Excellence in economics brings home the Sir Frank Holmes prize

16 Oct, 2017

Congratulations to Livvy Mitchell, who is the 2017 recipient of a special prize established in honour of former New Zealand economist Sir Frank Holmes. Livvy is the first AUT recipient of this prize since its establishment in 2011.

The prize, awarded by Motu, encourages top quantitative economics student to further their studies in econometrics at graduate level and is awarded to a top student who is moving on to honours or masters level studies in economics.

Livvy is thrilled to have been chosen for this honour, “Sir Frank Holmes was an inspiring economist, particularly with his work in public policy. I feel extremely privileged to be awarded a prize in his name.”

“Receiving this award will allow me to pursue research in the applied micro-econometric field, with the prospect of being able to apply the econometric theory I learned at AUT.”

A passion for economics

Livvy, who is studying the Bachelor of Business and the Bachelor of Laws, says her passion for economics began in her early years at St Mary’s College Wellington, where she participated in the RBNZ Monetary Policy competition and the Young Enterprise Scheme.

She also credits the AUT Business School’s Shadow a Leader programme for increasing her interest in public economic policy. In June 2017, Livvy spent a day shadowing Auckland Council’s Senior Economist, Harshal Chitale.

Livvy is yet to decide on her Honours dissertation topic for next year, but envisages it will have an applied micro-econometric focus. After studying and hearing about many of the research examples in Professor Pacheco’s class that utilize the Integrated Data Infrastructure, she is keen to build her understanding and expertise on working with linked administrative data.

“We are very proud of Livvy and are sure she will achieve great things. She was the top student in my applied econometrics class in semester 1 (2017) and I have asked her to be the teaching assistant for that paper next year” says Professor Pacheco.

Due to her excellence in econometrics, Livvy has also been invited to join a select group of six individuals to work on an undergraduate mini dissertation at AUT over summer school. Professor Gail Pacheco, Associate Professor Matthew Ryan and Dr Peer Skov will lead this applied project, which will focus on policy evaluation techniques.

“Pursuing a career in economics and furthering my skills as an econometrician is a reality that I am eagerly working towards, says Livvy, “I embrace every opportunity to engage with econometrics studies, and I am willing to share my knowledge and passion through postgraduate study and teaching prospects.”

About the Sir Frank Holmes Prize:

In recognising Sir Frank Holmes as one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent economists and his contribution to the development of public policy over many decades, the Motu Research and Education Foundation provide an economics scholarship of $3,500 for New Zealand’s top economics undergraduate student every year - The Sir Frank Holmes Prize.