2015 NIDEA Seminar Series

Tuesday 8 September 2015
12 noon
You are welcome to join us for light refreshments in J.G.17 following the lecture. For catering purposes, please RSVP Caitriona Gyde [email protected] by Monday 7 September

Thomas Stubbs, School of Social Sciences, University of Waikato

Health systems and the International Monetary Fund: A cross-national analysis of west African nations, 1995-2014

Effective public healthcare systems are essential if low-income countries are to reach the goal of universal health coverage. Previous research has neglected how progress towards its achievement is affected by policy reforms mandated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Using an original dataset on IMF loan conditions, I employ cross-national fixed effects models to assess the relationship between IMF conditionality and public health spending in west African countries. I also explore archival data to identify pathways through which IMF policy reforms helped or hampered health system capacity in the region. Findings show IMF loan conditions were negatively associated with public health spending. Three pathways link IMF policy reforms to the undermining of health systems: macroeconomic targets reduced fiscal space for investment in health; wage and personnel caps inhibited adequate health staffing levels; and fiscal and administrative decentralisation of health systems exacerbated governance and coordination issues. Greater cooperation by the IMF will be required if low-income countries are to achieve universal health coverage.

Speaker's Bio:
Thomas Stubbs is a Lecturer in Quantitative Sociology at the School of Social Sciences, University of Waikato, and a Research Associate at the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge. His research interests include the determinants and consequences of International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs, urban poverty and development, and political economy of east Africa. He has recently carried out fieldwork in the informal settlements of Kenya and Rwanda, and is currently investigating the impact of IMF programs on African health systems.

Tuesday 4 August 2015
Noon - 1.00pm

Dr Hera Cook, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington

Interpreting the use of contraception in New Zealand 1950-1980

In the 1960s New Zealand (and Australian) women had the highest use of Pill use in the world. In the 1970s Maori women had one of the fastest known fertility declines – the proximate cause was hormonal contraceptive methods. This paper looks the use of contraception by Pakeha and Maori women in the 1950s and 60s and asks if prior patterns of contraceptive use provide hints as to why take-up of the Pill was so high and the extent to which medical attitudes are likely to have contributed to this level of use. Use by Pakeha women will be compared to use by Australian and UK women where possible. Maori women’s patterns of contraceptive use will also be examined to see whether their prior high fertility rates are likely to have reflected a desire for high fertility or lack of control,including lack of access to the existing poor quality methods.  Finally the paper will consider what the introduction of the Pill suggests about the model of remote and proximate determinants initially proposed by Davis and Blake in 1956 as intermediate factors and refined by John Bongaarts in 1978. Please note this section builds upon chapter one of The Long Sexual Revolution: English Women, Sex and Contraception, 1800-1975 (Oxford University Press, 2004), which is available online

Speaker's Bio:
Dr Hera Cook is a historian of sexuality and reproduction. She did her BA at Birkbeck College London and began her PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, completing it at the University of Sussex. Her 2004 monograph, The Long Sexual Revolution: English Women, Sex and Contraception, 1800-1975 was the winner of the 2004 Bonnie and Vern L. Bullough Award from the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. She has published on articles on a range of topics including the history of emotional control in twentieth century Britain, contraceptive use, sexual ignorance, sexuality education, sexual desire, teenage pregnancy, demography and the history of sexuality. After completing her PhD, she had an Australian Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Sydney and worked at the University of Birmingham, before returning home to a job at the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington in 2013.

Tuesday 14 July 2015
1.00pm (sharp) - 2.00pm

Dr David C. Maré : Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research and Adjunct Professor at University of Waikato

Revisiting Income Inequality Within and Between New Zealand’s Regions: Analysis of 1986 – 2013 Census Data

This seminar (based on joint work with Omoniyi Alimi and Jacques Poot) updates and extends Karagedikli et al.’s (2000) analysis of the 1981-1996 distribution of real income among New Zealand males within and between Regional Council regions using five-yearly census data. We examine changes in the real personal income distribution within each region, and also the evolution of differences between regions, showing the strength of convergence or divergence between regions. We highlight the nature of changes in the income distribution for employed people, and how this contributes to overall distributional changes. The study confirms a long-run increase in income inequality everywhere, but with modest changes since 2001

Speaker's Bio:
Dr David C. Maré is an Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of Waikato and an affiliate of the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis. Dave is also a Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in Wellington. He has been at Motu since 2000. Prior to that, he was a researcher at the New Zealand Department of Labour. David gained his PhD in Economics at Harvard University in 1995, specialising in labour economics and urban economics. David’s research interests are in the areas of empirical spatial and labour economics, focusing on issues of migration, labour market dynamics, the evaluation of labour market policies, and the economic performance of cities.

Tuesday 2 June 2015
12.30pm - 2.00pm
A light lunch will be served for all seminar participants between 12.30 and 1pm in JG.17. The seminar will commence at 1pm in KG.06

Professor Jacques Poot, NIDEA, University of Waikato

Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa New Zealand

The University of Waikato is leading a 2014-2020 MBIE-funded research programme to investigate how New Zealand can best plan for, and benefit from, its increasingly diverse population. The study, entitled Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa New Zealand (CaDDANZ – pronounced cadence) is conducted by a team of researchers from Waikato University, Massey University and Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in Wellington. The 2013 census revealed about 220 ethnic groups in New Zealand and there is also large diversity geographically. People from different cultural backgrounds often have different age structures, fertility, mortality, family structures, mobility patterns and preferences about where to live. Some researchers refer to this new reality as superdiversity. The CaDDANZ research is organised into 21 different projects that will include aspects of employment and economic impacts, ethnic identity in a family context, Māori perspectives, challenges and opportunities regarding diversity, and research on how people deal with aspects of diversity in everyday life. This seminar provides a broad overview of the research. Some key facts, figures and maps regarding cultural diversity will be discussed. Methodological issues regarding operationalizing the concept of diversity will also be briefly addressed. The website for the project is

Speaker's Bio:
Jacques Poot has been the Professor of Population Economics at the University of Waikato since 2004. He migrated from the Netherlands to New Zealand in 1979 and was employed in various academic positions at Victoria University of Wellington (where he obtained his doctorate) until 2003. He has also had visiting appointments in Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and the United States; and he will be the NZ-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professor in London from September this year. Professor Poot is the Principal Investigator of CaDDANZ and has also co-led other large projects in New Zealand and in Europe on immigrant integration, migration and regional disparities, and on regional population change and socio-economic consequences. He is an elected Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Academia Europaea, and an elected Fellow of the Regional Science Association International. In 2013, Professor Poot was the recipient of the NZIER Economics Award.

Tuesday 5 May 2015
1.00pm (sharp) - 2.00pm
Room KG.06

Dr Bill Cochrane, Research Associate, NIDEA and Convener Labour Studies, FASS

Local Labour Market Areas in New Zealand

This seminar reviews the work of the late James (Jamie) Newell in developing a geography of sub-national labour market areas (LMA) for New Zealand. LMA offer an alternative and more intuitively appealing spatial frame for the analysis of various labour market phenomena than the traditional approach of using administrative boundaries as they better approximate the underlying functional economic relationships. The LMA are derived from census commuting data by setting boundaries of commuting areas such that cross-boundary commuting is rare relative to within-boundary commuting. The resulting geographic areas reflect the theoretical idea of a self-contained local labour market. In addition to reviewing Jamie’s contribution, the seminar will discuss the changes in LMA boundaries between 1991 and 2013 in a largely non-technical language.

Speaker's Bio:
Bill Cochrane is an Associate Researcher with the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis and convenor of the University of Waikato’s Labour Studies program. He is involved with Jacques Poot, Michael Cameron and Mathew Roskruge in research projects and in the provision of a wide range of consultancy services to local authorities, district health boards, central government and various NGO's in the areas of population projection and labour market analysis. His current research interests centre on the application of spatial econometric techniques to the analysis of local labour markets, regional diversity and the future of work.

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Dr John Bryant Senior Researcher, Statistics New Zealand

Bayesian Demographic Estimation

Many demographic applications, from projecting populations, to calculating life tables, to estimating migration rates, have a common structure. All require estimating large numbers of cross-classified rates or counts, subject to constraints, in a way that exploits demographic regularities. Mainstream statistics has not traditionally had the tools to deal effectively with these sorts of problems, and demography has developed its own distinctive methods. However, recent advances in statistical methodology – particularly Bayesian statistics – mean that these problems can be tackled in a statistical way. Doing so offers many benefits, from better treatment of uncertainty, to greater efficiency. It is essential, however, to retain the strengths of traditional demographic methods. The talk will set out a new statistical framework for applied demography, and illustrate it with some examples. The talk will be nontechnical, with few equations and many graphs.

Speaker's Bio:
John Bryant is a Senior Researcher at Statistics New Zealand, and is a research associate of NIDEA. He has worked at the New Zealand Treasury and the University of Otago, and at Mahidol University and Khon Kaen University in Thailand. His research interests include applied demography, statistical computing, Bayesian statistics, migration, and theories of fertility decline.

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Emeritus Professor Joop Hartog, Department of Economics, University of Amsterdam

Immigration: New Zealand and The Netherlands as Antipodes?

Right after WWII, there was an urgent sense of overpopulation in The Netherlands, and active emigration policies were implemented. During the 1960s, policy focused on immigration of unskilled labour, falsely pretending this was only temporary immigration. Later, immigration was curbed, more recently, emphasis has been on recruiting talent. What are the benefits of immigration in a densely populated country? How does this differ from a sparsely populated country like New Zealand? As there are claims that even parts of New Zealand may be “full” in terms of migration and population, I will consider how such subjective arguments can be backed up by more objective economic analysis.

Speaker's Bio:
Joop Hartog is emeritus professor of economics at the University of Amsterdam, where he was appointed in 1981. He got his economics education at the Netherlands School of Economics (now Erasmus University Rotterdam) and at Queens University in Kingston, Canada. He started his professional career at Erasmus University, where he also obtained his PhD. He specialised in labour economics, and he published, alone or with co-authors, some ten books, about a hundred articles in international journals and over a hundred contributions to books and journals in Dutch. He co-founded the journal Labour Economics and for almost 15 years wrote columns for Dutch newspapers. He was a member of several government advisory committees, including the Council of Economic Advisors. He held visiting positions in many places, including Stanford University, the World Bank, Peking University and Harvard University. In 2001, he was appointed as an elected member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences KNAW. Joop Hartog is currently NIDEA’s Distinguished Visiting Professor. A detailed CV is available from the University of Amsterdam website:

Past Seminars

2011 Seminar Series | 2012 Seminar Series | 2013 Seminar Series | 2014 Seminar Series