New Zealand: A Typical Australasian Economy?

Published: 2005

Author: Arthur Grimes

We examine trend economic developments in New Zealand and in each of Australia's six states and two territories (i.e. nine regions) in order to inform issues regarding economic policy harmonisation across Australasia.

Our focus is on trend developments in GDP, population, GDP per capita and employment (each at regional level), and in sectoral industry shares within each region. By comparing New Zealand developments with those in the eight Australian regions, we infer whether New Zealand's developments have been typical of those experienced elsewhere in Australasia.

Examination of development trends also indicates the nature of the development process across Australasian regions. For instance, we examine the extent to which certain regions are experiencing growth in high-value industries (such as business and financial services), and examine the degree to which some are dependent on primary industries, including agriculture and mining.

Analysis of all the data indicates that, while New Zealand has some idiosyncratic features, it is reasonable to regard it as a "typical" Australasian economy in many respects.


Grimes, Arthur. 2005. "New Zealand: A Typical Australasian Economy?" in The Visible Hand: The Changing Role of the State in New Zealand, Andrew Ladley and John Martin, Eds. Wellington: Institute of Policy Studies.

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Working Paper

New Zealand: A Typical Australasian Economy? (2004)