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Motu, Excellence in Economic Research and the Challenges of 'Human Dimensions' Research


  • Suzi Kerr

    () (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)


Economics as a 'trade' does very well in New Zealand. Economists are taken relatively seriously in government policy processes. For better or worse, economic ideas were major drivers of the reforms in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Plenty of well-paid job opportunities exist in the private sector and in government. Large numbers of economics undergraduates mean that economics departments in Universities are not under threat. Economics as a science doesn't necessarily do so well. This article discusses some of the opportunities and challenges ahead in creating a vibrant economic research community in New Zealand that can usefully contribute to public policy. We bring particular attention to the challenges of producing good interdisciplinary work. Nearly all policy problems are multifaceted and cannot be understood using insights from one discipline alone. Motu is a non-profit research institute that has been set up specifically to address these challenges. At the end of the article we outline our vision of how we are becoming part of the solution and give some suggestions for how the government and researchers could facilitate our and others' efforts.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Suzi Kerr, 2003. "Motu, Excellence in Economic Research and the Challenges of 'Human Dimensions' Research," Working Papers 03_05, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:03_05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Woerdman, Edwin, 2000. "Implementing the Kyoto protocol: why JI and CDM show more promise than international emissions trading," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 29-38, January.
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    4. Ellerman,A. Denny & Joskow,Paul L. & Schmalensee,Richard & Montero,Juan-Pablo & Bailey,Elizabeth M., 2005. "Markets for Clean Air," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023894, March.
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    5. Franz Wirl & Claus Huber & I.O Walker, 1998. "Joint Implementation: Strategic Reactions and Possible Remedies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(2), pages 203-224, September.
    6. Bohm, Peter & Carlen, Bjorn, 1999. "Emission quota trade among the few: laboratory evidence of joint implementation among committed countries," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 43-66, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Grimes, Arthur, 2005. "Regional and industry cycles in Australasia: Implications for a common currency," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 380-397, June.
    2. Arthur Grimes, 2005. "Intra & Inter-Regional Industry Shocks: A New Metric with an Application to Australasian Currency Union," Macroeconomics 0509019, EconWPA.
    3. Michelle Poland & David C Maré, 2005. "Defining Geographic Communities," Urban/Regional 0509016, EconWPA.
    4. David C Maré, 2005. "Indirect Effects of Active Labour Market Policies," HEW 0509004, EconWPA.

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    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines


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