About our People

Norman Gemmell: Professor of Public Finance

Prof Norman Gemmell
Professor Norman Gemmell, Chair in Public Finance

Norman Gemmell has held the Chair in Public Finance at Victoria University of Wellington since November 2011, having previously been Chief Economist and Principal Adviser (Tax) at The New Zealand Treasury (2007-11), and an Assistant Director of the UK Inland Revenue’s Analysis & Research Department (2003-06). Norman also helped set up the 2009-10 Tax Working Group which advised the New Zealand Minister of Finance on his 2010 Budget tax reforms. In 2012, Norman was named 'Economist of the Year' by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER).

Norman has previously held academic positions at the Universities of Durham and Nottingham (UK), the Australian National University (Canberra), and has also held visiting positions at the Universities of Exeter (2015-17), Oxford (2007), Melbourne (1998-2006), Warwick (1995) and West Florida (1999), the New Zealand Treasury (2003) and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, Germany (2011).

His research interests cover a range of topics across economics and political economy but mainly in the areas of public finance (taxation, public expenditure and public debt) and economic growth. He has authored several books and numerous articles in such peer-reviewed journals as the American Economic Review, Economic Journal, European Journal of Political Economy, International Tax and Public Finance, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Public Economic Theory, National Tax Journal, and Journal of Development Economics. He also writes on public finance policy topics in policy journals, magazines and newspapers such as the New Zealand Herald and Newsroom.co.nz.

View full list of publications and CV here

Selected recent journal articles

  • 'Illustrating income mobility: new measures'. Oxford Economic Papers.  Published online October 2018 https://academic.oup.com/oep/advance-article/doi/10.1093/oep/gpy057/5145723. (With J. Creedy).
  • 'The effects of penalty information on tax compliance: evidence from a New Zealand field experiment’. National Tax Journal, 71, 3, 2018, 547-588. (With M. Ratto).
  • 'Quality adjusting education sector productivity'. Policy Quarterly, 14, 3, 2018, 46-51. (With P. Nolan and G. Scobie).
  • 'Income dynamics, pro-poor mobility and poverty persistence curves'. Economic Record, 94, 306, 2018, 316-328. (With J. Creedy).
  • 'Do local property taxes affect new building development? Results from a quasi-natural experiment in New Zealand’. Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, published online January 2018 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11146-017-9651-y (With A. Grimes and M. Skidmore).
  • ‘Corporate taxation and productivity catch-up: evidence from European firms’, Scandinavian Journal of Economics. Forthcoming 2017. (With R. Kneller, D. McGowan, I. Sanz and J. Sanz-Sanz). Available on-line March 2017 at doi: 10.1111/sjoe.12212.
  • ‘Effective tax rates and the user cost of capital when interest rates are low’. Economics Letters, 156, 2017, 82-87. (With J. Creedy).
  • ‘Taxation and the user cost of capital’, Journal of Economic Surveys, 31, 1, 2017, 201-225. (With J. Creedy).
  • The distribution of income and fiscal incidence by age and gender: some evidence from New Zealand. Review of Income and Wealth, 62, 3, 2016, 534-558. (With O. Aziz and A. Laws).
  • ‘Does the composition of government expenditure matter for long-run GDP levels?’ Oxford Bulletin of Economics & Statistics, 78, 4, 2016, 522-547. (With R. Kneller and I. Sanz).
  • ‘The growth effects of tax rates in the OECD’, Canadian Journal of Economics, 47, 4, 2015, 1-39. (With R. Kneller and I. Sanz).
  • ‘Estimating the elasticity of taxable income in New Zealand’, Economic Record, 91, 292, 2015, 54-78. (With S. Carey, J. Creedy and J. Teng).

John Creedy: Professor of Public Economics and Taxation

Prof John Creedy
John Creedy, Professor of Public Economics and Taxation

Professor Creedy’s main research interests are public economics, labour economics, income distribution and the history of economic analysis. Between 2011 and 2017 he was half time at VUW and half time in the Tax Strategy section of the New Zealand Treasury. Before coming to Wellington, he was the Truby Williams Professor of Economics in the University of Melbourne.

In 2016, John was named 'Economist of the Year' by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER).

Recent journal articles

  • The optimal threshold for GST on imported goods. Australian Economic Review, (forthcoming)
  • Debt projections and fiscal sustainability with feedback effects. New Zealand Economic Papers, (with G. Scobie) (forthcoming).
  • Income effects and the elasticity of taxable income. New Zealand Economic Papers, (with N. Gemmell and J. Teng) (forthcoming).
  • Alternative distributions for inequality comparisons. Australian Economic Review, (forthcoming).
  • Taxation and the user cost of capital. Journal of Economic Surveys, 31, no. 1, pp. 201-225 (with N. Gemmell) (2017).
  • Labour Supply in New Zealand and the 2010 Tax and Transfer Changes. New Zealand Economic Papers, 51, no. 1, pp. 60-78 (with P. Mok) (2017).
  • A note on inequality-preserving distributional changes. New Zealand Economic Papers, 51, no. 1, pp. 86-95 (2017).
  • Effective tax rates and the user cost of capital when interest rates are low. Economic Letters, 156, pp. 82-87 (with N. Gemmell) (2017).
  • Measuring revenue-maximizing elasticities of taxable income: evidence for the US income tax. Public Finance Review, 45, no. 2, pp. 174-204 (with N. Gemmell) (2017).
  • Inequality in New Zealand 1983/84 to 2013/14. New Zealand Economic Papers, 50, no. 3, pp. 323-342 (with C. Ball) (2016).
  • Interpreting inequality measures and changes in inequality. New Zealand Economic Papers, 50, no. 2, pp. 177-192 (2016).

Nazila Alinaghi: Research Fellow in Public Finance

Dr Nazila Alinaghi
Dr Nazila Alinaghi, Research Fellow in Public Finance

Dr Nazila Alinaghi started at Victoria University of Wellington to work with the Chair on public finance research and engagement.

Originally from Iran, Nazila completed her PhD at Canterbury University on the topic of taxes and growth and was recently awarded three prizes at the 2017 New Zealand Association of Economists annual conferences. These included the Jan Whitwell prize for best conference presentation by a student, the Seamus Hogan prize for best public policy paper written by a student, and a Graduate Study Award Prize for participation in the 2017 conference.

Recent journal articles

  • Alinaghi, N. (2019) Mobile money, risk sharing, and transaction costs: A replication study of evidence from Kenya’s mobile money revolution. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 11, 4, 342-359.
  • Alinaghi, N., and Reed, W.R. (2018). Meta-analysis and publication bias: How well does the FAT-PET-PEESE procedure work?. Research Synthesis Methods, 9(2), 285-311.

Recent Working Paper

Anna Burnett-Howard: Administrator

Anna Burnett-Howard is the Administrator for the Chair in Public Finance. She organises the work programme of the CPF including conferences, working papers, the CPF website and administrative support to the Advisory Board.