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Kelson Sadlier
Kelson Sadlier.

Congratulations to recent Economics graduate Kelson Sadlier who has won the New Zealand Association of Economists (NZAE) Masters Dissertation Prize for 2024.

President of NZAE and Otago Associate Professor Dennis Wesselbaum says Kelson’s Master’s thesis, ‘Exploring Parameter Recovery and Forecasting Performance: A Comparative Analysis of Static and Adaptive Choice-Based Designs through Numerical Simulations,’ was amongst the best he had ever read.

“Kelson’s achievements are a testament to his outstanding talent and perseverance,” Associate Professor Wesselbaum says. “His thesis not only advanced economic theory, but combined it with complex simulation experiments requiring the use of a supercomputer. His personal achievement also showcases the talent and hard work of our top students here at Otago. In fact, two of the last three winners of the Masters Dissertation Prize are Otago graduates.”

Kelson says he was thrilled to receive the prize and to have his research recognised in this way.

“The field I delved into was notably technical for a standard master's thesis in Economics, which I found both captivating and challenging,” he says.

“My thesis was quite interdisciplinary, requiring me to draw on previous coursework I had completed in mathematics, computer science, and economics. I believe having a background in each of these three subjects was critical in making the research I conducted in my thesis accessible to myself.”

Kelson says the faculty in the Department of Economics at Otago are exceptional, and he was particularly grateful to his supervisor Dr Peter Gibbard.

“One aspect I appreciated was the department's emphasis on fostering collaboration and intellectual curiosity. I always felt comfortable approaching faculty members and engaging in stimulating discussions about various economic questions and research areas.”

Since leaving Otago, Kelson has relocated to Sydney, where he works as an economic analyst at HoustonKemp.

“Looking ahead, I'm eager to work on the diverse range of economic issues my new role entails. Additionally, I have some interest in pursuing graduate study in economics overseas.”

The prize includes $500 from the NZAE Education Trust, registration and an invitation to present at the NZAE conference in 2024, and an invitation to submit to the New Zealand Economic Papers, the NZAE flagship journal.

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