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Norman joined the School of Accounting and Commercial Law in November 2011, as the first incumbent of the new Chair in Public Finance. Established by Victoria University of Wellington, with sponsorship originally from three New Zealand government departments, (The Treasury, Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Social Development) and accountancy firm PwC, since 2016 the Chair has been supported by The Treasury, Inland Revenue, The Ministry of Education and The Productivity Commission.

The new Chair aims to bring together academic research on public finance with applications to tax policy in practice. Norman comes to the role having previously been Chief Economist and Principal Adviser (Tax) at The New Zealand Treasury (2007-11), an Assistant Director of the UK Inland Revenue’s Research Department (2003-06), and Professorial Research Fellow (1999-2007) and Professor of Development Economics (1996-99) at the University of Nottingham, UK. Norman also helped set up, and participated in, the recent VUW Tax Working Group which advised the Minister of Finance on the major tax reforms included in his 2010 Budget.

Norman’s research interests cover a range of topics across economics and political economy but mainly in the areas of public finance (taxation, public expenditure and public debt) and economic growth. He has authored several books and numerous journal articles in these areas including the recent Modelling Corporation Tax Revenue (with John Creedy; Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010) and articles in such peer-reviewed journals as the American Economic Review, Economic Journal, International Tax and Public Finance, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Public Economic Theory, National Tax Journal, and Journal of Development Economics.

In 2012, Norman was awarded the “Economist of the Year” by an independent panel of economists sponsored by the New Zealand Institute for Economic Research (NZIER), and was appointed to the New Zealand Treasury’s External Panel of independent experts advising Treasury on its 2013 Long-Term Fiscal Statement.


  • –present
    Chair in Public Finance, Victoria University of Wellington


  • 1985 
    University of Durham, Economics