GATS mode 4 (the movement of natural persons) may remain. However, temporary migration is already promoted on a unilateral and bilateral basis within immigration policy frameworks that may provide greater flexibility than GATS mode 4. With respect to both trade and migration, the more diverse the exchanging countries are, the greater the economic benefits tend to be. However, greater diversity may also imply greater social costs. This paradox of diversity needs to be addressed through appropriate social policies accompanying enhanced temporary and permanent migration.

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  • The rising public sector pay premium in the New Zealand labour market

    Gibson, John (2008-09)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This note reports propensity score matching estimates of the public sector pay premium in New Zealand for each year from 2003 until 2007. Comparing with observably similar private sector workers shows that public sector workers have received a pay premium that has grown in each year, from almost zero in 2003 to 22 percent in 2007. Unless there have been unmeasured changes in the attributes of public sector jobs that give rise to compensating pay differentials, this rising public sector pay premium is most plausibly attributed to an increase in non-competitive rents.

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  • Using panel data to exactly estimate under-reporting by the self-employed

    Kim, Bonggeun; Gibson, John; Chung, Chul (2008-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The income of the self-employed is often assumed to be understated in economic statistics. Debate exists about the extent of under-reporting and the resulting measures of the size of the underground economy. This paper refines a method developed by Pissarides and Weber (1989) and uses discrepancies between food shares and reported incomes to estimate under-reporting by the self-employed. In contrast to previous studies our panel data methodology distinguishes income under-reporting from transitory income fluctuations of the self-employed, and provides an exact estimate of the degree of under-reporting rather than just an interval estimate. Using panel data from Korea and Russia we estimate that 38 percent of the income of self-employed households in Korea and 47 percent of the income of Russian self-employed households is not reported.

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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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  • Migration, relationship capital and international travel: Theory and evidence

    McCann, Philip; Poot, Jacques; Sanderson, Lynda Margaret (2008-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    In this paper we consider how international migration is related to the frequency and duration of trips to the home country. For many migrants, international migration triggers a series of trips to visit the home country that allow for a replenishment of the depleted relationship capital with family and friends back home, but these trips incur travel costs and foregone earnings. Given plausible assumptions about the depreciation and replenishment of home country relationship capital, a steady-state level of average maintained relationship capital implies that the optimized travel frequency is inversely related to the distance and the transportation costs, and positively related to the psychological costs of separation. The total time spent at home is increasing in the trip frequency, but with an elasticity that is decreasing in cultural proximity. Empirical evidence in support of these theoretical predictions is found in a unique longitudinal sample of international travel of 13,674 New Zealand citizens and 6,882 UK citizens who migrated to Australia between 1 August 1999 and 31 July 2000.

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  • Do research assessment exercises raise the returns to publication quality? Evidence from the New Zealand market for academic economists

    Gibson, John; Tressler, John; Anderson, David L. (2008-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Many countries have introduced research assessment exercises to help measure and raise the quality of research in their university sector. But there is little empirical evidence on how these exercises, such as the Quality Evaluation of the Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) in New Zealand and the recently aborted Research Quality Framework (RQF) in Australia, affect the signals that researchers observe in the academic labour market. Since these assessments aim to raise research quality, individual academics should perceive rising returns to publication quality at the expense of the returns to quantity. Data we collected on the rank and publication records of New Zealand academic economists prior to the introduction of the PBRF and just after the second assessment round are used to estimate the changing returns to the quantity and quality of journal articles.

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  • Credit losses in Australasian banking

    Hess, Kurt; Grimes, Arthur; Holmes, Mark J. (2008-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    We analyse determinants of bank credit losses in Australasia. Despite sizeable credit losses over the past two decades, ours is the first systematic study to do so. Analysis is based on a comprehensive dataset retrieved from original financial reports of 32 Australasian banks (1980- 2005). Credit losses rise when the macro economy is weak. Asset markets, particularly the equity market, are also important. Larger banks provide more for credit losses while less efficient banks have greater asset quality problems. Strong loan growth translates into significantly higher credit losses with a lag of 2-4 years. Finally, the results show strong evidence of income smoothing activities by banks.

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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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  • The value of native birds in New Zealand: Results of a Waikato Survey

    Kaval, Pamela; Roskruge, Matthew James (2008-05)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Several New Zealand studies have placed a value on recreation. Very few have placed a value on native birdlife. In December 2007 and January 2008, we conducted a phone survey in the Waikato Region of New Zealand. 207 people answered 13 questions on native birds. 97% of respondents enjoy having birds in their area both listening and watching. The Tui is the most important bird respondents either see currently or would like to see. If there were a greater variety of bird types in their area, respondent well-being would increase significantly. Most respondents would be willing to pay an extra amount in their annual rates to support native bird projects within the Waikato Region.

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  • Research output in New Zealand Economics Departments 2000-2006

    Anderson, David L.; Tressler, John (2008-04)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper considers the research productivity of New Zealand based economics departments over the period 2000 to 2006. It examines journal based research output across departments and individuals using six output measures. We show that Otago and Canterbury performed consistently well over the period, with Otago generally the highest ranked department. The measures used place different emphasis on ‘quality’ versus ‘quantity’. Which measure is used has a significant influence on the rankings of Auckland, Victoria and Waikato. The controversy surrounding the inclusion of ‘visitors’ and the influence of research stars is considered. Rankings of the leading individual researchers are provided.

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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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  • The effect of infrastructure access and quality on non-farm enterprises in rural Indonesia

    Gibson, John; Olivia, Susan (2008-12)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    There is growing interest in the rural non-farm sector in developing countries as a contributor to economic growth, employment generation, livelihood diversification and poverty reduction. Access to infrastructure is identified in some studies as a factor that affects nonfarm rural employment and income but less attention has been paid to the constraints imposed by poor quality infrastructure. In this paper we use data from 4000 households in rural Indonesia to show that the quality of two key types of infrastructure – roads and electricity – affects both employment in and income from non-farm enterprises. It appears that there would be gains from development strategies that improve both the access to and the quality of rural infrastructure.

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  • Who is coming from Vanuatu to New Zealand under the new Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Program?

    McKenzie, David; Martinez, Pilar Garcia; Winters, L. Alan (2008-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    New Zealand’s new Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) program allows workers from the Pacific Islands to come to New Zealand for up to seven months to work in the horticulture and viticulture industries. One of the explicit objectives of the program is to encourage economic development in the Pacific. In this paper we report on the results of a baseline survey taken in Vanuatu, which allows us to examine who wants to participate in the program, and who is selected amongst those interested. We find the main participants are males in their late 20s to early 40s, most of whom are married and have children. Most workers are subsistence farmers in Vanuatu and have not completed more than 10 years of schooling. Such workers would be unlikely to be accepted under existing migration channels. Nevertheless, we find RSE workers from Vanuatu to come from wealthier households, and have better English literacy and health than individuals not applying for the program. Lack of knowledge about the policy and the costs of applying appear to be the main barriers preventing poorer individuals applying.

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  • Valuing biodiversity enhancement in New Zealand

    Yao, Richard; Kaval, Pamela (2008-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The value of biodiversity enhancement in New Zealand was estimated from a survey sample of 457 residents. We determined the willingness of respondents to financially support biodiversity programs on private and public lands, as well as determining which factors influence this willingness-to-pay. Our data indicates that an average respondent was willing-to-pay $42 (2007 NZD) annually in their rates (taxes) to support a government initiated private land biodiversity programme and $82 (2007 NZD) annually to support a biodiversity programme on public lands.

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  • Audit committees and internal auditors: Using LMX for relationship analysis

    Osman, Mohammad Noor Hisham; Van Peursem, Karen A.; Eggleton, Ian R.C. (2008-04)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretically-informed meaning for the ‘quality of the audit committee-internal auditor relationship’ construct and to provide a new instrument for its measure. Leader-Member Exchange Theory (LMX theory) is widely accepted in the management communication and management literature as one which can be used to explain the development of a leader-member relationship and the quality of such a relationship. The analysis will be grounded in the LMX literature, and in understanding of the relationship between the audit committee and internal auditors. This paper is a contribution to the literature as such application of LMX is a newly theorised initiative to enable researchers to improve our understandings of this important corporate relationship. The output of this analysis can be used for research which evaluates the quality of the audit committee-internal auditor relationship (AC-IA relationship).

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  • Inflation Volatility and Economic Development: Evidence from Nigeria

    Fielding, David (2008)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We use monthly time-series data on the prices of 96 individual products in the 37 states of Nigeria to analyze the factors that drive inflation volatility. Among the significant determinants of volatility are average inflation rates, transport and communication infrastructure, consumer access to credit markets and urbanization. However, there is substantial heterogeneity across products in the relative importance of these factors.

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  • Food miles: Starving the poor?

    Ballingall, John; Winchester, Niven (2008-12-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Food miles measure the distance food travels to reach consumers’ plates. Although substituting local food for imported produce will not necessarily reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the food miles movement is widely supported by consumers and import-competing producers. We investigate the economic implications of food miles-induced preference changes in Europe using an economy-wide model. We observe large welfare losses for several Sub-Saharan African nations. We conclude that food miles campaigns will increase global inequality without necessarily improving environmental outcomes.

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