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New Zealand Productivity Commission

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We are an independent Crown entity, that provides advice to the Government on improving productivity.

33 results found

Research projects

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Completed
May 2017
Statistics New Zealand has estimated that since 1996 increases in outputs of the public sector have largely been associated with increasing labour inputs. In the education sector, for example, the average annual increase in output of 1.0% between 1996 and 2015 was composed of average annual labour input growth of 2.5% while labour productivity fell on average by 1.5% per annum. These data use...
Completed
May 2017
This research note adopts a public management framework to explore the complexity and challenges of introducing productivity measurement in the social sector. The framework draws on James Q Wilson’s matrix of government tasks (Wilson, 1989) and literature which explores its strengths and limitations (Gregory (1995a) and Gregory and Lonti (2008)). This note applies the matrix to a set of tasks...
Completed
Feb 2017
There are substantial ethnic gaps in higher education in NZ, despite more than a decade of considerable policy effort aimed at this concern. This study uses newly linked administrative data to examine the underachievement of Māori and Pasifika relative to Europeans. We follow a population cohort born between 1990 and 1994 from school through to young adulthood to assess the relative contributions...
Completed
16 Dec 2016
To examine the extent to which to new productivity-enhancing ideas and technologies diffuse within the New Zealand economy, this paper examines the speed with which lagging low-productivity firms converge towards leading high-productivity firms at both the local and national levels. Results show that New Zealand firms have faster productivity convergence towards the local frontier compared to the...
Completed
16 Dec 2016
Services play an important and growing role in international trade. They are an important export earner for New Zealand – representing 29% of our total exports on a gross basis. Today, however, services are not only traded across borders on their own but are also combined with goods exports (ie, embedded services) and are critical inputs in the production process of exported goods (i.e. embodied...
Completed
May 2016
This paper analyses a range of factors associated with the subjective wellbeing of New Zealanders. It provides international comparisons based on the Better Life Index developed by the OECD. In addition it draws on data from three waves of the New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS). The OECD Better Life Index shows that New Zealand compares favourably with the average for the OECD countries...
Completed
Nov 2015
This Cut to the Chase highlights three recent papers that use firm-level data to understand better the productivity of New Zealand firms: "Firm productivity growth and skills" by David Maré, Dean Hyslop and Richard Fabling; "Production function estimation using New Zealand’s Longitudinal Business Database" by Richard Fabling and David Maré; and "Addressing the absence of hours information in...
Completed
Jun 2015
New Zealand has a poor productivity track record at the level of the aggregate economy and there is little evidence of productivity “catching up” towards that of leading economies. At the same time, there is a very wide distribution of productivity levels among firms within the same industries and it is at least possible that some New Zealand firms are among the most productive in their industry...
Ongoing
Jun 2015
In recent years, New Zealand’s population has grown at one of the fastest rates in the OECD. Most of this growth has been concentrated in cities, especially Auckland. Growing populations need more housing, yet New Zealand cities have struggled to provide enough land to meet this demand. This includes new land (eg, greenfields at the edges of cities) and opportunities to use existing city land...
Completed
Jun 2015
International comparisons suggest that, although the New Zealand public sector invests considerable resources into scientific research, New Zealand firms are not particularly effective at generating applied knowledge and even less so at turning it into commercial products. However, these findings are based on aggregate data and there is limited evidence on innovative activity at the firm level....

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