Dr Simon Chapple

Dr Simon Chapple profile picture

Director, IGPS School of Government


  • BCom, Economics, Auckland
  • MCom (1st class Hons), Economics, Auckland
  • MPhil, Economics, Cambridge
  • DPhil, Economics, Victoria University of Wellington

Research Interests

  • Social investment
  • Labour market
  • Welfare system
  • Outcomes for children


Simon Chapple was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. He became Director of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies in mid-2017. Previously he has worked domestically in a research and policy advisory capacity for a range of government agencies, including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Ministry of Social Development, and the Department of Labour. He has nearly five years of private sector experience at the NZIER. Internationally, he has worked for UNCTAD in Geneva and for five years at the OECD Social Policy Division in Paris. Academically, he has experience as Senior Research Fellow in the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Research Unit, Otago University and as an Academic Coordinator in the School of Government, Victoria University.

His New Zealand research interests cover the labour market, the welfare system and outcomes for children. He has (with Jonathan Boston) authored a book on child poverty in New Zealand. His ongoing research focuses on the government’s social investment approach to labour market, welfare and child policy.

Selected recent publications


  • The Child Poverty Debate. Myths, Misconceptions and Misunderstandings. BWB Texts, Bridget Williams Books, 2015 (with Jonathan Boston)
  • Child Poverty in New Zealand, Bridget Williams Books, 2014 (with Jonathan Boston)

Refereed journal articles

  • “New Zealand's first recorded post-contact epidemic: Untangling the tale of Rongotute and Te Upoko o rewarewa”, Archaeology in New Zealand, 2016, December, pp. 22-32
  • “From Missionary Counts to the First Maori Census of 1858”, Turnbull Library Record, 2016, 48: 6–19
  • “Wealth Inequality among New Zealand’s Generation X”, Policy Quarterly, 11 (1): 73–79, February (with Sean Hogan, Barry Milne, Richie Poulton and Sandhya Ramrakha)
  • “Life Satisfaction and Mental Health Problems (18 to 35 years)”, Psychological Medicine, 2015: 1–10 (with D. M Fergusson, G. F. H. McLeod, L. J. Horwood, N. R. Swain and R. Poulton)
  • “The Direct Estimation of Maori Vital Rates for the Island of Ruapuke, 1844–45 and 1850–1885”, Journal of the Polynesian Society, 2014, 123 (4), December: 421–430
  • “Using a Quasi-Natural Experiment to Identify the Effects of Birth-Related Leave Policies on Subjective Well-being in Europe”, OECD Journal: Economic Studies, 2013, 1: 1–34 (with Anna Cristina D’Addio, Andreas Hoherz, and Bert Van Landeghem)
  • “Forward Liability and Welfare Reform in New Zealand”, Policy Quarterly, 2013, 9 (2): 56–62


  • “Piketty’s Book is the Real Article”, chapter in. The Piketty Phenomenon: New Zealand Perspectives. Vol. 21. Bridget Williams Books, 2014
  • “Child Well-being and Single Parent Family Structure in the OECD”, in Family Well-being:  European Perspectives, edited by Almudena Moreno, Springer, 2013


  • OECD. Back to Work New Zealand. Improving the Re-employment Prospects of Displaced Workers, OECD, Paris, 2017 (with Veerle Miranda and Chris Prinz).
  • Society at a Glance: Asia/Pacific, OECD, Paris, 2011 (edited and major author)
  • Society at a Glance, OECD, Paris, 2011 (edited and major author)
  • Society at a Glance, OECD, Paris, 2009 (edited and major author)
  • “Subjective Well-being and Social Policy”, OECD DELSA Report to the European Commission, 2009 (with Andrew Clark, Justina Fischer and Claudia Senik)
  • Doing Better for Children, OECD, Paris 2009 (with Dominic Richardson)