Research

Productivity and efficiency analysis workshop

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Date: 
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 to Friday, February 26, 2016
Location: 
New Zealand Productivity Research Centre, University of Waikato

The School of Economics at the University of Waikato is hosting an intensive workshop on efficiency and productivity analysis. This three-day course will look at methods for performance measurement for multi-input multi-output firms. The workshop will be run by Professor Chris O’Donnell based at the Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis at the University of Queensland.

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Do New Zealand firms catch up to the domestic productivity frontier?

Publication type: 
Working paper
Number: 
WP 2015/3
Author: 
Paul Conway, Lisa Meehan & Guanyu Zheng
Publication date: 
Tue, 30/06/2015
JEL Codes: 
B23 - Econometrics • Quantitative and Mathematical Studies; C23 - Panel Data Models • Spatio-temporal Models; D22 - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis; D24 - Production • Cost • Capital • Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity • Capacity

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 globally. In this case, the relevant question is why new technologies and production techniques do not diffuse from high- to low-productivity firms within New Zealand.

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The impact of R&D subsidy on innovation: a study of New Zealand firms

Publication type: 
Working paper
Number: 
Motu Working Paper 15-08
Author: 
Adam Jaffe and Trinh Le
Publication date: 
Mon, 29/06/2015
JEL Codes: 
O31, O34, O38

This paper examines the impact of government assistance through R&D grants on innovation output for firms in New Zealand. Using a large database that links administrative and tax data with survey data, we are able to control for large number of firm characteristics and thus minimise selection bias. We find that receipt of an R&D grant significantly increases the probability that a firm in the manufacturing and service sectors applies for a patent during 2005–2009, but no positive impact is found on the probability of applying for a trademark.

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Measuring the innovative activity of New Zealand firms

Publication type: 
Working paper
Number: 
WP 2015/2
Author: 
Simon Wakeman (NZPC), Trinh Le (Motu)
Publication date: 
Mon, 29/06/2015
JEL Codes: 
O32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D; O38 - Government Policy

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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New Zealand’s productivity growth: Component and industry decompositions

Publication type: 
Working paper
Number: 
RN 2015/2
Author: 
Athene Laws and Lisa Meehan
Publication date: 
Fri, 29/05/2015
JEL Codes: 
C43 Index Numbers and Aggregate. D24 Production; Cost; Capital; Total Factor and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity.

This note applies Diewert (2014a)’s productivity growth decomposition method to New Zealand data.  This approach decomposes aggregate labour productivity growth into: industry labour productivity growth, changes in industry labour input shares and changes in industry real output prices.  Similarly, aggregate MFP growth is decomposed into: industry MFP growth, changes in industry input shares, changes in industry real output prices and changes in industry reciprocal input prices.  Consistent with Meehan (2014), industry labour productivity growth was a much larger component of aggregate labo

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Firm dynamics and job creation in New Zealand: A perpetual motion machine

Publication type: 
Working paper
Number: 
RN 2015/1
Author: 
Lisa Meehan and Guanyu Zheng
Publication date: 
Fri, 29/05/2015
JEL Codes: 
J23 (employment determination; job creation; demand for labour; self-employment), L11 (production, pricing, and market structure; size distribution of firms)

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 “on average” growth is driven by a very small number of firms with high employment growth.

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Article: UK productivity and the diffusion machine

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Author/Presenter: 
Patrick Nolan
Date: 
Tue, 17/11/2015

This article was written for Agenda, November 2015, published by Oxera Consulting.

In the UK—and several other major economies—productivity growth has fallen below its long-term trend. One likely culprit is an increasing gap between the most productive firms and the rest. Patrick Nolan, Principal Advisor, New Zealand Productivity Commission, discusses whether the problem is a slowing of the pace at which innovation spreads throughout the economy or, as the OECD puts it, a ‘breakdown of the diffusion machine’. He also asks how the diffusion of innovation might be encouraged.

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NZAE Conference 2015

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Date: 
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 to Friday, July 3, 2015
Location: 
Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Productivity Commission staff gave presentations at the conference on four different topics:

  • Productivity convergence among New Zealand firms
  • The returns to innovation
  • Firm dynamics and growth in New Zealand: A cohort approach
  • How to lift New Zealand’s productivity growth

More information

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Global dialogue on the future of productivity: Towards an OECD productivity network

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Date: 
Monday, July 6, 2015 to Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Location: 
Mexico City, Mexico

This conference served as a valuable platform for key experts from the academic and policymaking community to share their views on:
•the key factors that will influence future productivity growth;
•the different institutional arrangements to promote productivity growth; and
•the creation of an OECD Productivity Network, which could facilitate research synergies and sharing of lessons on the promotion of higher productivity growth.

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Blog: Innovation – how do Kiwi firms stack up?

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Date: 
Fri, 03/07/2015

We like to think of ourselves as an innovative bunch with a history of solving difficult problems with No. 8 fencing wire. As kiwis, we are proud of the fact that – among other things – we invented the first flying machine, were the first to use whistles in sports games and, of course, taught Australians how to make pavlova.

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