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Measuring Economic Growth in New Zealand - WP 02/14

Publication Details

  • Measuring Economic Growth in New Zealand
  • Published: Sep 2002
  • Status: Current
  • Author: Mawson, Peter
  • JEL Classification: C10; O47
  • Hard copy: Available in HTML and PDF formats only.

Measuring Economic Growth in New Zealand

New Zealand Treasury Working Paper 02/14

Published September 2002

Author: Peter Mawson


This paper examines New Zealand’s ranking in the OECD based on real GDP per capita. The fall in ranking experienced by New Zealand implies that real GDP per capita growth in New Zealand has been relatively poor in comparison to other OECD countries. The paper examines the history of New Zealand’s growth rate and explores the differences between various techniques for measuring average growth rates. The approaches are all shown to be variants of the average annual growth rate but differ in terms of the weighting structure used. Ultimately, the most appropriate technique depends on the underlying data generating process. The implications of data construction techniques for measured growth rates are discussed and differences between the growth rates obtained from different data sources are illustrated. The paper also illustrates the sensitivity of New Zealand growth rates to the sample period chosen.


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Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

1 Introduction

2 New Zealand’s place on the OECD ladder

3 Calculating Growth Rates

4 Data Construction Techniques and Measured Growth Rates

5 Measured New Zealand growth rates over time

6 Conclusion


Appendix A

Appendix B – New Zealand real GDP per capita series

Appendix C – New Zealand average annual change growth rates from different data sources

Appendix D – New Zealand growth rates and growth rate rankings from alternative data sources

twp02-14.pdf.pdf (464 KB) pp. 1–35

List of Tables

List of Figures


The author would like to thank Maryanne Aynsley, Iris Claus, Arthur Grimes, Katy Henderson, Dean Hyslop, Nathan McLellan, Grant Scobie, and David Skilling for their helpful comments and suggestions on various draft versions of the paper.


The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury. The paper is presented not as policy, but with a view to inform and stimulate wider debate.

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