Public policy seminars

The Motu Public Policy Seminar series provides a forum for informed debate on important public policy issues. There are no further PPSs scheduled for 2017.

Our seminars are accessible to a wide audience, and are attended by people from diverse backgrounds who want to stay informed on economic, social and public policy research. The seminars are presented by the Motu Senior Fellows and Affiliates, as well as other top visiting academics from within New Zealand or around the world.

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The seminars are free to the public, and there is no need to register to attend. More information about previous seminars, including slides and associated papers, is available at the Past Public Policy Seminars page.

You can sign up here to receive email invitations to either our Wellington or Auckland seminars.

Stuart DonovanThe effect of transport outcomes on location choice in Australian cities.

Speaker: Stuart Donovan, Principal Consultant, Veitch Lister Consulting Ltd, PhD student at Vrije Univesiteit, Amsterdam.

12.30-2.00pm, Thursday 15 March 2018, Aonui Lecture Theatre, Royal Society of New Zealand, 11 Turnbull St, Thorndon

Stuart will present the results of ongoing research into how transport outcomes, such as travel-time and travel-distance, affect where people choose to live and work. The intuition underlying his analysis is that commuting data reveals information on people's preferences for home and work locations, and the perceived costs of travelling between the two. Using commuting and transport data from three Australian cities, he finds robust evidence that transport outcomes affect location choice. While the magnitude of the effects vary by city and model specification, they are almost always statistically and economically significant. Whereas existing transport models focus on predicting mode and route choice, Stuart argues that one's choice of location is more fundamental and largely determines other transport choices. To finish, he will devote considerable attention to the implications of his research for transport and land use policy, especially with regards to major transport investments and road pricing.

Bio: Stuart is an engineer and economist with over 10 years' experience working as a consultant in the transport industry in New Zealand and Australia. He holds masters degrees in engineering and economics, and is currently studying towards a PhD in Economics at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, where he is being supervised by Henri L. F. de Groot and Jan Rouwendal. Stuart's research interests include spatial, transport, and urban economics; transport and land use policy; and agglomeration economies. When he is not travelling for work or study, Stuart resides in Brisbane with his partner Emma, a motley collection of animals, and their young daughter.

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Previous Seminars

You can find slides (and sometimes audio) from previous Public Policy Seminars here.


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Our Public Policy Seminar Series is generously sponsored by The Treasury and Statistics New Zealand.

GBLT2, VUW Pipitea Campus, Behind Old Government House, Lambton Quay