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Economics was first taught at Otago in 1871: by Duncan MacGregor, one of the first three professors appointed when the University of Otago was founded

As well as being an economics professor, MacGregor was also trained as a surgeon, and is credited with being the first at Dunedin Hospital to perform an operation applying Joseph Lister's principles of antiseptic surgery.

Otago's first student in 1871, who studied Political Economy (as Economics was known in those days) under Professor MacGregor, was Robert Stout, who went on to become Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1884 to 1887.

Right from our earliest beginnings 150 years ago, the staff and students of Otago's Department of Economics have had an impact on the (real) world!

Nowadays, we are known as one of the top teaching and research departments in New Zealand.

If you are interested in economics, I hope you will join me and my excellent colleagues in the Department of Economics and take a major or minor in economics or apply to our postgraduate programmes.

Further information:

Department of Economics history
Duncan MacGregor
Robert Stout

Professor Ronald Peeters
Head of Department

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