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GEN’s plans for 2023 include our usual introductory courses to cost benefit analysis, macroeconomic principles for policy, microeconomic principles for policy,  and behavioural economics. We also plan to run courses on tax, wellbeing, and urban economics.

We are also developing more advanced level courses for more experienced policy analysts and those with existing economic training.

Introduction to Macroeconomic Principles for Policy

The objective of this course is to provide participants with an appreciation of the principal concepts of macroeconomics with emphasis on their application to public policy analysis.
Lecturer: Dr Grant Scobie
Date/Time: 8.30am-1pm, May 16 and 18, then 23 and 25


This course provides an introduction to the economics of taxes. It will be most helpful to policy advisors who wish to understand the economic effects of different types of taxes and the trade-offs typically considered when new taxes are introduced or existing taxes are changed. It will be particularly useful to those who wish to consider the lessons that can be learned from OECD countries that have significantly different tax systems than New Zealand.
Lecturer: Dr Andrew Coleman
Date/Time: 9.00am-1.00pm, 13, 15, 19 & 21 June, and 3 July.

Behavioural by Design Masterclass

This one day masterclass starts with a foundation of behavioural science, mindsets of design and moves quickly to practical ways of applying these concepts. You will walk out with the tools to design behavioural innovations for policy, products/services and communications.
Lecturer: Vishal George
9.00am – 4.30pm, 21 June 2023

Introduction to cost-benefit analysis

This course will be most helpful to policy advisors who need to understand the basic mechanics of a cost-benefit analysis, to conduct or be able to critically review cost-benefit analyses done by others. No previous knowledge of economics is assumed. Some familiarity with economic thinking and terminologies would be helpful.
Lecturers: Joanne Leung, Ministry of Transport and Kirsten Jensen, NZ Treasury
9am – 5pm, Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 July 2023
Venue: Treasury

INTRODUCTION to Wellbeing economics

This course is intended to give participants an introduction to the concepts and evidence from wellbeing economics most useful in a policy context. Wellbeing economics supports better public policy to improve human lives. It explicitly recognises the canvas of human concerns beyond income and material consumption, and draws on knowledge from other disciplines such as psychology and philosophy. Yet it also applies and builds on well-established tools in welfare economics, such as constrained dynamic optimisation and comparative institutional analysis. These tools help explain why people make the choices they do, and the role policy can play to promote broad and sustainable wellbeing in liberal democracies such as Aotearoa New Zealand.
Lecturer: Tim Ng
Date/Time: 1pm – 4pm, Wednesday 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 August 2023
Venue: Treasury

Environmental Economics Course

This course applies economic thinking to environmental issues – a particularly important application within Aotearoa New Zealand given our biologically based economy. It will explore what insights economic analysis can provide that help support sustainable inter-generational prosperity and provide participants with a toolkit to undertake their own analysis and draw their own conclusions.
Lecturers: Melanie Craxton and Geoff Simmons
Date/Time: 9am – 2pm, Wednesday 27 September, 4, 11, 18 October 2023
Venue: PCE
Registration: FULL


This course is a rapid introduction to the economics of cities, providing a theoretical understanding of how residents, workers, developers and government interact to shape urban form. The course will introduce the concept of a competitive urban spatial equilibrium under a monocentric model of urban form, and gradually introduce greater complexity. The motivation is to help provide a theoretical understanding of why our cities look the way they do and interrogate key implications of these economic models for urban features including housing affordability, congestion and impacts of regulation.
Lecturer: Geoff Cooper
Date/Time: 9am-5pm, 2 & 3 October 2023
Venue: St Andrews on the Terrace


The objective of this course is to provide participants with an appreciation of the principles of microeconomics used in public policy analysis. Please note that there is a group essay component to the course.
Lecturer: Dr Veronica Jacobsen
Date/Time: 9am-5pm, Thursday 5 & 12 October 2023

Macroeconomics: next steps

Have you done GEN’s Introduction to Macroeconomic Principles for Policy course? This ‘next steps’ course extends on the concepts and policy applications that you learned in the introduction course, building on your capability to understand economic developments and their implications for your work.  As well as understanding the nature of the economic concepts that underpin the economy, this course will enable you to better understand the role of government and the Reserve Bank in New Zealand.  Exploring the COVID-19 case study will illuminate the key elements of macro and fiscal policy and how the impact on the economy.
Lecturer: Dr Grant Scobie
Date/Time:  Tues Nov 21 and Thurs Nov 23 2023 & Tues Nov 28 and Thurs  Nov 30 2023 (FOUR (4) half day sessions 9am -12.30) – Please note: this was originally planned for end of July and has been postponed to November.
Venue: TBC