Category Archives: Statistics

Census Income Statistics

Keywords: Distributional Economics; Maori; Statistics;  The following summarises the income statistics used in the Listener economics columns of the March 11 & 25, and April 7.  The data is derived directly from the official Population Census for the relevant years. As the column details, it is reported income including social security benefits, before tax and…
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What Does the 2004 Living Standards Report Tell Us?

This was submitted to, posted 3 August, 2006.  Keywords: Distributional Economics; Social Policy; Statistics;  The New Zealand Living Standards 2004 report depends entirely upon its “Economic Living Standards Index” (ELSI), first used in the previous (2000) report. At that time I expressed reservations about the index. Many have not been addressed. What I do…
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Ethnicity and the Census: Statistics New Zealand Asks ”’whaddarya?”

Listener: 25 February, 2006

Keywords: Literature and Culture; Statistics;

March 7 is Census Day, the day on which Statistics New Zealand (like Foreskin) asks “Whaddarya?” The Census may not cover all the questions you think important, but a good quality Census response makes the surveys that ask such questions cheaper and you are surveyed less often.

The Opinion Polls and the 2005 Election.

Some material I prepared just before the election, which my son put on his Vorb website, where there are the graphs and some subsequent comments.

Keywords: Political Economy & History; Statistics;

I thought you might be interested in the following two charts. They combine four polls (NZH, Fairfax, TV1, TV3), interpolate between polls and project after them (out to election day – a very foolish thing I add).

Building Coalitions: the Banzhaf Index

On Friday 23 2005, this was put on the No Right Turn website . It used the election night seat outruns. I have updated it to the final election seat outturns, and added a subsequent comment.

Keywords: Political Economy & History; Statistics;

One of the advantages of MMP is it enables us to think more systematically about the political process (although given much of the nonsense that is being written at the moment, it does not appear to force us to). What this note sets out is a a mathematical procedure which enables us to think systematically about coalitions (although, and as I shall explain, like most mathematical models it has imitations) .

Does GDP at Purchasing Power Parity Prices Measure Production?

Paper presented to OECD, 10 June, 2005

Keywords: Statistics;

GDP valued at purchasing power parity prices is widely treated as a measure of production, even though it is calculated on the expenditure side of the national accounts. This paper shows that GDP and GDE (or GDI)are not generally equal (although they are if they are measured in transaction prices). It suggests that we should relabel the measure as GDI at purchasing power parity prices which is actually being what is measured or, better still, measure GNI.

The Relevance Of GDP

A Report prepared in February 2003.

Keywords: Growth & Innovation; Statistics;

What is GDP?
Comparing GDP Through Time
Comparing GDP Between Countries: Purchasing Power Parity
How Satisfactory is the Adjustment?
Comparisons Through Time
Scaling PPP adjusted GDP
Ranking by GDP
Does GDP Measure Economic Welfare?
Alternative Measures to GDP


Rgdp And/or Rgdi: the Impact Of the Terms Of Trade

This is an addition to The Impact of International Price Discrepancies on PPP-adjusted GDP and expands on material in Estimating Production and Income Across Nations: Reconciling the Differences: the New Zealand Experience .

Keywords: Statistics;

While the nominal output of an economy, usually called ‘Gross Domestic Product’ or GDP is exactly the same whether it is measured by what is produced or how it is disposed – on the production side or the expenditure side of the economy. This occurs because the incomes the expenditure generates exactly matches the outlays (including investments) the incomes finance. However this mathematical congruency does not apply when a different set of prices is applied to the production and expenditure sides of an open economy, even if the prices are consistent. The difference arises because the goods and services consumed in an open economy differ from that which is produced because some of the domestic production is exchanged for foreign production, that is it is exported to in exchange for imports. The ratio of the exchange values can vary, and that leads to the difference when, for instance, constant price GDP estimates are made over time. This exchange ratio can be measured as the ration of export prices over import prices. Note that the exchange rate does not directly influence the terms of trade ratio, providing the prices are measured either in the local currency or the international currency.

The Determinants Of GDP Growth Rates: Reviewing a Study

Keywords: Growth & Innovation; Statistics;

Sources of Economic Growth in New Zealand: A Comparative Analysis is a paper attached to the latest IMF review of the New Zealand economy, prepared by Abdelhak Senhadji who was one of the IMF review team. It is on the IMF website After reviewing the record of New Zealand’s slow growth performance it presents a (reduced form) econometric equation which attempts to provide quantitative estimates of various influences on New Zealand’s poor performance. This paper reviews the study.

When GDP and GDE Are Not Equal

Keywords: Statistics;


It is an elementary truism of economics that Gross Domestic Product can be measured on the production side (that is in terms of the products of firms) and the expenditure side (that is in terms of the final purchases of the products) and the two aggregates are exactly equal to one another (although in practice there will be a measurement error, called the ‘statistical discrepancy’).

Measuring PPP-adjusted GDP (index)

This is the index of a series of papers concerned with PPP measures. The papers are in varying presentational styles and also reflects my growing understanding of the issues involved, and my improving presentation of them.

Keywords: Statistics;

What Was a Pound Worth?

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Inflation Calculator and earlier

Keywords: Statistics;

As a part of its statutory responsibility for price stability, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand has provided a web based ‘Inflation Calculator’. Historians will find it useful to convert an earlier price into a current one, thus giving readers a better sense of the significance of a historical value.

The Econometrics Of Household Equivalence Scales

Paper to the Wellington Statistics Group (WSG), 11 February, 2004.

Keywords: Distributional Economics; Statistics;

1. Claudio Michelini
2. Household Equivalence Scales
3. Characterising Equivalence Scales
4. Available Scales
5. Which Scale Should We Use?
6. Which Scale Do We Use?
7. A Simple Econometric Procedure
8. The Michelini Scale
9. Conclusion

Closing the Credibility Gap

Why Act’s race-based welfare statistics are worthless

Listener: 7 February, 2004.

Keywords: Maori; Statistics;

Early in January the Act Party released a paper that calculated the tax collected from Maori was $2.3 billion a year, while government spending on Maori was $7.3 billion a year. Whatever the factual situation –– below I suggest that the figures are misleading –– different political flavours will draw different conclusions.

The Impact Of International Price Discrepancies on Ppp-adjusted Gdp

This is the first of a series of papers concerned with PPP measures. The papers are in varying presentational styles and also reflects may growing understanding of the issues involved, and my improving presentation of them.See Measuring PPP-adjusted GDP Index for the other papers. This paper, written in September 2003, is a simple mathematical exposition.

Keywords: Statistics;

This paper is presents a simple proposition:

Where the international prices of exported goods are less than the purchasing power parity prices of the same consumption goods the purchasing power parity adjusted GDP measured on the production side will be less than the purchasing power parity adjusted GDP measured on the expenditure side for those countries which are net exporters of the good.