Labour Market Research Group

The Labour Market Research Group aims to contribute to a more detailed understanding of the various labour market issues in New Zealand, and their impact on households and communities. In particular, this group specialises in investigating the impact of labour market policy, and the potential influence of general social policy on labour market outcomes. The quantitative expertise that lies within this group provides a strong basis for economic forecasting and evaluation of different policy proposals.

The group is led by Professor Gail Pacheco, who has expertise in applied econometrics, and is involved in a number of projects utilising administrative data.


Gender pay gap: Empirical evidence for NZ
This project was commissioned by the Ministry for Women to provide up to date empirical investigation regarding the gender pay gap in NZ. Using the Household Labour Force Survey and Income Survey from Statistics NZ, we assessed the extent of the pay gap using the latest data (2015). We then decomposed this pay gap into what proportion could be explained by observable factors (such as age, education, job characteristics) and how much was unexplained. We also assessed the pay gap across the wage distribution, and conducted propensity score matching to compare observably similar males and females. The report for the Ministry for Women is available here , and we are continuing research work in this space.
Key researchers: Chao Li,  Gail Pacheco  and Bill Cochrane

Minimum wage in NZ
This is a doctoral dissertation topic focused on assessing the employment impacts of higher minimum wages for youth. One of the primary aims of this research is to understand the contribution of administrative data in answering this research question.
Key researchers: De Wet can der Westhuizen, supervised by Gail Pacheco and Tim Maloney

Decomposing the temporary-permanent wage gap in NZ
This study examines the pay differential between temporary and permanent workers in NZ, utilising the Survey of Working Life (from Statistics NZ). Draft results are available in this mini report which has been co-produced by NZWRI and the Centre for Labour, Employment and Work (at Victoria University).
Key researchers: Gail Pacheco and Bill Cochrane

Impact of 20 hours free ECE
In 2007, the childcare subsidy for 3-4 year olds was increased to permit 20 hours free early childhood education. This study utilises a difference in difference methodology to understand the impact of these subsidies on affected mothers, in terms of their labour market outcomes.
Key researchers: Isabelle Bouchard, Lydia Cheung, and Gail Pacheco


Charles CrothersDanaë Anderson
De Wet van der WesthuizenGail Pacheco  (group leader)
Geoffrey BrookeHelena Cooper Thomas
Katherine RavenswoodKirk Reed
Lydia CheungNick Drake
Oksana Opara Peer Skov
Rahul SenSean Kimpton
Stephanie RossouwTim Maloney
If you would like to become an actively involved research member please contact us.