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Department News

Sir Frank Holmes Prize 2016

Benjamin Davies
Ben Davies

Congratulations to Benjamin Davies who has won this prize which is to encourage top quantitative economics students to further their studies at graduate level. The prize is awarded annually to a top student in his or her final undergraduate year who is intending to study at honours or masters level in economics, including econometrics.

The Motu Research and Education Foundation offers the scholarship to honour the contribution of the late Sir Frank Holmes, an eminent economist, to the development of public policy over many decades. Selection of the student is based on nominations NZ-wide and the recommendation of the Senior Fellows of Motu Economic and Public Policy research.

Ben Davies was part of the department's STAR programme and he studied first year microeconomics by distance whilst still in Year 13 in Wellington.

Best NZ Economics Dissertation 2016

Michael Callaghan
Michael Callaghan

An honours student in the Department of Economics and Finance in 2015, Michael Callaghan has been awarded the 2016 NZAE prize for the best New Zealand Economics Honours Dissertation. The paper carries the title “Stock market volatility and economic activity”, and Michael has been invited to present this work at the forthcoming 2016 NZAE Congress, to be held in Auckland late this year (29th June to 1st July). The department congratulates Michael on this achievement.

Economics students track the visitor experience at Godley Head

econ class on DOC project
ECON 390 students out on site with the public

April 2016

A group of UC’s ECON 390 students have been investigating Christchurch’s natural assets with a research project based in Godley Head. Working for the Department of Conservation (DoC) four students are hoping to establish usage patterns in the Godley Head tracks in order to gain an idea of particular areas of value. The students hope to be able to provide DoC with a better understanding of how to continue to maintain the area: a place of historical, recreational, and natural significance.

The students are gathering much of their data through field research, conducting a survey with a random selection of visitors at Godley Head. Through this they hope to build a greater demographic understanding of those who rely on the site. They will collect information on purpose and frequency of visits as well as on travel time and costs. Students will use this data to conduct a valuation of the site as a recreational area, informing DoC of the economics benefits and recommended future resource allocations for the area.

Past news articles

Standing on the Shoulders of Midgets: Dominant Firms and Innovation Incentives (17 Dec 2015)

The Department of Economics and Finance hosted Luís Cabral, Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics and International Business at New York University’s Stern School of Business in December. Professor Cabral’s research focuses on the dynamics of firm competition, from both antitrust and strategic perspectives. In this guest lecture he discussed his innovation model featuring asymmetry between large and small firms, technology transfer by acquisition, and the process of gradual innovation.

New Zealand Association of Economists announce new council member

Dr Andrea Menclova, senior lecturer in the Department of Economics and Finance, has been appointed to the council of the New Zealand Association of Economists (NZAE). Members of the NZAE typically have a degree in economics or commerce and in the normal course of work use the tools of economic analysis as teachers, investigators or advisors on economic matters

High birth weight research completed (22 Apr 2015)

A University of Canterbury economics and finance doctoral researcher has just graduated at the University of Canterbury after exploring issues and factors relating to heavy new-born babies. Dr Rachel Webb examined issues relating to heavy babies and says the relationship between high birth weight and socio-economic status, obesity, and iron supplements is complicated.

UC research in to saving for Super (10 Feb 2015)

A University of Canterbury research project is exploring decisions people make regarding their KiwiSaver superannuation scheme, in what is arguably the most important financial decision of their lives. Dr Kuntal Das, a Canterbury economics and finance lecturer, and Dr Christina Atanasova, a visiting Erskine Fellow from Simon Fraser University in Canada, are analysing the asset allocation decisions being made by people who invest in KiwiSaver. The Erskine fellowship programme was established in 1963 following a generous bequest by distinguished former student John Erskine.

UC students poised for gruelling GODZone race (9 Feb 2015)

Two University of Canterbury students hope their economics knowledge gives them the edge when they compete in the GODZone, New Zealand’s pre-eminent adventure race around Wanaka, starting on 28 February. Multi-sports events are very strategic and Tim Farrant and Elisha Nuttall, both studying economics and finance at UC, will apply their economics expertise, such as trade-offs, constrained optimisation and game theory in their bid to succeed.

CFA Institute University Recognition Program

The University of Canterbury Bachelor of Commerce major in Finance has been accepted into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program. This status is granted to institutions whose degree programmes incorporate at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK), which provide students with a solid grounding in the CBOK and positions them well to sit for the CFA exams.

People should be paid for donating organs (21 Jan 2015)

A University of Canterbury study suggests people should be paid for donating organs to address New Zealand’s issue with one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the developed world. While the donation rate has stagnated over the last decade the need for transplant organs continues to increase with the majority of the waitlist is made up of people in need of a donor kidney. Postgraduate economics and finance student researcher Elizabeth Prasad says kidney disease is a significant problem for the New Zealand healthcare system, in large part due to the rapidly increasing incidence of diabetes (read more)

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