Are prices high in New Zealand? And, if so, why?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Lecture Theatre 3, Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University

Time: 4.00—5pm


The Chair in Public Finance at Victoria University of Wellington and the New Zealand Productivity Commission invite you to a lecture by Professor Norman Gemmell, Chair in Public Finance, Victoria University of Wellington.

At this lecture Professor Norman Gemmell will discuss his research on how prices in New Zealand compare internationally and potential reasons for any price differences between New Zealand and other countries. This will include discussion of how the prices for tradables and non-tradables in New Zealand compare internationally and the role of factors like population sizes, factor endowments (agricultural land, labour, capital, mineral wealth) and trade policies and trade balances. This work was commissioned by the New Zealand Productivity Commission and has now been published.

All welcome, no RSVP or registrations required. Limited to 60 seats. For further information please e-mail

Norman Gemmell joined the School of Accounting and Commercial Law in November 2011, as the first Chair in Public Finance. Established by Victoria University, with sponsorship from the three New Zealand government departments (Inland Revenue, Ministry for Social Development and Treasury) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the new Chair aims to bring together academic research on public finance with applications to tax policy in practice.

Norman came to the role having previously been Chief Economist and Principal Adviser (Tax) at The New Zealand Treasury (2007-11), an Assistant Director of the UK Inland Revenue’s Research Department (2003-06), and Professorial Research Fellow (1999-2007) and Professor of Development Economics (1996-99) at the University of Nottingham, UK. Norman also helped set up, and participated in, the VUW Tax Working Group which advised the Minister of Finance on the major tax reforms included in his 2010 Budget.

Norman’s research interests cover a range of topics across economics and political economy but mainly in the areas of public finance (taxation, public expenditure and public debt) and economic growth. He has authored several books and numerous journal articles in these areas including Modelling Corporation Tax Revenue (with John Creedy; Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010) and articles in such peer-reviewed journals as the American Economic Review, Economic Journal, International Tax and Public Finance, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Public Economic Theory, National Tax Journal, and Journal of Development Economics.

In 2012, Norman was awarded the “Economist of the Year” by an independent panel of economists sponsored by the New Zealand Institute for Economic Research (NZIER), and was appointed to the New Zealand Treasury’s External Panel of independent experts advising Treasury on its 2013 Long-Term Fiscal Statement.