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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.

37 results found

Research projects

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28 Nov 2016
Achieving New Zealand's productivity potential outlines reasons why New Zealand has generally struggled to lift productivity over the last four decades and the broad areas of policy reform that would help in turning that around. It draws on recent research on New Zealand’s productivity and aims to give a more comprehensive and policy-relevant account than has been possible previously.
Apr 2014
New Zealand’s broad policy settings should generate GDP per capita 20% above the OECD average, but it is actually over 20% below average. Closing this gap would dramatically lift incomes and wellbeing for New Zealanders. The country has good resources – investment in physical capital and average years of schooling are broadly consistent with other countries. Employment of low-skilled workers...
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...
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...
6 May 2014
The World Bank‟s International Comparison Program (ICP) 2005 data on national price levels for tradables and non-tradables (and goods compared to services) reveals that New Zealand has relatively high prices of both tradables and non-tradables when compared to a sample of over 40 OECD-Eurostat countries. This paper seeks to explain both those observed international variations in non-tradables and...
May 2015
This paper uses a cohort approach to examine firm dynamics and employment growth in New Zealand. Consistent with overseas evidence, we find a large degree of churn in the economy, with many new, mostly small, firms being created each year. Many of these firms disappear relatively quickly, but those that manage to survive experience reasonable employment growth on average. However, much of this “...
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...
Jun 2013
Housing affordability has been a topic of much interest in New Zealand over recent years with the median house price increasing by over 50% between 2004 and 2008. The aim of this paper is to inform debate by drawing out evidence from two surveys: the Household Economic Survey (HES); and the Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE). In particular, the paper examines how patterns of...
Mar 2013
This paper examines various de facto measures of the extent of economic integration between New Zealand and Australia. The range of measures considered indicates that significant progress has been made towards achieving a single market across the Tasman. In particular, business cycles have become more synchronised and price changes for the same goods are strongly correlated across the two...
Nov 2017
This paper looks at the impact of innovation on the performance of New Zealand firms. Results show that innovating firms grew more quickly than non-innovators but did not experience improved productivity outcomes. However, digging into the relationship between innovation and firm performacne reveals that firms in the manufacturing sector improved their productivity performance as a result of...

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