1,740 results for Working or discussion paper

  • Naive Bayes for regression

    Frank, Eibe; Trigg, Leonard E.; Holmes, Geoffrey; Witten, Ian H. (1998-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Despite its simplicity, the naïve Bayes learning scheme performs well on most classification tasks, and is often significantly more accurate than more sophisticated methods. Although the probability estimates that it produces can be inaccurate, it often assigns maximum probability to the correct class. This suggests that its good performance might be restricted to situations where the output is categorical. It is therefore interesting to see how it performs in domains where the predicted value is numeric, because in this case, predictions are more sensitive to inaccurate probability estimates. This paper shows how to apply the naïve Bayes methodology to numeric prediction (i.e. regression) tasks, and compares it to linear regression, instance-based learning, and a method that produces “model trees” - decision trees with linear regression functions at the leaves. Although we exhibit an artificial dataset for which naïve Bayes is the method of choice, on real-world datasets it is almost uniformly worse than model trees. The comparison with linear regression depends on the error measure: for one measure naïve Bayes performs similarly, for another it is worse. Compared to instance-based learning, it performs similarly with respect to both measures. These results indicate that the simplistic statistical assumption that naïve Bayes makes is indeed more restrictive for regression than for classification.

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  • Proceedings of the second computing women congress: Student Papers

    Hinze, Annika; Jung, Doris; Cunningham, Sally Jo (2006-02-11)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The CWC 2006 Proceedings contains the following student papers: • Kathryn Hempstalk: Hiding Behind Corners: Using Edges in Images for Better Steganography • Supawan Prompramote, Kathy Blashki: Playing to Learn: Enhancing Educational Opportunities using Games Technology • Judy Bowen: Celebrity Death Match: Formal Methods vs. User-Centred Design • Liz Bryce: BECOMING INDIGENOUS: an impossible necessity • Tatiana King: Privacy Issues in Health Care and Security of Statistical Databases • Nilufar Baghaei: A Collaborative Constraint-based Intelligent System for Learning Object-Oriented Analysis and Design using UML • Sonja van Kerkhof: Alternatives to stereotypes: some thoughts on issues and an outline of one game

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  • The referendum incentive compatibility hypothesis: Some new results using information messages

    Stefani, Gianluca; Scarpa, Riccardo (2007-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    We report results from a laboratory experiment that allows us to test the incentive compatibility hypothesis of hypothetical referenda used in CV studies through the public or private provision of information messages. One of the main methodological issues about hypothetical markets regards whether people behave differently when bidding for a public good through casting a ballot vote than when they are privately purchasing an equivalent good. This study tried to address the core of this issue by using a good that can be traded both as private and public: information messages. This allows the elimination of confounding effects associated with the specific good employed. In our case information dispels some of the uncertainty about a potential gain from a gamble. So, the approximate value of the message can be inferred once the individual measure of risk aversion is known. Decision tasks are then framed in a systematic manner according to the hypothetical vs real nature of the decision and the public vs private nature of the message. A sample of 536 university students across three countries (I, UK and NZ) participated into this lab experiment. The chosen countries reflect diversity in exposure to the practice of advisory (NZ) and abrogative (Italy) referenda, with the UK not having any exposure to it. Under private provision the results show that the fraction of participants unwilling to buy information is slightly higher in the real treatment than in the hypothetical one. Under public provision, instead, there is no statistical difference between real and hypothetical settings, confirming in part the finding of previous researchers. A verbal protocol analysis of the thought processes during choice highlights that public provision of information systematically triggers concerns and motivations different from those arising under the private provision setting. These findings suggest that the incentive compatibility of public referenda is likely to rely more on affective and psychological factors than on the strategic behaviour assumptions theorised by economists.

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  • Consumer trust and willingness to pay for certified animal-friendly products

    Nocella, Giuseppe; Hubbard, Lionel; Scarpa, Riccardo (2007-05)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Increasing animal welfare standards requires changes along the supply chain which involve several stakeholders: scientists, farmers and people involved in transportation and slaughtering. The majority of researchers agree that compliance with these standards increases costs along the livestock value chain, especially for monitoring and certifying animal-friendly products. Knowledge of consumer willingness to pay (WTP) in such a decision context is paramount to understanding the magnitude of market incentives necessary to compensate all involved stakeholders. The market outcome of certification programs is dependent on consumer trust. Particularly, there is a need to understand to what extent consumers believe that stakeholders operating in the animal-friendly supply chain will respect certification standards. We examine these issues using a contingent valuation survey administered in five economically dominant EU countries. The implied WTP estimates are found to be sensitive to robust measures of consumer trust for certified animal-friendly products. Significant differences across countries are discussed.

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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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  • 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 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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  • A stochastic sub-national population projection methodology with an application to the Waikato region of New Zealand

    Cameron, Michael Patrick; Poot, Jacques (2010-03)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    In this paper we use a stochastic population projection methodology at the sub-national level as an alternative to the conventional deterministic cohort-component method. We briefly evaluate the accuracy of previous deterministic projections and find that there is a tendency for these to be conservative: under-projecting fast growing populations and over-projecting slow growing ones. We generate probabilistic population projections for five demographically distinct administrative areas within the Waikato region of New Zealand, namely Hamilton City, Franklin District, Thames-Coromandel District, Otorohanga District and South Waikato District. Although spatial interaction between the areas is not taken into account in the current version of the methodology, a consistent set of cross-regional assumptions is used. The results are compared to official sub-national deterministic projections. The accuracy of sub-national population projections is in New Zealand strongly affected by the instability of migration as a component of population change. Unlike the standard cohort-component methodology, in which net migration levels are projected, the key parameters of our stochastic methodology are age-gender-area specific net migration rates. The projected range of rates of population growth is wider for smaller regions and/or regions more strongly affected by net migration. Generally, the identified and modelled uncertainty makes the traditional ‘mid range’ scenario of sub-national population projections of limited use for policy analysis or planning beyond a relatively short projection horizon. Directions for further development of a stochastic sub-national projection methodology are suggested.

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  • HIV/AIDS in Rural Northeast Thailand: Narratives of the impacts of HIV/AIDS on individuals and households

    Cameron, Michael Patrick (2007-04)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    HIV/AIDS is one of the greatest public health and development challenges currently faced by the global community. Amongst reported statistics, such as the estimated 39.5 million people infected with HIV at the end of 2006, the human face of HIV/AIDS is often lost. This paper presents several narratives of the impacts of HIV/AIDS on individuals and households, drawn from a 2003 survey of 71 HIV/AIDS patients in Khon Kaen Province, Northeast Thailand. These narratives illustrate the broad range of impacts of HIV/AIDS, as well as the diverse coping strategies that are employed to deal with those impacts. The narratives also demonstrate how the HIV/AIDS epidemic impacts not just those who are HIV-infected and other members of their household, but also the wider community.

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  • 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 socio-demographic profile of Māori living in Australia

    Kukutai, Tahu; Pawar, Shefali (2013-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This report provides a comprehensive demographic and socio-economic profile of the Māori population in Australia using data from the 2011 Australia Census of Population and Housing. The purpose is to provide an evidence base with which to inform future policy approaches with respect to Māori in Australia. It focuses on five key areas: Population size and composition; Identity and culture; Year of arrival and citizenship; Education and work; Lone parenting and unpaid childcare. Comparisons are undertaken with Māori in the 2006 Australia Census, as well as with two reference groups: the total Australia population and migrant non-Māori New Zealanders. Where appropriate, we also distinguish Māori migrants born in New Zealand and Māori born in Australia. This captures important differences within the Māori population in Australia that have been under-examined in previous studies.

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  • Results from a 2015 survey of NZ farm managers/owners covering debt and related issues designed to explore the impact of debt

    Greig, Bruce J.; Nuthall, Peter L.; Old, Kevin

    Working or discussion paper
    Lincoln University

    With increasing debt levels across primary production businesses it is important to have contemporary knowledge of the levels of debt on NZ farms, including both past and present levels, but more importantly, have information on the difficulties debt levels might be creating and the human factors associated with these debt levels. This report provides information and data from a random stratified survey across all farm types in all regions of New Zealand designed to answer the questions highlighted. In general the data is presented rather than deeply analysed as this will occur in a series of research articles to follow. The information contained in the report is available for everyone with an interest in debt matters to allow them to further analyse situations deemed to be important. The information was obtained through an eight page questionnaire sent out to the sample which was stratified by farm type, farm area, and region. The strata percentages of the total sample of nearly 2300 farmers were based on the population percentages. The response rate was 19% with the responses not being significantly different from the sampled percentages. The data is contained in 133 tables which divide the information according to farm type, total farm capital groupings, debt levels, and equity groups in most cases, but also by farmer age, education level and exam grades in other cases. Manager gender divisions are also presented where appropriate as well as labour unit level groupings. It is clear debt levels vary widely with some farms having zero debt, but also some have small equity. Most farms are held in trusts and partnerships of some kind, though sole proprietorship is also important. Most debt is through fixed mortgages with interest only payments occurring. In real terms capital gains are virtually non-existent, and the return on capital hovers round 3% making debt reduction difficult, though it is occurring as shown by the changing equity levels. Anxiety over debt issues, and many other issues, is also prevalent. Information on the farmers’ objectives is also presented showing farmers seek many outcomes from their farms other than financial. If the latter was the main objective many farmers would sell up. Also presented is data on farmers’ management style as this could well impact on debt levels and repayments. The full list of questions asked and information obtained is listed in the appendix copy of the questionnaire.

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  • Canterbury youth and outdoor recreation: An investigation of youth group leaders' perspectives on recreation opportunities on Banks Peninsula

    Hughes Hutton, J.; Espiner, Stephen R.; Stewart, Emma

    Working or discussion paper
    Lincoln University

    In the summer of 2014-2015, Lincoln University, in conjunction with the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust and Department of Conservation, undertook research to explore the use of the Banks Peninsula walkways among youth organisations. The aim of this investigation was to understand the demand for local outdoor recreation opportunities among youth groups in Christchurch, as well as to gauge the implications for the Banks Peninsula “Spine of the Lizard” project. The research developed a database of youth organisations in the Christchurch area that participate in outdoor recreation (n=150); an on-line survey of youth organisation leaders in Christchurch to discover what outdoor recreation activities they participate in and which locations they use, as well as their perceptions of Banks Peninsula as an outdoor setting for young people (n=72); and semi-structured interviews with youth leaders involved in the decision making process to understand what is required for young people to explore the outdoors (n=13). Key findings include: Youth group organisations are frequent users of a wide range of Canterbury outdoor recreation areas – use that appears to be governed primarily by ‘tradition’; most youth organisations report high levels of recreation participation, engaging in some form of outdoor activity (but not necessarily beyond their immediate neighbourhoods) at least 2-3 times every month; relative to some other locations, Banks Peninsula is not currently a high-frequency outdoor recreation destination for youth groups. Although one in six groups surveyed never used Banks Peninsula, just under 70 per cent had visited at least once in the last twelve months. The most common visit frequency reported was once every 6-12 months (26%); the majority of respondents (61%) reported that they would like to use Banks Peninsula more often for their groups’ activities. Common reasons for not doing so included ‘traditionally using other sites’ and ‘lack of information’; respondents were relatively evenly divided on their likelihood of using a two night tramp (utilising huts or tents) on Banks Peninsula starting within one hour of Christchurch City, with 47 per cent of respondents saying that they would be ‘unlikely’ to use it, and 42 per cent saying they would use it. Key recommendations included: develop marketing tools to improve communication; Install interpretation at key sites and facilities; create a hut booking system for youth organisations; increase capacities of facilities to cater for larger youth groups; explore possibilities for a shuttle transport system and continue to develop and maintain mountain bike tracks.

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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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  • 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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