Business

Applications for 2021-2022 scholarships are now closed.

The Effect of Import Competition on Workplace Safety: Evidence from California

Supervisor

Audrey Dong

Discipline

Economics

Project code: BUS001

Counties trade with each other A LOT! Interested in how does international trade affect our daily life? This project explores the effect of increased import competition from China (also known as the “China Shock”) on workplace injuries in the United States. Using detailed regional level injury claims within California, we will explore whether areas more exposed to Chinese imports experience more or less workplace injuries.

This project will allow you to gain experience in all stages of economics research. You will learn to reviewing the current literature, preparing data for analysis, implementing the statistical software STATA (no prior knowledge of STATA is required). In addition, you will gain knowledges on how to interpret the results and think about potential policy implications. You will also work with International Economist at the United States government.

The right to research: A reflection of Colonial history? Case study of Pacific Island Countries

Supervisor

Bran Van Wiele

Discipline

Commercial Law

Project code: BUS002

This project contributes to the international endeavour to develop global norms on copyright policy. It will study the divergent approaches to copyright exceptions and limitations in relation to research to determine how the “right to research” externalises differently when dealing with new challenges in local contexts.

United Kingdom copyright law remains an important source of law in Commonwealth countries. While most of its former colonies and dominions have adopted their own copyright legislation, they have largely adhered to the British model. In responding to their local challenges, these countries produce different meanings of the “right to research” as situated within particularities of the Pacific.

This project will compile and analyse historical data on legislation and case law relating to copying for research for private study in the selected jurisdictions. The student will gain specialised knowledge in the field of copyright law as well as legal-historical research skills.

The International Business of Modern Slavery

Supervisor

Brent Burmester
Christina Stringer
Snejina Michailova

Discipline

Management and International Business

Project code: BUS003

A summer scholar is required to engage in directed online and library searches in support of the goals of a book, co-authored by members of the Centre for Research on Modern Slavery.

The book, to be published by Cambridge University Press, addresses modern slavery for a scholarly audience from an international business perspective. The summer scholar will support the authors through searching scholarly databases, NGO and governmental websites, news databases and physical library resources for conceptual and empirical data pertaining to modern slavery in global value chains.

Other duties include collating, categorising, and summarising these resources. It requires thoughtful and tenacious use of online and library resources, but does not require extensive prior knowledge of modern slavery.

Students interested in international business, corporate responsibility, human and labour rights, justice and sustainability will find this work aligns well with their personal and professional ambitions.

Women’s Empowerment and the Evolution of the Macroeconomy in the Unified Growth Theory

Supervisor

Debasis Bandyopadhyay

Discipline

Economics

Project code: BUS004

We develop the new paradigm of Unified Growth Theory of Oded Galor (2011) to trace how the interaction between technology and social institutions determines the gender wage gap and women's bargaining power in their families as the underlying macroeconomy evolves. The resulting women's empowerment affects their education and participation outside the home.

Interestingly, Indian data show that as the education gap between males and females declines, the female labour participation rate decreases. That observation stands in sharp contrast with the experience of China and many western countries. We aim to explain this contrast through numerical simulations of our theoretical model.

The project involves algebraic manipulations of mathematical equations and the use of software (STATA / R / MatLab / Mathematica) to simulate and calibrate the model's outcome to panel data before conducting statistical tests of the hypothesis. Therefore, a strong mathematical modelling background with sufficient expertise in algebra is desirable.

Game of Trends: Google Search trends and Impact on Fintech

Supervisor

Dulani Jayasuriya

Discipline

Accounting and Finance

Project code: BUS005

Data Science dominates emerging job ranking with a 37% hiring growth in past three years (LinkedIn). We believe that new data sources offer an advanced perspectives on the behaviour of consumers (e.g., GameStop, Bitcoin price). By analysing changes in Google query volumes for search terms related to fintech, we aim to identify trends for crypto currency price movements. We would compile and conduct statistical analysis on an extensive database using key words such as digital assets, NFTs, cryptocurrencies, etc. from 2010 to 2021 for 26 countries.

The student would use python to extract google trends data by enhancing a code I have developed and learn vital skills on data visualisation, normalising and standardising big data and conduct preliminary analysis using either SAS, STATA, R or Python. The skills the student learn would be transferable in any industry. This data science application project would greatly benefit students in the job market.

Shelter or Cash? The Effect of Housing Allowances on Residential Property Market in New Zealand

Supervisor

Edward Yiu
William Cheung
Michael Rehm

Discipline

Property

Project code: BUS006

Housing policy in New Zealand has long been characterised by significant market intervention in support of homeownership with a remnant public rental housing sector. With the dramatic social welfare reforms in the 1990s, a set of radical housing reforms was introduced in the country that profoundly transformed the role of the state in the housing market. One key reform is introducing cash housing subsidies, namely accommodation supplement (AS), to assist low-income households with their housing costs. The AS policy has contended to uplift the housing market rents in a landlord market.

This proposed study aims to empirically examine such contention by identifying the condition of a landlord market and testing the effect of housing allowance amounts on market rents. The empirical evidence will help understand whether cash subsidies would potentially promote fiscal blowout in government expenditure, contribute to housing affordability problems and increase residential segregation in the urban housing market.

What can we learn about building thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems from Taiwan?

Supervisor

Frank Siedlok

Discipline

Management and International Business

Project code: BUS007

Despite an impressive track record of developing world-class industries through focused industrial policies, Taiwan has relatively low rates of entrepreneurship. Only recently we started to hear about Taiwan’s emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem: in 2020 Taiwan appeared in the StartupBlink Report for the first time, ranking 7th in Asia Pacific and 30th globally. But we know little about the particular events, actors, initiatives and policies that helped the ecosystem to emerge – and the challenges it faces. What made it emerge in the first place?

In this project you will research the different initiatives, relationships and challenges faced by Taiwan entrepreneurial ecosystems. You will develop search techniques to collect, systemise and analyse publicly available data in English and Mandarin (you are fluent or can use translation tools). If relevant, you will undertake (Zoom / email) interviews. You will construct an analysis similar to that of Adams (2020: https://doi.org/10.1080/08985626.2020.1734259).

Competition, collaboration and multimarket interdependencies

Supervisor

Grigorij Ljubownikow

Discipline

Management and International Business

Project code: BUS008

Firms often interact in many different ways. Sometimes they compete, sometimes they collaborate, but what happens when competitors collaborate with each other? What if firms have alliances and sell similar products (i.e. car makers selling SUVs, Vans and Sedans while collaborating on developing electronic vehicle technology). In this project, you will learn about these questions. Your role will involve conducting a structured review of the academic literature.This will include keyword-based database searches, retrieval and classification of documents and structured analysis of these documents.

In the process, you will learn how to use the R statistical language for structured document analysis (no prior knowledge is required, and training will be provided) using such tools as topic modelling and natural language processing. In addition, you will gain detailed knowledge about the drivers and outcomes of firm competitive behaviour in the presence of formal collaborative agreements and multimarket contact.

Understanding the zero-waste consumer: How do people make only a jar of rubbish a year?

Supervisor

Joya Kemper

Discipline

Marketing

Project code: BUS009

In our linear economy we take, make and dispose of products without much thought. However, there is a growing dissatisfaction with our vast amounts of waste and throw-away culture noting the harsh impacts on nature and humans. As a result, businesses are implementing circular economy strategies. We also hear about people becoming ‘zero waste’, avoiding the disposal of plastic packaging and food, with plenty of anecdotal evidence from articles (i.e., National Geographic), blogs, websites and community groups. Yet, we don’t actually know much about these zero wasters, those who on the extreme, can fit their rubbish in ONE jar for the whole year!

The research will analyse secondary data (i.e., blogs, YouTube videos, websites) on Zero Waste consumers to gain an in-depth understanding of their lifestyle, particularly their waste reduction strategies/behaviours. A student interested in sustainability, environmental studies and/or social marketing would benefit from taking part in this study.

Digital Literacy and Sustainable Documents in Online Environments: A Synthesis of Literature and Practices to Assess Data, Opportunities, Gaps and Requirements

Supervisor

Lesley Gardner

Discipline

Information Systems and Operations Management

Project code: BUS010

Digital citizenry is an evolving paradigm observing human activity phenomena in the digitalised world. The Digital Citizenry group is currently focusing on two areas: digital literacy, which is the skills and knowledge the individual needs to function in the online world, and secondly, document sustainability and knowledge management through an internet-mediated environment. Working with us will provide you with a unique opportunity to gain experience as a member of the research team. Working on our digital literacy project will enable you to gain new skills in using various data management and analysis tools. You will apply your knowledge in quantitative and qualitative data analysis and synthesis. In our sustainable documents project, you will focus on evaluating existing extensive and varied literature and practices from this field, and its classification, leading to future modelling. Your contribution in these projects will enable us to build a framework to understand digital citizenry.

Climate-related disclosures in New Zealand

Supervisor

Lily Chen

Discipline

Accounting and Finance

Project code: BUS011

In April 2021, the NZ government introduced legislation to make climate-related disclosures mandatory for publicly listed companies and large financial institutions. Its ultimate goal is to help NZ achieve its zero carbon target by 2050. This provides great research opportunities to investigate the impact of the legislation introduction on

  1. stock market reaction for listed companies
  2. change in investment portfolio of financial companies.

Part I of the project involves a comprehensive literature review on climate disclosure. Part II of the project is an event study. The student will search for journal articles and briefly summarise each article, which will help develop their literature search, analysis, and writing skills. Time permitting, the student will also download and analyse archival data, which will help develop their data skills. These research and personal skills will be beneficial for the student in terms of their postgraduate study in 2022 and future career.

Hey, they broke the rules! How firms learn to use knowledge protection mechanisms to protect innovations and partnerships

Supervisor

Lisa Callagher

Discipline

Management and International Business

Project code: BUS012

When offshore partners' break the rules' – as occurred when Zespri kiwifruit was found illegally growing in China - what can a firm do to protect its innovations and its relationships with its partners?

Zespri builts its global premium fruit brand on supplying seasonal fruit into overseas markets 365 days a year. Developing patented products (e.g. SunGold, SunRed) and maintaining long-term partnerships with NZ and offshore orchards are critical to year-round, high-quality production of a fruit that stores poorly. But, contracting offshore partners to produce your patented products comes with risks.

Learn about the knowledge protection mechanisms that businesses like Zespri use to protect their innovations while maintaining offshore partnerships to produce goods for the market. Hone your advanced search techniques to collect publicly available data in English and Mandarin (you are fluent or can use translation tools) and accelerate your skills to curate and analyse different data in organised ways.

On Improving the Safety of Uber Drivers in New Zealand

Supervisor

Nadia Dabee

Discipline

Commercial Law

Project code: BUS013

Uber drivers often have to agree to be exposed to workplace hazards such as aggressive passengers, fatigue, stress, and potential exposure to covid-19. Thus, this research project aims to clarify the application of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) to digital platforms such as Uber, and to suggest solutions for such platforms to discharge their obligations under the HSWA.

The student will contribute to the project by undertaking, under guidance, a critical analysis of the literature on the health and safety hazards faced by Uber drivers. The student will also help to research relevant legal commentaries. The student will thus gain experience in searching databases and systematically organising information for use in a research project. Time permitting, the student will be coached to deliver a research seminar at departmental level.

The student’s work will contribute to a research paper that will hopefully result in a joint publication.

Be responsive: Bystanders’ online intervention

Supervisor

Randy Wong

Discipline

Information Systems and Operations Management

Project code: BUS014

Cyberbullying poses a serious threat to users and providers of social media. Our project aims to develop a research model that explains the underlying mechanisms shaping bystanders’ intervention on social media. By shedding light on how and why bystanders intervene to mitigate cyberbullying on social media, our project yields valuable insight into how social media platforms can build safer and more secure environments for all users. Students are highly welcome to join our project. In this project, students will gain hands-on experience in conducting behavioural research, acquire a better understanding of social media intervention, contribute to maintaining a healthy online social environment, and develop an appreciation for the importance and impact of Information Systems research.

Exploration of the economic potential of hydrogen in NZ’s transport sector

Supervisor

Selena Sheng
Associate Supervisor: Le Wen

Discipline

Energy Centre - Economics

Project code: BUS015

Transportation contributed nearly half of the energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in NZ. Substituting traditional internal combustion engines (ICEs) with fuel cell vehicles powered by green hydrogen (H2) – a type of H2 produced from renewable energy and water electrolysis, will have a positive impact on reducing carbon emissions, hence accelerate NZ’s progress towards its net-zero sustainability target by 2050. Our research aims to address the adoption of green H2 as an alternative fuel, the implementation of green H2 production and the storage technologies for use in different transport applications of green H2, including road transport (i.e. heavy commercial vehicles, light commercial vehicles, and light private vehicles), aviation and shipping. With the guidance of the supervisors, you will learn how to write a critical literature review, extract information from both international and domestic academic studies/reports to create a database for H2 in the transport sector, and execute parts of the economic/simulation procedure.

Understanding the role of uncertainty in decision making: The case of competing ride-sharing services

Supervisor

Simona Fabrizi

Discipline

Economics

Project code: BUS016

In a recent theory model* we explained incentives for competing ride-sharing services to offer mixtures of fixed price and price estimates as residing in their ability to exploit ambiguity attitudes on both sides of the market: Ambiguity-loving consumers/drivers are attracted toward price estimate offers, whereas ambiguity-averse consumers/drivers shy away from them. In equilibrium, drivers from both platforms extract rents, so do consumers accepting price estimate offers; whereas all rents from consumers accepting fixed price offers are successfully extracted away from them. To gain further insights into the behaviour of both sides of this market, we plan to bring these testable implications to an online experimental setting. For that, we seek research assistance to help specifically with developing suitable coding of routines and protocols. While being exposed to, and gaining experience with, the frontier of research in economics, the selected RA will have a chance to sharpen very valuable coding skills.

(*) Tan YL, Fabrizi S, “Consumer (and Driver) Decision-making under Uncertainty on Digital Platforms”, Mimeo 2021

Climate Teams in the Lab

Supervisor

Steffen Lippert

Discipline

Economics

Project code: BUS017

Recent economic theory investigates the impact of side payments between heterogenous contributors to a public good, such as greenhouse gas emissions reductions, in a framework where investment in compliance technology affects the efficiency of contributions. It predicts, if high-benefit contributors cannot commit ex-ante to transfer funds to low-benefit contributors, then investment-based agreements, where transfers occur before contributions are decided upon, but after investments have been committed, maximize the scope of cooperation. Results-based agreements minimize transfers whenever they implement high contributions.

This Summer Research Scholarship project aims at testing these insights using human-subject decision-making experiments. Together with the researcher, the student will design appropriate experimental procedures, write the code for the experiments, and run them online.

Applications for the experiments are diverse. They include agreements in climate teams, small groups of countries that are diverse in their benefit from reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also mechanisms that govern incentives to innovate.

Are we lagging behind? Explore the potential of offshore wind to green hydrogen system in New Zealand

Supervisor

Stephen Poletti
Le Wen

Discipline

Economics

Project code: BUS018

The New Zealand government has proposed a zero-carbon target by 2050. Electricity demand is also expected to double up to 88 TWh annually by 2050. Zero-carbon economy transition and growing electricity demand motive us to explore the offshore wind to green hydrogen system potential in the New Zealand context, which has been studied in several European countries. Coupling offshore wind with hydrogen production will be one of main pillars towards a fully decarbonized energy system by avoiding wind curtailment, mitigating electricity grid congestion, and producing green hydrogen used for energy storage, transportation fuel, steel and iron production, or replacing natural gas for residential customers. This project is to provide a pioneer study of assessing the feasibility of offshore wind and hydrogen production, including economic viability, challenges, and barriers. This study contributes to showing an alternative solution to achieve the New Zealand government’s zero-carbon target.

Derivative pricing of Chinese convertible bonds

Supervisor

Yeguang Chi

Discipline

Accounting and Finance

Project code: BUS019

Derivatives are financial contracts used for a variety of purposes, whose prices are derived from some underlying asset or security. In China, the growth of one type of derivative product (convertible bond) has been steady and robust in the last couple of decades. A convertible bond is a fixed-income corporate debt security that yields interest payments, but can be converted into a predetermined number of common stock or equity shares.

The student will be working under my supervision to study the mainstream pricing methods of convertible bonds, identify potential mispricing in the Chinese convertible bonds market, and apply the empirical findings to formulate investment strategies that can be applied in real practice.

The outcome of the project will be an academic paper or a report that summarises the findings.

Resilience to Supply Chain Disruptions

Supervisor

Aadhar Chaturverdi

Discipline

Information Systems and Operations Management

Project code: BUS020

Supply chain disruptions like natural disasters, pandemic, plant accidents have a huge impact on a manufacturer’s business, ranging from unavailability of supply to downright stoppage of production or lack of access to markets. Different manufacturers, even in the same industry, cope differently to such disruptions with some faring much better than others. In a nutshell this projects aims to study supply chain and/or operational characteristics that allow some manufacturers to cope better than others under such disruptions.

This project would therefore require:

  1. studying the impact of disruption on to a manufacturer and segregating manufactures who have done well under disruptions versus those who have not done so well and then
  2. studying (and comparing) the supply chain and operational structures of those manufacturer to explain why some manufacturer do better than others when faced with disruption.

The primary objective of doing such a study would be to understand what kind of supply chain structures and operational practices are more resilient to disruptions.

Hydrogen as a fuel in the residential sector

Supervisor

Kiti Suomalainen
Associate Supervisor: Le Wen

Discipline

Energy Centre - Economics

Project code: BUS021

Hydrogen has potential to decarbonise some of the “harder to tackle” areas within the energy system, such as heavy transport and industrial process heat, where electrification is proving to be technically challenging or economically infeasible. However, for hydrogen to become economic, it needs to be produced and used at scale. This includes fully replacing natural gas with hydrogen in the pipelines to supply heating fuel to industrial, commercial and residential sectors. This project investigates the techno-economic aspects of preparing the residential sector for a transition to hydrogen: the costs and technological requirements at household level.

The results will directly feed into the New Zealand Integrated Energy Systems (NZIES) model, the first integrated energy systems model in a New Zealand university, developed at the Energy Centre. NZIES allows scenario assessment capturing impacts of energy transitions across the entire energy sector, rather than focussing on isolated aspects such as electricity or transport.