Past Events

Public Economics Research Day

  • When: Tuesday 10 April 2018 Time: 9.30am - 4.45pm
  • Where: Rutherford House, 23 Lambton Quay, Pipitea, Mezzanine Floor, Room MZ05 

The Public Economics Research Day brought together scholars from across New Zealand and Australia to share recent research on topics such as tax compliance, elasticities of taxable income, optimal income tax reforms, etc. Presenters include Dr Peer Skov (AUT), Professor Robert Breuning (ANU), Dr Christian Gillitzer (University of Sydney).

Objective: Providing an opportunity for informal interaction among public economics/finance researchers and other interested parties in New Zealand and Australia. Key objectives were:

  • knowledge sharing: to bring participants up-to-date on our recent PE research
  • to facilitate feedback on specific pieces of work
  • to share plans for future research including opportunities for collaboration
  • to help promote a public economics community of officials and researchers in New Zealand and Australia

You can view the outline programme here.

Company Tax in the Trump Era: Options for Fiscally Sustainable Reform

  • When: Monday 26 February 2018 Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm

A seminar by Professor Miranda Stewart from the University of Melbourne Law School will examine the case for alternative reforms of corporate taxation that could fund a corporate tax rate cut, while addressing key non-neutralities in the corporate tax system in an international context. These include abolition of dividend imputation in favour of a lower headline company tax rate and various reform options for the corporate tax base, ranging from the cash flow tax and allowance for corporate equity or capital to a comprehensive business income tax which would eliminate interest deductibility.

President Trump has drastically cut the US company tax rate to 21% from 35%, while ending the era of “stateless income” for corporations. Meanwhile the Australian Government aims to reduce the company tax rate from 30% to 25% but does not yet have political support to do this, in light of widespread concerns about fiscal cost, the imputation system and the nature of Australia’s resource economy.

About Professor Miranda Stewart

Miranda Stewart is Professor at the University of Melbourne Law School and a Fellow at the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University, where she was director until the end of 2017. She teaches and researches in the areas of tax law and policy including taxation of business and investment entities, tax and development, not-for-profits, and tax reform in the context of globalisation

Tax Compliance Masterclass

This masterclass is led by two of the world’s leading experts on tax compliance research, Professor James Alm and Professor Gareth Myles

  • When: 6th – 7th December 2016
  • Where: Wellington: Te Wharewaka o Pōneke Function Centre, Waterfront

This 1½ day Masterclass will share latest thinking on the economics of tax compliance, an update on research from the US, Europe and New Zealand and explore how tax compliance research can inform tax policy and tax compliance effort in practice.

This Masterclass will be restricted to 30 participants, so early registration is encouraged. Cost: $350 ($200 – Public Service/Academic)

The 2016 Public Finance Debate Series hosted by the Government Economics Network and the Chair in Public Finance

Debate 1: Big data in policy advice: big opportunity or big risk?

In the absence of detailed knowledge of individuals’ circumstances, the traditional approach to policy targeting has often been to target the policy as widely to ensure that all those who might be eligible are reached. But now ‘big data’ is providing unique opportunities to identify individual characteristics, so radically improving our ability to target those most in need. But what are the risks? Some might argue that while big data can provide a more detailed picture of targeted individuals, it focuses policy on the symptoms, not the causes, of their condition.

Date: 28th September 2016 4:00 - 5:00 pm followed by refreshments

For more information please view the Invitation flier.

Debate 2: New Zealand needs a sugar tax to protect us from Christmas excesses

Waistlines often expand around the Christmas season. This may reflect the appearance of candy canes, eggnog lattes, and other edible Christmas goodies. Could a sugar tax save us from these sugar-laden treats? The UK introduced a tax on sugary drinks in its 2016 Budget and other countries seems to be lining up. But will it deal with the alleged obesity problem among children and adults? What about other good or bad side-effects of a sugar tax? Is regulation a better way to go? Or should government simply leave our Christmas treats alone.

15th December 4:00 - 5:00 pm followed by refreshments

For more information please view the Invitation flier.


2015 Public Finance Christmas debate

on 9 December 2015, the Government Economics Network and Chair in Public Finance hosted a lively Christmas debate on the cost of happiness at Christmas.

Imputation and the New Zealand Dividend Psyche Seminar

Tax has a major impact on corporate dividend policy. In-depth interviews with 25 New Zealand corporates and 12 investor groups underpin EY’s report Imputation and the New Zealand Dividend Psyche. The Chair in Public Finance and EY hosted a seminar to discuss this report on 23 November 2015.

2015 Public Finance debate series

From April to June, the Government Economics Network and Chair in Public Finance hosted a series of debates on topical public finance issues:

Debate 1: Today’s policy settings unfairly favour the baby boomer generation

Debate 2: Economic evidence should play a greater role in health policy evaluation

Debate 3: The ‘investment approach’ provides a helpful new tool for public spending policy and evaluation