New Zealand's market economy has been through five great stagnations (or depressions or recessions; economists have used different expressions): the long depression from 1878 to 1895, the interwar recession (which may have started as early as 1908, and ended with the Great Depression of the 1930s), the post-war recession from 1944 to 1953, the wool price collapse which got back into a growth track in 1978 and the Rogernomics Recession from 1984 to 1994 (all datings tentative). Describing and analysing each is an exercise in applied economics, and there may be lessons about contemporary economic developments to learn from them.
Dr Brian Easton is research economist and social statistician who is currently writing a history of the New Zealand economy. It starts 650 million years ago, and he is currently up to 1950. He is best know popularly for his fortnightly Listener columns, but he has also written many books and learned articles in a variety of economic areas and has had various recognitions from the economics profession including being a Distinguished Fellow of the NZ Association of Economists, Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a Fulbright Distinguished Visiting Fellow in 2004, NZIER-NBR Economist of the year in 2009; he currently holds positions in four universities, including an adjunct chair at the Auckland University of Technology.