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, analysing the impacts of rises in youth and adult minimum wage, assessing the cost of poor transition for youth from education to the labour market.

Charles Crothers
Danaë Anderson
De Wet van der Westhuizen
Gail Pacheco (group leader)
Geoffrey Brooke
Katherine Ravenswood

Lydia Cheung
Nick Drake
Peer Skov
Rahul Sen
Sean Kimpton
Stephanie Rossouw
Tim Maloney


Who Creates Jobs in New Zealand? Firm and Employment Dynamics
Data from Statistics New Zealand’s LBD (Longitudinal Business Database) is used to document the creation and destruction of jobs in firms of various ages and sizes. This gives an accurate picture on the net number of jobs created by a new firm, if it survives the initial years. It also answers the question on whether small or young or mature firms create the most jobs.
This is the first project in a series that explores the effects of reallocation of productive inputs, namely labour and capital. In the following project we will investigate the potential gains in aggregate productivity if capital were able to reallocate freely and optimally between firms.
Investigators: Lydia Cheung and Geoffrey Brooke

Health and employment propensity
This research agenda is focused on the topical issue of the link between physical and mental health issues and employment. Permission has now been obtained for using individual CURF data from Statistics NZ on the New Zealand General Social Survey.
Investigator: Gail Pacheco

Mental health and employment type
This research presents an investigation into the relationships between three aspects of mental health (psychological distress, psychological anxiety and life satisfaction) and the probability of switching between temporary and permanent employment. This research makes use of the British Household Panel Survey.

The cost of poor transitions for youth
This research was commissioned by Fuji Xerox as part of ‘A Career Capable Auckland’ project – an innovative Public Private Partnership initiated by Fuji Xerox with Careers New Zealand, in partnership with EMA Northern and Business New Zealand. This analysis focuses on youth that are not employed or in education or training (NEET) and the associated negative consequences of this for the individual and the economy.
The Cost of Youth Disengagement in NZ presentation (PDF)

The cost of poor transitions for youth in Auckland
This research was commissioned by Auckland City Council to understand whether the per capita cost of a NEET youth varies substantially between the national average and the estimate for Auckland.