Applications for 2023-2024 are now closed.
Barriers to knowledge sharing and collaboration in joint valuation engagements and their implications on valuation quality
Project code: BUS001
The valuation process, particularly those involving commercial properties, consists of several important components. Information is captured by the valuer through investigation and from the client, robust internal control system improves the reliability of information handling and technical interpretation, management oversees internal activities and ensures regular reviews and assessments of the accuracy of reporting and the professional bodies provide governance over the entire valuation process. Due to the interactive nature of all these components, knowledge sharing and collaboration within the valuation process is central to the quality of the valuation outcome reported to clients. This proposed research provides an understanding of knowledge sharing and collaboration in joint valuation engagements.
The student is expected to conduct the survey, analyse, and interpret the data and develop a report for scientific publication. This research provides an opportunity to network with property professionals and learn how knowledge is managed and shared in valuation professional services. It also enables the development of research skills, particularly in conducting a survey, analysing and interpreting the data and writing report.
City-level Ecosystems and Entrepreneurship
This research project investigates how New Zealand's SMEs can engage with entrepreneurial ecosystems in global cities to enhance their competitiveness. The research fills a critical gap in understanding how SMEs can leverage the resources and networks of foreign cities for international growth. As a Research Assistant, your role will involve supporting the project's data collection, including conducting a literature review, preparing compelling practitioner reports related to the topic, and gathering background information on potential participating NZ SMEs.
You'll contribute to a robust report for the NZ business community and academic research. This presents an excellent opportunity for those interested in international business and entrepreneurship, poised to inform academia, industry, and policymakers. Ideal candidates should possess strong analytical abilities and an interest in SME internationalization and entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Being involved in this project as a Research Assistant offers significant value for students in various ways. Firstly, it provides an opportunity to hone research skills, including literature research, an essential skill in academia and many professional fields. The student will learn how to effectively locate relevant literature and practitioner reports and compile background information on participating SMEs, thus contributing to a richer understanding of the research topic. Secondly, the student will gain hands-on experience in project management, which is invaluable for future endeavours. They will learn how to coordinate research activities and organize data collection. Thirdly, the project promotes the development of critical thinking skills. The student will be required to critically evaluate diverse sources of information and establish meaningful connections to support the development of a comprehensive and relevant report for the business community.
Do Principles of Inclusive Capitalism and Māori Organisations Intersect?: A Desktop Research Project
Inclusive capitalism challenges core assumptions about the purpose of business and business paradigms and promotes economic, social, and cultural well-being. Could its adoption in Aotearoa intersect with the principles and practices of Māori organisations?
This project will comprehensively review existing literature, reports, and case studies on inclusive capitalism, Māori organisations, and indigenous economic development. You will learn to refine keywords and search articles and relevant data sources through the University of Auckland Library and appropriate archives; code and annotate sources according to research themes; and develop a research database. The findings of this project will contribute to understanding if and how inclusive capitalism as a concept aligns with Māori business practices and whether it can be adapted to support the economic empowerment and sustainable development of Māori communities. This is an opportunity to build research relationships, learn research skills and develop content knowledge for your future studies.
The successful applicant will be responsible for conducting the initial desk research to compile the sources and information. The scholar will:
- Finetune and contribute further to a list of keywords with their supervisors.
- Scope relevant literature by searching articles, databases, and relevant data sources available through the University of Auckland Library and appropriate archives.
- Collate and annotate relevant literature, code sources according to research themes, and organise a systematic filing system/library for easy retrieval of these, utilising Zotero or a similar citation manager.
- Consult supervisors and, with their support, other researchers who specialise in the area for further information and input.
The Supervisors will then support the student to analyse the information such that the supervisors can conduct further empirical research, case study writing, and engagement with organisations, with the possibility of the student’s ongoing involvement.
Touching the metaverse: future markets in the making
The emergence of the metaverse heralds a transformative era that extends beyond the boundaries of digital spaces and permeates our physical world and spaces. Whereas there are many digital complexities that warrant further exploration, this project highlights the need to consider the complexities linked to the fusion of digital and physical constructions. As virtual and physical realms intertwine, our social and technological interactions in, for example, workspaces, retail experiences, and educational environments will undergo profound changes.
Our digital landscapes have the potential to reshape the very fabric of our physical spaces, and vice versa, our physical spaces and presence shape our digital worlds. This fusion of the digital and physical present both exciting opportunities and complex considerations for imagined futures (Oomen et al., 2022) and for the exploration of markets in the making (Callon, 2021).
- In order to get an understanding of digital and physical fusion projects, the student will be introduced to the current hybrid projects at the arc/sec Lab.
- Under our guidance, the student will:
(a) search industry reports and the web to identify and map current metaverse projects and discourse.
(b) Search the literature around key themes related to markets and performativity studies, and write short summaries of the articles, conference papers, book chapters in the themes.
(c) Assist in coding secondary data.
The student will gain valuable hands-on experience in interdisciplinary research, delving into the practical and intricate phenomena of the metaverse. Embarking on this journey, the student will join the ranks of organisations venturing into the exploration of the metaverse's potential.
Higher Pensions for the Mothers of Taxpayers to Save the Mother Earth From the “Empty Planet” Trap
Economic Theory and Policy
Project code: BUS005
According to leading macroeconomists, mothers drive economic growth by raising children who help generate new ideas later to fuel the economy's growth engine. However, mothers sacrifice in many ways to deliver a child, to which the human community, benefitting from the idea-driven growth, compensate insufficiently. Consequently, as economies develop, women tend to shy away from the costly motherhood service creating an "Empty Planet" trap on the development path. To eliminate this development dilemma, we propose rewarding mothers of taxpayers with higher pensions to compensate for their sacrifice. The student will compare pension schemes of leading countries and engage in teamwork to design specific reforms for a hypothetical country based on the calibrated theoretical model already designed. The supervisor will help the student simulate alternative scenarios to determine the optimal "motherhood bonus" for sustainable development. The project requires advanced undergraduate-level mathematical and statistical knowledge and some expertise in the MatLab software.
The student will review current pension schemes from journal articles and government databases. They will learn how to calibrate a theoretical model to match real-world data before simulating it with alternative policy scenarios to determine the optimal one that maximises a country’s economic welfare. Therefore, the summer work should enhance their empirical, computational, and analytical skill to do independent research or postgraduate studies on original topics of importance and international relevance. Also, this project should develop the necessary research skills to bring opportunities for research-related jobs. In the past, immediately after finishing his summer work, a summer research assistant received a research internship with New Zealand’s most prestigious research institute, MOTU. Some others are now well-established researchers and applied economists at Deakin University, New Zealand Treasury, and the NZIER.
Regulating the commercial space industry
Project code: BUS006
Despite the rapid rise in commercial space activity in the last decade, such as the Starlink satellite constellation, the regulations and agreements governing these activities are both ambiguous and inadequate. In some ways, outer space resembles the open ocean on Earth – outside the jurisdiction of individual nations, and with commercial activities subject to international conventions overseen by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) of the United Nations. The project investigates existing laws affecting commercial operations in space and whether IMO conventions could be models for future international space agreements. The student will contribute by conducting a structured literature search and initial analysis by summarising the key regulations (with guidance from the supervisor), comparing them in relation to issues of concern in space commerce (e.g. safety, salvage, ownership, pollution) and building a file of key sources for use in future research.
This project is ideal for students keen to develop a career in international law or trade, or in managing commercial space activities. Students might have studied law, international business or institutional theory more generally. The student will develop skills in literature review techniques, based on guidance from the supervisor, which will be valuable for those students intending to pursue Honours or Masters study. They will also develop skills in systematically organising and summarising long documents.
Impact of Auditor specialization on bank capital (regulatory and non-regulatory) for U.S. banks
Accounting and Finance
Project code: BUS007
This project would examine the impact of auditor specialization on bank capital (regulatory and non-regulatory) for U.S. banks from 2002 to 2022. The project would mainly involve merging auditing and banking data sets. Creating related variables and conducting a pre-liminary exploratory analysis on auditor industry specialization/expertise and impact on bank capital. Auditors seems to have difficulty measuring amounts of loan losses (Nicoletti, 2018). This would be one of the first studies to extend this argument to bank regulatory and non-regulatory capital using unique auditor specialisation measures.
Auditing and banking are key areas not just in Australasia but globally. The student would get exposure to accessing various financial data providers and merging several U.S. data sets in banking, economics and auditing. Such exposure can greatly aid students not just in accounting and finance but also prepare them for consulting work at a big four consulting firm or any of the top banks. The student would gain access to proprietary financial data providers and would have to use either STATA, SAS or python to merge several data sets. They would further supplement the data with US economic data and google trends sentiment data as well. The student will then conduct an explorative data analysis including descriptive statistics, correlations tables, visualisations and some pre-liminary panel regressions.
This project would greatly benefit students in the job market not just to show case their technical skills but to show how they used such skills to obtain useful insights and interpret empirical results for better decision making. In addition, the student would gain valuable research experience by conducting a literature review, empirical analysis, data analytics skills in terms of data visualisations, problem solving and critical thinking. Overall, working on the above project provides students with a combination of technical skills, subject matter expertise, and critical thinking abilities that are highly valued in the job market. It enhances their competitiveness and could help in opening doors to various career opportunities in academia, accounting, finance, consulting, and related fields.
FDI responses to Greening Energy Matrices in New Zealand and other OECD nations
Energy and International Economics
Project code: BUS008
This research project examines the impact of increasing renewable energy production on foreign direct investment flows in New Zealand and other OECD nations. The testable hypothesis is that foreign investors favour investments in nations that demonstrate strong commitment toward net zero by 2050, a common goal, which for some nations may simply represent “cheap talk.” The project will build a game-theoretic model in which nations compete to attract foreign direct investments utilizing various policy instruments, including direct expenditures in renewable energy infrastructure and research and development. Some nations may favour a business as usual (BAU) scenario over an active, costly, policy scenario. The global community of investors observe the policy commitments and respond accordingly to maximize the present value of their discounted sum of profits over the lifetime of the investments. The hypotheses derived from the game-theoretical model will be tested utilizing a modern econometric model with OECD data. Among other things, we will rank OECD nations according to their commitments toward greening their energy sectors and later compare this rank with the rank of foreign direct investments to check their correlation degree.
The student will systematically review the relevant literature, write a literature review, retrieve essential parameters, and participate in economic analysis. The student will produce a written report on research findings. The student will gain experience in writing a critical review of the literature, assessing a range of applied economic models, and disseminating research findings.
The Bright and Dark Side of AI: Applications, Challenges, and Opportunities
AI tools such as ChatGPT offer significant opportunities to enhance all aspects of commerce while offering equal opportunities for their misuse. Arguably the most concerning dangers of is the stifling of creativity and critical thinking along with the temptation to easily engage in AI misuse and unethical practices. Although AI and Generative AI tools have the potential to transform business activities, harnessing its potential is challenging given the ethical and social implications of Generative AI in particular responsibility and accountability, visibility and explainability.
Key questions that this research will explore in the education context are:
- What are the current applications of Generative AI in business?
- What are the opportunities for using Generative AI to improve business?
- What mechanisms and practices mitigate the misuse of Generative AI?
- What are the challenges and limitations of implementing Generative AI in business?
This project will enable the student to understand the process of developing and executing a systematic literature review, which can be generalised to many domains and disciplines. In addition, the creation of conceptual models and frameworks through an interactive research cycle of observation (literature review), theory building and evaluation.
Disrupting the gendered nature of entrepreneurial finance
Project code: BUS010
Gender is a significant social structure, with implications for individuals, their identities, personalities, as well as the choices they make. Gender interacts with different dimensions of social, political, economic and technological life. Individual, organizational and institutional level actions can hinder and help new and reformulated gender(ed) inequalities. Entrepreneurial actors can act to ‘transform’ social structures.
This project will explore in-depth one entrepreneurial actor and her organization to develop a detailed Case study. Vicky Saunders is a Canadian serial entrepreneur who founded Coralus in 2015, a social enterprise that supports women + non-binary entrepreneurs who are seeking to raise capital for their ventures and now operating across five countries including New Zealand.
To fully understand how entrepreneurial actors transform social structures, this case study will consider five key elements as advanced by McMullen et al (2023). Namely, an individual’s 1. Ability 2. Motivation 3. Opportunity as well as 4. their ’immunization’ to institutional processes and 5. their ‘process skill’.
This project will require a self-motivated and enthusiastic student who has broad research interests in (social) entrepreneurship, social impact and gender. Drawing on online archival data, press releases, reports and other materials, the student will produce written output, which may encompass (but is not limited to) the following outputs:
- Detailed account of Vicky Saunders (who) and the emergence/formation of Coralus (why)
- In depth case study of Coralus, its functions and operations (what, how)
- Presentation of principle stakeholders (who)
- Capturing accounts from stakeholders on their Coralus experience/impressions (founders, activists, organisers etc) – in press, forums etc (evaluation)
Indeed, a working paper will be developed for anticipated publication and it is intended that the student would be included as an author on the paper and if interested could contribute to the paper writing process. However, paper development will most likely occur post scholarship period.
The evolving experience of the expatriate ‘trailing’ spouse
Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour
Project code: BUS011
Finding employees willing to relocate globally for work continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing multinational corporations. Reluctance to expatriate is often attributed to the preferences of the so called ‘trailing spouse’ and concerns around the enduring impact of the expatriation on their own career. However, recent attitudinal changes towards global remote working potentially means that the experience of the trailing spouse is about to change.
As a student with an interest in international HRM, we need you to synthesise peer-reviewed academic research with current conversations in the practitioner and popular press to help us understand the existing experience of the trailing spouse and what it may look like in the not-too-distant future. This is an opportunity not only to hone your advanced research skills but to learn about a topic of ongoing interest to human resource practitioners and potential multinational employers.
The student’s role will be two-fold. First, they will undertake a systematic literature review of scholarship on the trailing spouse published in peer-reviewed academic journals across the social science disciplines since 2008. Second, the student will conduct an extensive review of the practitioner publications and the popular press over the last three years with the purpose of curating the current conversations around global remote working. Working under the guidance of the supervisor, this experience will help the student develop advanced research skills that will be transferrable to their own projects. They will become familiar with the tools of the researcher such as reference management software. Finally, exposure to the key issues in international HRM has the potential to enhance students career prospects, particularly for those with a desire to work in the global environment.
Personalised Learning with Generative AI
Project code: BUS012
Generative AI has shown remarkable success in generating human-like text and understanding context in natural language processing tasks. This opens up new opportunities for using AI to support personalised learning in tertiary education.
This project seeks to effectively leverage the potential of generative AI technologies, specifically GPT-4, in facilitating personalised, adaptive, and efficient learning experiences in the rapidly evolving landscape of tertiary education environments. It focuses on designing a minimum viable product of chatbot application powered by a GPT-4 based generative AI model. The objective is to provide individualised learning assistance and interactive content, thereby allowing students to learn according to their own pace and unique needs. The chatbot aims to provide accurate, context-sensitive responses to student queries related to teaching materials in a conversational manner.
While the student may participate in all stages of the project, the key role is to assist in reviewing the latest literature and practice, and requirement gathering for designing the minimum viable product. Specifically, the student would be tasked to investigate how different inputs (e.g. forms of teaching material) could impact on the outputs (e.g. the experience of using the chatbot) through both theory and practice. The learned insight could contribute back to the design of the prototype. For the student, this project could add tremendous value to them as it could be used as a starting point for a Master’s or PhD study, particularly generative AI is a very hot subject at the moment among academia and industries. The experience would develop and reinforce both research and technical skills.
Business and Economics Case of the NZ Battery Project’s PortfolioOption
Project code: BUS013
To achieve the goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030, there is a critical issue that needs to be addressed: the dry-year problem inherent in hydro-based electricity systems. In response, the New Zealand government has proposed the NZ Battery project, which involves utilising Lake Onslow as a pump hydro facility to back up shortages during dry years. Considering the significant investment of approximately $15.7 billion required for the NZ Battery project, it is worth exploring alternatives, potentially cheaper options to achieve the same objective. Some of these options include hydrogen, bioenergy, geothermal, and demand response. This project aims to investigate and compare the economic outcomes of these alternative options using a portfolio approach and evaluate the feasibility, costs, benefits, and trade-offs associated with each option. The evidence generated from this investigation will provide valuable insights for policymakers, enabling them to better understand the pros and cons of alternatives from an economic perspective and determine the most cost-effective and sustainable pathway to achieve the 100% renewable electricity target by 2030.
The student will systematically review the relevant literature, write a literature review, retrieve essential parameters, and participate in economic analysis. The student will produce a written report on research findings. The student will gain experience in writing a critical review of the literature, assessing a range of applied economic models, and disseminating research findings.
Trade-in offers in New Zealand
Decision and Operations Management
Project code: BUS014
This project aims to provide a comprehensive guide to trade-in offers utilized by manufacturers and retailers in New Zealand. Manufacturers and retailers have increasingly been using trade-ins as a strategy to sell their new products to customers who possess older products. For example, Sprint offers trade-ins for customers' old cell phones, allowing them to purchase new ones. Through a trade-in, customers can receive cash or store credits for their old products, which can then be applied towards the purchase of a new product. Various trade-in offers have been implemented and tailored for different industries and products. For instance, trade-in offers for cell phones differ from those for automobiles. This project will investigate the current trade-in offers implemented by manufacturers and retailers in New Zealand.
The student's primary responsibility is to gather information, evidence, and estimate figures. This role offers two significant advantages for the student. Firstly, it provides an opportunity to learn how to initiate research by drawing from real-life scenarios. Under the guidance of the supervisor, the student will gain knowledge on identifying relevant sources to gather information and evidence. They will also develop an understanding of distinguishing between major and minor sources of information/evidence. This process will equip the student with valuable research skills.
Secondly, this project will acquaint the student with a crucial business development that holds great significance for many manufacturers and retailers in New Zealand. By engaging in this project, the student will gain exposure that will expand their understanding of the practical implications of trade-in offers in the local market.
AI agents vs. humans: who does a better job in sustainability nudging?
Marketing – Consumer Research
Project code: BUS015
Discover the Secrets of Grocers Driving the Circular Economy!
Are you curious about how your favorite grocery stores actively promote and manage sustainability? Ever wondered about the measures taken by the grocery retail sector to create a circular economy to reduce waste to its maximum? In this research project, we unravel the link between consumer acceptance of humans and machines in this groundbreaking research!
Introducing "Perceptions of the Circular Economy in Food Retailing: Effects of Sustainability Nudging by Humans and AI Agents." This study focuses on the captivating topic of sustainability in food retailing. We delve into the impact of "sustainability nudging" and its potential to transform the way we think about a circular economy, recycling and creating further value for organisations. Shape a circular economy that benefits our planet and future generations. Together, let's find out what makes a difference to create a more sustainable tomorrow!
The student will be familiarized with the experimental research method and learn important steps in the procedure. The student should also create the media content of the study and carry out the initial statistical evaluation to be able to carry out all the important steps for a further study of his/her own at the end. Through the literature research in the field of sustainability and nudging, the student should be brought closer to the topic area of Circular economy.
Coastal housing inventory: evaluation of residential mortgages and population characteristics
About 450,000 homes – estimated ¼ of all dwellings in Aotearoa – are within a kilometre of the coast and are likely to experience the effects of climate change induced sea level rise, including coastal erosion and inundation. Presently property values do not sufficiently incorporate the risks of climate change and are likely overvalued because of this. Any corrections in the housing market resulting from physical damage to buildings would affect household wealth and debt security, as well as pose risk for the individual banks and the financial market. Therefore, increased severity and frequency of weather events may result in significant losses for households and banks while insurers will face rising claims from owners of damaged properties.
This project will analyse ownership details of dwellings within close proximity to the coast to estimate the share of properties with residential mortgages. This analysis will contribute towards identifying vulnerability of coastal neighbourhoods to risks of insurance and financial retreat.
The student researcher will assist with processing of property related datasets. The student will analyse secondary (existing) datasets within data management applications (e.g. Excel, SPSS) to identify trends and patterns using basic tools such as frequency tables, cross tabulation and graphs. The student will be introduced to visualising the data with maps. The student will develop data processing and database management skills essential in their future postgraduate study. The student will gain new skills in visualising patterns with mapping of spatial and attribute data in GIS (geographic information systems) applications such as Google Maps or QGIS. For a student this is a unique opportunity to contribute to our understanding of climate change impacts on people and their most valuable asset – the family home.
Australian and New Zealand Firms’ corporate biodiversity disclosures
Project code: BUS017
Biodiversity encompasses the variety of life forms present on Earth and holds critical importance for the survival of humanity. It also plays a central role in driving economic development. However, various human activities and the ongoing effects of global climate change have contributed to the degradation of our environment and ecosystems, leading to the loss of species and biodiversity. Given the premise that organisations are accountable for their impact on the environment, it is reasonable to expect them to provide substantial information regarding their activities' effects on biodiversity. This expectation arises from the understanding that organizations should act as responsible entities, considering the broader implications of their operations on society and the environment. Consequently, disclosures on biodiversity impacts serve as a crucial source of information, enabling stakeholders to assess and monitor the environmental performance of organizations. Although environmental disclosures have increased, this has not been mirrored by disclosures of biodiversity impacts.
The successful applicant will work with the project researcher as well as review some literature to understand and gain insight into the research topic and what studies have been done on the topic. Also, the applicant is going to get familiar with the Thomson Reuters Asset4 database to collect data and explore different proper statistical analysis methods to analyse the results. So by doing this project, the applicant will grasp an idea of how to develop a research topic and research hypothesis, do a literature review, use a database to collect data as well as apply different statistical analysis methods to test the hypothesis.
Tikanga and Impact Investing
Are you passionate about finance, sustainability, and creating a more inclusive economy? The new Faculty Research Centre Juncture: Dialogues on Inclusive Capitalism is seeking a motivated and curious summer scholar to explore the intersection between impact investing and Tikanga (Māori customs, practices, and values) in New Zealand. You will investigate the integration of Tikanga into impact investing practices in New Zealand. You will analyse the performance of impact funds that align with Tikanga principles, shedding light on their potential to deliver both financial returns and positive social impact.
While being supported by the leadership of a new Faculty Research Centre, the student will be responsible for conducting the initial desk research to compile the sources and information. They will then be supported by the supervisors to analyse the information and conduct further empirical research, including financial analysis. Beyond the learning embedded in this process, the student will be exposed to the leading-edge work of the new Centre across research, teaching and engagement.
Unleashing the Metaverse: Extended Reality (XR) in Marketing
Strategic Marketing and Digital Technologies
Project code: BUS019
Embark on a captivating exploration of Extended Reality (XR) in marketing through this 10-week project. In the first three weeks, you will concentrate on a guided deep dive into the literature of XR, which encompasses Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR). This phase will focus on understanding the concepts and potential applications of XR in marketing.Weeks four and five will involve analyzing the literature to identify key trends and patterns in XR marketing. This analysis will enhance your understanding of how XR has been evolving and what aspects of marketing it has been impacting.
In weeks six to eight, you will shift your focus to examining real-world case studies. Select three impactful XR marketing campaigns and investigate them in depth. Evaluate the technologies used, the response from consumers, and the overall effectiveness of the campaigns. During the ninth week, you will synthesize the knowledge gained from the literature and case studies to develop insights into the current state of XR in marketing. In the final week, you will compile your insights and analyses into a comprehensive report. This report will document your journey through the XR literature, key trends, and real-world applications.
The student participating in this project will take on an immersive role, with responsibilities tailored for a third-year undergraduate. During the 10-week timeframe, the student will delve into the literature of Extended Reality (XR) in marketing. They will begin by learning how to effectively conduct a literature review, followed by hands-on application, reviewing articles and summarizing key insights. The student will also examine a select number of real-world XR marketing case studies, focusing on understanding the context and impact without the need for specialized software or advanced techniques. In the concluding weeks, the student will compile a report encapsulating the knowledge and insights gained. This project has been meticulously designed to ensure that it’s achievable for someone at an undergraduate level, and provides value to the student’s development.
The student will gain invaluable skills, such as information synthesis, critical analysis, and structured reporting. They will also acquire a solid understanding of an innovative area in marketing, which can be a distinctive asset for their career. This experience can bolster their academic profile, and serve as a conversation point in interviews or applications for further studies.
Increasing our theoretical and practical understanding of the New Zealand space industry
Innovation and Strategy
Project code: BUS020
Are you interested in the burgeoning space industry, and firms such as Elon Musk’s Space X and Peter Beck’s Rocket Lab? Do you want to learn more about all the space start-ups that operate in New Zealand? And are you interested in what academic literature has to say about the space industry? In this project, you will learn more about all these aspects. To get insights into international research on space-related sectors, you will conduct a systematic literature review of existing publications and synthesize insights. In the second step, you will collect empirical insights through desk research. This will include data on organizations that operate in this sector, key dynamics that facilitate growth and barriers or obstacles that organizations in the New Zealand space industry face.
The student will work closely with me and conduct a review of academic research on the space sector. This requires her/him to learn how to (i) use an existing analytical framework; (ii) structure and summarise studies in terms of theoretical perspective, level of analysis, methodology, main contribution, and so on; (iii) systematically document research strings and develop advanced search techniques; (iv) use research tools such as reference managers; and (iv) visualise results (e.g., in timelines). Synthesising and aggregating these insights will enable the student to experience the process of constructing a model that lays the theoretical foundation for empirical work.
The student will then use his/her theoretical understanding and apply it when collecting empirical data on the sector through desk research. In doing so, the student will develop the skills necessary for empirical research. This is a great opportunity for a student who is interested in the burgeoning space industry, technology entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems.
Timing and frequency of salaries and major household expenses – the impact on personal liquidity
Decisions and Operations Management
Project code: BUS021
Many people live pay-cheque to pay-cheque, with little cushion for any emergency expenditure. The end goal of this research is to investigate how the relative timing and frequencies of household incomes (salaries) and major expenditures (e.g. rent payments) impact the working capital of households that must run on tight budgets. The first step, which we wish to accomplish over the coming summer, is as follows.
We have access to an anonymised dataset comprising several months of bank transactions for many individuals who had to run on tight budgets and had to occasionally overdraw their bank account. In this dataset, we wish to classify each transaction into a few categories – e.g. regular income, rent payment, groceries, and utility bills. For this purpose, we are looking for a student who is comfortable with handling data in MS-Excel and has some grasp on statistical analysis. Coding ability will be a plus.
The student will be involved in classification and analysis of the empirical data that will lead to development of the hypotheses. The dataset is available as a large MS-Excel Spreadsheet with details of transactions. With guidance from the supervisor, the student will be involved in classifying the transactions into a few categories – e.g. regular income, rent payment, groceries, and utility bills. The student should be comfortable with handling data in MS-Excel and have some grasp on statistical analysis - coding ability will be a plus. The student will develop skills of data-analysis and gain experience of working on an ambitious high-impact research project, which will help in their own research journey.
When Pandemic is Coming to Town: Analysing the Effect of Covid-19 on Footfall for High Street Retailers in Auckland
City centres worldwide have faced difficulties maintaining economic viability due to declining visitor numbers. However, the extent of decline varies among town centres, indicating different coping strategies. The current analytical tools do not provide matching between visitor numbers and retailing characteristics. The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic further deterred people from visiting urban areas for an extended period. This research proposal aims to use revealed preference approach to explore the effects of the coronavirus on footfall on 12 high streets in Auckland, with distinct characteristics in terms of their retail tenant mix.
The student will assist with the literature review, data collection, analysis and the completion of a final report. More specifically, the student will work with the supervisors to:
i) Produce a literature review and a final report
ii) Collect the data of retail tenants from the open street map http://download.geofabrik.de/australia-oceania/new-zealand.html#
iii) Develop a regression model to identify the impact of the pandemic on footfall in different retailers
Factor Structure in the Global Equity Market
Finance/Empirical asset pricing
Project code: BUS023
We will utilise an already-collected global equity market dataset with ~100 firm-/industry-/country-level characteristics to study the factor structure in the global equity market. Factors will include a wide range of commonly considered risk factors such as size, earnings/price, cash-flow/price, dividend/price, book-to-market, leverage, momentum, reversal etc.
Through a better understanding of the factors that work (or do not work) in the global equity market, we will work on portfolio optimizations that focus on the practical aspects of our findings. We will study portfolio performance by analysing returns, Sharpe/Sortino ratios, maximum drawdowns etc. against well-known global equity benchmarks.
The student will take on the role of data collection, analysis, and some part of the writing of the final draft/report. The student will contribute value as a research assistant. During the process, the student will have weekly meetings to discuss research with me. We will discuss economic hypotheses, go over research designs and empirical findings, and work on the writing process of the research report. Through this experience, the student will be able to get a wholistic view of academic research publication process.