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Departmental news


Discover the latest news, awards, prizes and events within the Department of Economics at Otago.

 What are our MEcon students up to now?

Susie CampbellFinn RobinsonSusie Campbell (left) is currently an intern at the United Nations based in the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in Santiago, Chile. 

Finn Robinson (right) now works as an economic analyst in the Reserve Bank. Finn says "As the GDP and Labour Market analyst I provide short term forecasts of these sectors. The team presents its forecasts to the Monetary Policy Committee who uses them to help formulate monetary policy. It's an exciting time to be at the Reserve Bank, with a new governor and Policy Targets Agreement just around the corner." 

 Congratulations to Anh Nguyen, PhD student

Anh Nguyen award NZAECongratulations to our PhD student Anh Nguyen, who received one of two Graduate Study Awards at the 2017 NZAE conference! The awards are made by the NZAE Education Trust and are based on the paper presented as well as the student's academic record. Well done, Anh (seen in the picture on the left)!


1000Minds helps WHO prioritise deadliest diseases

The World Health Organization (WHO) used 1000Minds decision-making software – co-invented by Paul Hansen of the Department of Economics – to create a prioritised list of 12 bacteria posing the greatest threats to human health because they are resistant to antibiotics. Millions of people could die if new and effective antibiotics are not developed. Released in 2017, the Priority Pathogens List is to help prioritise R&D into new antibiotics. 1000Minds was used to survey and aggregate the preferences of experts in infectious diseases from around the world. To see the prioritised list of diseases and for more information about the WHO project, click here.

Congratulations to Prince Etwire, PhD student

Prince has just been awarded the NZARES (New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society) post-graduate award. The criteria for the award focused on the likely contribution of the research component of the postgraduate programme to New Zealand’s agriculture, forestry, fishing, environment or natural resources, and the academic record/performance of the nominee. He will be presenting his paper at the NZARES conference in Nelson later in August 2016, where he will be presented with the award. Congratulations!!! It is a fantastic recognition of Prince’s work and the quality of postgraduate students in our department.

Congratulations Yonatan Dinku, PhD student

Yonatan won the Jan Whitwell prize for the best presented paper by a PhD student at the New Zealand Association of Economists (NZAE) conference in July 2016. There were 23 entries, and Yonatan came out top equal (as one of two winners). Congratulations Yonatan on this outstanding achievement!! 

2015 Sir Frank Holmes Prize winner

Chris Purdie, Sir Frank Holmes Prize winner 2015

Congratulations to Otago Economics student Chris Purdie, the recipient of this year's Sir Frank Holmes Prize! The Prize was established by the Hugo Group to honour Sir Frank’s contributions to the Hugo Group and to New Zealand. It is designed to encourage top quantitative economics students to further their studies in econometrics at the graduate level. The prize is awarded each year to a top student in their third year who is moving on to honours or masters level studies in economics, including econometrics. Candidates for the prize are nominated by each of the eight university economics programs in New Zealand, and the winner is chosen by the Motu Senior Fellows. Well done, Chris!

"In high-school I found myself fascinated by Economics, particularly its ability to help us understand current events and the forces influencing them. My passion for learning about Economics was further developed during my time at the University of Otago. In the future I hope to further my studies in Economics by participating in one of the university's honours or masters programs. Outside of my studies I love to travel, ski, play ice-hockey and guitar and have recently discovered a passion for badminton and golf."

OUSA Teaching Awards 2015

Nathan Berg received the “OUSA Top 10 Teaching Award” given out by the Otago University Student Association (OUSA) every year for the ten best teachers among those who have been nominated from across the University. Congratulations Nathan. Well done!
"Easily the best lecturer I have ever had. He has an amazing mind filled with knowledge and the capacity to communicate it to us. He is an admirable individual and has been extremely supportive towards our classes learning and development as young economists."

Latest Discussion Paper

Read the latest Discussion Papers for the Department of Economics.

Latest news

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Economy back in focus for the 54th Otago Foreign Policy School

Thursday 20 June 2019 2:31pm