1,737 results for Working or discussion paper

  • Investigating the characteristics of stated preferences for reducing the impacts of air pollution: A contingent valuation experiment

    Bateman, Ian J.; Cameron, Michael Patrick; Tsoumas, Antreas (2006-05)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper investigates the nature of stated preferences for reducing air pollution impacts. Specifically a contingent valuation (CV) experiment is designed to elicit individuals’ values for reducing these impacts and to examine how these may change when multiple schemes for reducing differing impacts are valued. The novel survey design allows simultaneous testing for the presence of several anomalies reported in the CV literature within the same context, including (i) scope sensitivity (ii) part-whole or substitution effects (iii) ordering effects and (iv) visible choice set effects. Results indicate some scope sensitivity and interaction between ordering effects and visible choice set effects, as well as substantial part-whole or substitution effects between two exclusive schemes. A practical consequence of these findings is that estimates of the value of combined programmes may not readily be obtained by summing the values of their constituent parts obtained using the CV method.

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  • A compression-based algorithm for Chinese word segmentation

    Teahan, W.J.; Wen, Yingying; McNab, Rodger J.; Witten, Ian H. (1999-09)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The Chinese language is written without using spaces or other word delimiters. Although a text may be thought of as a corresponding sequence of words, there is considerable ambiguity in the placement of boundaries. Interpreting a text as a sequence of words is beneficial for some information retrieval and storage tasks: for example, full-text search, word-based compression, and keyphrase extraction. We describe a scheme that infers appropriate positions for word boundaries using an adaptive language model that is standard in text compression. It is trained on a corpus of pre-segmented text, and when applied to new text, interpolates word boundaries so as to maximize the compression obtained. This simple and general method performs well with respect to specialized schemes for Chinese language segmentation.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Classic and spatial shift-share analysis of state-level employment change in Brazil

    Matlaba, Valente José; Holmes, Mark J.; McCann, Philip; Poot, Jacques (2012-07)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper combines classic and spatial shift-share decompositions of 1981 to 2006 employment change across the 27 states of Brazil. The classic shift-share method shows higher employment growth rates for underdeveloped regions that are due to an advantageous industry-mix and also due to additional job creation, commonly referred to as the competitive effect. Alternative decompositions proposed in the literature do not change this broad conclusion. Further examination employing exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) shows spatial correlation of both the industry-mix and the competitive effects. Considering that until the 1960s economic activities were more concentrated in southern regions of Brazil than they are nowadays, these results support beta convergence theories but also find evidence of agglomeration effects. Additionally, a very simple spatial decomposition is proposed that accounts for the spatially-weighted growth of surrounding states. Favourable growth in northern and centre-western states is basically associated with those states’ strengths in potential spatial spillover effect and in spatial competitive effect.

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  • Preliminary impacts of a new seasonal work program on rural household incomes in the Pacific

    Gibson, John; McKenzie, David (2008-12)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Seasonal work programs are increasingly advocated by international aid agencies as a way of enabling both developed and developing countries to benefit from migration. They are argued to provide workers with new skills and allow them to send remittances home, without the receiving country having to worry about long-term assimilation and the source country worrying about permanent loss of skills. However, formal evidence as to the development impact of seasonal worker programs is non-existent. This paper provides the first such evaluation, studying New Zealand's new Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) program which allows Pacific Island migrants to work in horticulture and viticulture in New Zealand for up to seven months per year. We use baseline and follow-up waves of surveys we are carrying out in Tonga to form difference-in-difference and propensity score matching estimates of short-term impacts on household income and consumption.

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  • CPI bias and real living standards in Russia during the transition

    Gibson, John; Stillman, Steven; Le, Trinh (2004-09)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The economies of the former Soviet Bloc experienced large declines in output during the decade of transition which began with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Yet there are many reasons to believe that measured output and official deflators provide a poor proxy for the change in real living standards in transition economies. This paper uses the Engel curve methodology recently developed by Hamilton (2001) and Costa (2001) to examine changes in real living standards in Russia during the transition period and to provide an estimate of how much the officialRussian CPI has overstated consumer inflation. We also examine changes in consumer durables, home production, and subjective well-being to further evaluate changes in living standards. Our findings indicate that CPI bias has caused a substantial understatement of the growth performance of the Russian economy during the transition. Even just allowing household final consumption to be deflated with bias, we find that the level of real per capita GDP in 2001 may be understated by up to thirty percent compared with using a bias-corrected deflator. Our analysis of consumer durables, home production, and subjective well-being supports the conclusion that the decline in living standards has been substantially less than what is inferred by looking at official statistics on real output.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • What explains the wealth gap between immigrants and the New Zealand born?

    Gibson, John; Le, Trinh; Stillman, Steven (2007-09)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Immigrants are typically found to have less wealth and hold it in different forms than the native born. These differences may affect both the economic assimilation of immigrants and overall portfolio allocation when immigrants are a large share of the population, as in New Zealand. In this paper, data from the 2001 Household Savings Survey are used to examine wealth differences between immigrants and the New Zealand-born. Differences in the allocation of portfolios between housing and other forms of wealth are described. Unconditional and conditional wealth quantiles are examined using parametric models. Semi-parametric methods are used to decompose differences in net worth at different parts of the wealth distribution into the part due to differences in characteristics and the part due to differences in the returns to characteristics.

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  • Measurement error and the effect of inequality on experienced versus reported crime

    Gibson, John; Kim, Bonggeun (2006-07)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper analyzes measurement errors in crime data to see how they impact econometric estimates, particularly of the key relationship between inequality and crime. Criminal victimization surveys of 140,000 respondents in 37 industrial, transition and developing countries are used. Comparing the crimes experienced by these respondents with those reported to the police, non-random and mean-reverting measurement errors are apparent. Some time-varying factors may also affect the propensity of victims to report crimes to the police, undermining the use of country-specific fixed effects as a means of dealing with measurement errors in official crime data. These measurement errors substantially attenuate both cross-sectional and panel estimates of the effect of inequality on crime.

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  • Do returns to schools go up during transition? The not so contrary case of Vietnam

    Doan, Tinh Thanh; Gibson, John (2009-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    A key stylized fact about transition economies is that the returns to schooling rise as economic reform progresses. Existing research suggests that Vietnam is an exception to this pattern, with a decrease in males’ return from 1992 to 1998, and little increase in the return to females’ education (Liu, 2006). This exception may be because of the gradual economic reform applied in Vietnam, whilst in Eastern European countries the “Big Bang” transformation was conducted. Therefore to see whether Vietnam is still a counter example, we re-examine the trend in the rate of return to schooling in Vietnam over the 1998-2004 period, where the reforms have had a longer time to have an effect.

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  • The economic consequences of ‘brain drain’ of the best and brightest: Microeconomic evidence from five countries

    McKenzie, David; Gibson, John (2010-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Brain drain has long been a common concern for migrant-sending countries, particularly for small countries where high-skilled emigration rates are highest. However, while economic theory suggests a number of possible benefits, in addition to costs, from skilled emigration, the evidence base on many of these is very limited. Moreover, the lessons from case studies of benefits to China and India from skilled emigration may not be relevant to much smaller countries. This paper presents the results of innovative surveys which tracked academic high achievers from five countries to wherever they moved in the world in order to directly measure at the micro level the channels through which high-skilled emigration affects the sending country. The results show that there are very high levels of emigration and of return migration among the very highly skilled; the income gains to the best and brightest from migrating are very large, and an order of magnitude or more greater than any other effect; there are large benefits from migration in terms of postgraduate education; most high-skilled migrants from poorer countries send remittances; but that involvement in trade and foreign direct investment is a rare occurrence. There is considerable knowledge flow from both current and return migrants about job and study opportunities abroad, but little net knowledge sharing from current migrants to home country governments or businesses. Finally, the fiscal costs vary considerably across countries, and depend on the extent to which governments rely on progressive income taxation.

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