AERU Research

We conduct research in a number of areas, from economic contributions, to modeling and forecasting the impacts of economic, environmental and social policies.

We conduct research in a number of areas, from economic contributions, to modelling and forecasting the impacts of economic and environmental policy. The AERU uses cutting-edge methods to produce robust and comprehensible research, backed with academic rigour. For digital copies of all publicly-released AERU research, please visit the Lincoln University Research Archive (

Strategies to maximize export returns for New Zealand's primary industries.

Rigorous examination of consumer preferences and willingness-to-pay, as well as digital media communication and marketing avenues to increase returns in target export markets for New Zealand's primary products.

For more information on this work, please click here.

Examples include:


Strategic economic analysis of regions and wider New Zealand.

Regional reports consider key economic drivers in areas such as the natural environment, key industry sectors, infrastructure and education. Optimum economic development recommendations are made.

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Investigation of and recommendations for increasing personal and social wellbeing through economic means.

Periodic research defines and analyses the components of wellbeing economics and the wider social impacts and implications, as well as how people create "the kinds of lives they value and have reason to value".

Examples include:

  • Wellbeing Economics: Future Directions for New Zealand. Paul Dalziel and Caroline Saunders. BWB Texts: July 2014.

  • Four wellbeing elements of Canterbury freshwater: A choice experiment application valuing environment, social, financial and cultural attributes. Sini Miller, Caroline Saunders and Peter Tait. Waterways 2014 Postgraduate Student Conference, Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand: November 2014.

  • Wellbeing economics: A policy framework for New Zealand. Paul Dalziel and Caroline Saunders. 55th Annual Conference of the New Zealand Association of Economists (NZAE), Auckland, New Zealand: July 2014.

  • Contribution of the conservation estate to New Zealanders’ prosperity and wellbeing: Three case studies. Stephen Espiner, Emma Stewart, Paul Dalziel and Caroline Saunders. Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) 58th Annual Conference, Port Macquarie, Australia: February 2014.

  • Wellbeing benefits of the Ngai Tahu Settlement. Caroline Saunders, Meike Guenther and Paul Dalziel. AERU client report prepared for Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu; Lincoln University, Christchurch, 2013.

Investigation and measurement of economic contributions and progress of sectors to identify factors that contribute to success and recommend future direction.

This includes cost-benefit analysis of local government initiatives and investments as well as forecasting sector growth and skills demand.

Examples include:

Modelling and forecasting the impacts of economic, environmental and social policies through the application of the Lincoln Trade and Environment Model (LTEM); Cnaterbury economic development; bio-economic models and multi-agent simulation models.

Models can inform many economic and social problems, including identifying optimum industry growth areas; the likely impact of environmental elements on New Zealand's economy; and the likely impact of policy changes on industry behavior.

Examples include:

Modelling and investigation of the wider economic impacts of climate change and other climatic events.

AERU regularly uses advanced modeling techniques to determine possible impacts of environmental events on economic, social and political arenas.

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Development of indicators and monitoring of community, economic, social, environmental and cultural outcomes.

AERU monitoring is informed by constantly updated international trends and market knowledge.

Examples include:

Engagement in transdisciplinary programmes for the development of indicators of sustainability in the agribusiness supply chain.

This includes the AERU's central involvement with projects such as The New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard, formerly Agriculture Research Group on Sustainability (ARGOS).

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