Minimum wages in New Zealand: Sharp tool or blunt instrument?

Jun 3, 2021

Thursday 3rd June @ 12.30pm
Adam Auditorium, City Gallery Wellington - Te Whare Toi, 
Te Ngākau Civic Square Directions


Listen to the recording of this seminar.

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New Zealand has seen dramatic changes in minimum wage policies since 2000. The adult minimum wage has increased 75 percent in CPI-adjusted real terms. In this seminar we discuss the motivations for minimum wages, the changes over time, and how they have affected workers outcomes. Surprisingly, it is hard to find a clear statement of what minimum wage policies aim to achieve. Is a minimum wage policy as effective as claimed by its supporters, or as damaging as claimed by its critics?


New research by Motu Research looks at the changes and impacts of the Statutory Minimum Wage (MW) in Aotearoa New Zealand over the past 20 years. Dean Hyslop will share some of the research findings and there will be an opportunity for a Q & A discussion after the presentation.

View related Working Paper here.


Presenter: Dean Hyslop is a Senior Fellow at Motu Research. He was previously Professor of Econometrics at Victoria University, Senior Researcher at the Department of Labour, and a Principal Advisor in The Treasury. Dean has also an Assistant Professor at UCLA, and has held visiting research fellow positions in Labour Economics at UC Berkeley, the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University and the University of Tokyo. Dean’s research interests are in labour markets and applied econometrics.

Email: Dean Hyslop      See Dean Hyslop's publications



Bill Rosenberg is Future of Work Director at the Council of Trade Unions and a Commissioner at the Productivity Commission though participates here as an individual. He dealt extensively with minimum wage practice, policy and research as a former CTU Economist and Policy Director.
Reading - Rosenberg, B. (2017). 


Eric Crampton is the Chief Economist at The New Zealand Initiative. Eric is also Adjunct Senior Fellow with the University of Canterbury’s Economics Department. For more info and reading


Thanks to The Treasury, the Productivity Commission, Stats NZ and EECA for their generous support.

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