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Media StatementTreasury Releases March Working Papers

28 March 2003

The Treasury today released two new working papers in the March instalment of its Working Papers series.

This quarter's set of papers includes:

  • Changes in New Zealand's Production Structure: An Input Output Analysis
    (WP 03/01)
  • Property Rights and Environmental Policy (WP 03/02)

A full list of the abstracts from the two papers follows.

The papers can all be found at [http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/.]

The Treasury Working Papers series contains work in progress on a variety of economic and financial issues. The series aims to help to increase understanding of Treasury and its work, and to make this work available to a larger audience. The working papers build internal capability, as well as generating more informed debate on key issues. The series has been running since 1998.

The views expressed in the Working Papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury. The papers are presented not as policy, but with a view to inform and stimulate wider debate.

ENDS

 

03/01 Changes in New Zealand's Production Structure: An Input Output Analysis
Iris Claus (Treasury)

Abstract:
This paper investigates changes in the production structure of the New Zealand economy using input output data. The analysis is undertaken at the 25-industry level using inter industry transactions for 1971-72, 1977-78, 1981-82, 1986-87, 1990-91 and 1994-95. Changes in the composition of gross output and value added are examined. Backward and forward linkages, indices of industry interconnectedness, a value added production multiplier, a cumulated primary input coefficient for compensation of employees and a measure of import content of final demand output are calculated, taking into account both direct and indirect transactions. The results suggest that some industries have been subject to large structural change and that a shift in New Zealand's pattern of industrial activity has occurred. These changes will have affected the transmission and propagation of shocks in the economy.

03/02 Property Rights and Environmental Policy: A New Zealand Perspective
Kevin Guerin (Treasury)

Abstract:
This paper is intended to lay out a preliminary foundation for applying a property rights perspective to environmental policy issues facing New Zealand. It does not attempt to apply such an approach to any specific issue. Rather it summarises the core principles behind effective rights regimes (illustrated by the evolution of rights over time), reviews how such regimes have been applied to environmental issues internationally, and describes current natural resource rights regimes in New Zealand.

The purpose of applying property rights to the environment can vary widely and reflect quite different perspectives. Regulation by any form, however, whether command-and-control or market-based, creates or modifies property rights. While private property rights will not always be appropriate, the alternatives redefine and reallocate rights rather than eliminating them. A common or public property right remains a right held by someone. The choice is not therefore whether to modify property rights to improve environmental outcomes, but how to do so in a way that optimises national welfare.

However, if more use of market-based instruments is appropriate, then the work required to create the legal, institutional and scientific framework to successfully implement them (including trading off social, economic and environmental outcomes) should not be under-estimated. Fishing and water rights demonstrate these difficulties and the payoff (for fisheries at least) that can be achieved.

Contact for More Information

Justin Brownlie
Tel: +64 4 471 5268
Email: justin.brownlie@treasury.govt.nz
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