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Comparing the income gap between Australia and New Zealand: A 2025 Taskforce analytical report 2010 update

Comparing the income gap between Australia and New Zealand: 2010 is an update of the material provided to the 2025 Taskforce in 2009. The data and analysis have been prepared to assist the Taskforce in preparing their reports for the Government.

The 2025 Taskforce was set up by the New Zealand Government to recommend ways of improving productivity to help New Zealand close the income gap with Australia by 2025. The Taskforce, chaired by Dr Don Brash, was appointed for an initial term of three years. Other Taskforce members are Dr Bryce Wilkinson, Judith Sloan, and David Caygill. The 2025 Taskforce released its first report on 30 November 2009. Subsequent reports are due on 31 October 2010 and 31 October 2011.

This report provides key economic and demographic data that measures the widening gap in economic performance between New Zealand and Australia. Data presented are from 1972 onwards, as it is generally accepted that the gap has widened since this time.

The report also compares New Zealand and Australia in three key areas related to productivity measurement – namely labour productivity, labour utilisation, and capital intensity – as the Taskforce attempts to determine factors that have contributed to the widening of the income gap between the two countries. Data used for this analysis are presented from 1987 onwards, due to data availability. While the productivity series go back further on the OECD website for some of the variables, their sources are unknown.

The data presented in this report have been compiled to directly compare New Zealand and Australia. Because of the discrepancies and lack of information about the OECD series, data directly from the Statistics New Zealand and Australian Bureau of Statistics websites has been used in preference to the OECD data.

Published in September 2010
ISBN 978-0-478-35307-5 (Online)

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