The Treasury today released its November round of Working Papers and Policy Perspectives Papers.
Working Papers report high quality, refereed, systematic investigations of a particular area. They include new empirical research relevant to understanding the New Zealand economy or the impact of economic policy in New Zealand, theoretical frameworks relevant for understanding microeconomic or macroeconomic behaviour or the impact of a policy proposal, or syntheses of literature.
Policy Perspectives Papers aim to bring ideas, analysis and empirical research to bear on topical policy issues. They seek to share important insights from economic literature, international policy experience and Treasury research in a manner that is accessible to non-specialist audiences.
The papers released today are:
- Toward a Model of Firm Productivity Dynamics (WP 06/11)
- Funding Recreational Opportunity Provision on the New Zealand Conservation Estate (PP 06/07)
- Principles for Royalties on Non-mineral Resources in New Zealand
- Measurement of Public Sector Output and Productivity (PP 06/09)
Summaries of the papers follow. The full papers are available on The Treasury’s website at: [http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/.]
The one Working Paper released today is:
WP 06/11 Toward a Model of Firm Productivity Dynamics
This paper contributes to (and may encourage further) empirical work on New Zealand firm productivity growth. In particular, it explores the potential for using Statistics New Zealand's Business Demography (BD) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) databases to understand what determines firm productivity growth and the patterns of firm productivity growth. Understanding how to improve firm productivity is a key plank in Government's Economic Transformation programme. The paper shows that there are large differences in the productivity of firms even in the same industries. Further, it shows that firm closure is more likely for firms with relatively low productivity and also that firms are more likely to start-up with relatively low levels of productivity.
The three Policy Perspectives Papers released today are:
PP 06/07 Funding Recreational Opportunity Provision on the New Zealand Conservation Estate
The New Zealand government pays a large proportion of the cost of providing outdoor recreational opportunities on the Conservation Estate. The Department of Conservation (DOC) does not use (and this paper does not propose) access charges for parks. While DOC sometimes charges for the use of certain recreational facilities, the vast majority are provided at heavily subsidised rates, and many are provided free of charge. This paper uses economic theory and empirical evidence from overseas to argue that a well-designed and carefully implemented expansion of user charges could provide benefits to DoC and to park visitors.
PP 06/08 Principles for Royalties on Non-mineral Resources in New Zealand
Managing the increasing pressures New Zealand is facing on its natural resources is already focusing attention on the use of royalties on “Crown” or “public” natural resources; i.e. those resources owned or managed by central government on behalf of New Zealanders, such as freshwater and coastal space. This paper identifies principles for where and how the Crown should charge for the use of non-mineral natural resources it owns or manages, and discusses how revenue from such charges should be used.
PP 06/09 Measurement of Public Sector Output and Productivity
The non-market output of government has typically been measured poorly in national accounts, where outputs are often assumed to grow at the same rate as inputs. Statistical standards now recommend that government output should be measured directly. Direct measurement is important for both increasing the quality of national accounts and for measuring government service performance. Over the past decade statistical agencies, particularly the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics (ONS), have invested in improving government output measurement. This paper documents the progress the ONS and other statistical agencies have made in measuring government output for national accounts and for productivity measurement, and considers what this progress implies for New Zealand.
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