New Zealand’s “sexiest” economists?

I see that Durex has been asking people who the sexiest politicians are.  Now I don’t really care about politics – but I really care about New Zealand economics!  So I decided to grab a bunch of photos of economists who I see in the public eye a lot, and let the half dozen readers of TVHE decide who deserves the title of New Zealand’s hottest economist.

I will include an other option on the poll, and if you do click other I would love it if you put their name down in comments! It is entirely possible I have missed people, as I am exceedingly incompetent.

I have also stuck to economists that are in the public eye incessantly, there are a lot of economists you may think are hotter who aren’t talking in public a lot – but they are excluded at this point.  Also, if you are bitterly mean about how any of the economist look I’m going to do a rare thing, break my own personal rule, and censor your comment – economists are my idols, and this blog is my place of worship 😉

Who is NZ's hottest Economist?

  • Darren Gibbs (24%, 97 Votes)
  • Donna Purdue (22%, 91 Votes)
  • Eric Crampton (8%, 33 Votes)
  • Shamubeel Eaqub (7%, 28 Votes)
  • Gareth Kiernan (6%, 25 Votes)
  • Oliver Hartwich (5%, 21 Votes)
  • Other (4%, 18 Votes)
  • Bill Rosenberg (3%, 14 Votes)
  • Nick Tuffley (3%, 13 Votes)
  • Jean-Pierre de Raad (3%, 13 Votes)
  • Graeme Wheeler (3%, 13 Votes)
  • Tony Alexander (3%, 12 Votes)
  • Stephen Toplis (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Ganesh Nana (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Gareth Morgan (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Cameron Bagrie (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Dominick Stephens (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Gabriel Makhlouf (1%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 407

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Note:  Will close Friday 22 March, at midday in NZ.

If you need photos, come with me as I explore google trying to find professional photos.  If you can find better photos, throw them in the comments and I will update!


  • Where is Matt Nolan??

    • As I said, publically facing economists – just because you have a man/economics crush on me doesn’t justify inclusion. Although your man/economic crush is much appreciated and reciprocated.

      • Also, there should be a prize….or at least a feature length interview on TVHE for the winner:)

      • detmackey

        Heard you on Radio NZ the other week. From those mug shots, perhaps that’s where all economists should remain.

        • I think NZ is pretty lucky with how hot it’s economists are – I only ended up doing the post because I thought everyone’s pics were pretty damn good, everyone looks respectable to me there. The voting is tongue and cheek, but these guys are a bunch of pretty awesome public figures that I’m really glad we have around!

          Now my pic isn’t up there as I have nothing to do with anything – and in any case I suit hiding behind blocks of text and radio waves significantly more 😉

  • Surely this playing field is tilted in Ms Purdue’s favour? Or is that kind of statistical consideration not important in modern economics? 🙂

    • I’m just collating data – after that I will let the data speak

  • Paul Walker

    You soooo need a “none of the above” option!!!

    • It is a relative ranking, so it’s all good.

      Also, they are all beaming with the beauty of true economcis – what’s not to love!

      • In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king….

        • It is fine to be modest – but it looks like you are doing pretty well in the polls. I was wondering whether the fact you have beer in your pick was giving you an advantage!

          • Maybe his humility and gentle modesty in the face of overwhelming popularity is part of his advantage…

            • I always worry that I’ll be a victim of my own popularity and competence….

    • I’m pretty sure the answer is ‘other’ if you have another economist that you truly lust after. Maybe you could reveal all in the comments here 😉

      • Paul Walker

        No my point was not matter which economists are on the list – at least of those I have met – I would want the “none of the above” option.

        • But since it is a relative ranking this only makes sense if you think all economists are equally saucey – that is very equitable of you 🙂

  • chris

    Where are all the girls? Jane Turner, Anne Mahon and Sharon Zollner all have a reasonable public profile.

    • Fair call, there are a lot of people with reasonable significant profiles missing. The kicker was that I didn’t want more than one person per organisation (with a focus on the obviously “main” person for each organisation) – although I felt compelled to violate this rule for NZIER and BNZ.

      This is also the reason for the other category – I felt that if that became sufficient popular, and people were screaming out for specific people in comments, then I would add them.

      I have no doubt more people will be added in time – and I realise this does bias my data – but this just seemed like the most intuitive way to start.

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  • Mike Heine

    Tony Alexander was fantastic when he played Larry in ‘Perfect Strangers’.

    • Helen

      Hey – what’s this about Larry and the strangers????? Does Tony with his gorgeous smile do more than work …


    Why is BNZ’s Craig Ebert not on the list? That guy is a sharp fellow, and a spiffy dresser to boot. Vote Ebert.

    • Trust me, he was someone I really wanted to put on – the only reason I didn’t was because I already had two BNZ guys, and I didn’t want to over-represent any institution. Glad to see you representing team Ebert!

  • I think Adrian Orr (NZ Super) should be included in the list, he’s a HUNK. You can’t cure being an economist can you?

    • Damn, good point. My list in far far far too light on the public sector guys.

  • disqus_sBxhpzmNt4

    One vote Chris Green, FNZC

  • Ben Savidan

    There can be only one – Chris Green!

  • Paul H

    From looking at the mugshots, I now know where Peter Jackson sourced actors for the “Orcs” in his movies.

    • Unnecessary mate – have to blank that out

      • Paul H

        Fair enough. Your blog, your rules. I would imagine, however, that were this a beauty competition among Australian economists, everyone would be cheerfully and amusingly sledging each other in comments, with no hard feelings at the end of the day. Kiwis, it seems, are rather more sensitive creatures.
        Anyway, this is an interesting econblog, even for those of us on the other side of the Tasman. Cheers.

        • I do not know all of these guys personally, so I just want to avoid too much negativity – as it is easier to have it misinterpreted.

          Now if any such comment had been about me I would have upvoted it – and I’m sure in person a lot of these dudes would be the same way 😉

  • Maxwell Taro

    This collection Is very effective which I was looking for.

  • Nic

    Donna Purdue gets my vote

    • Very good – she is already an option on the poll though. Of course, there is nothing wrong with publically stating your view on this important matter!

  • I like this idea! But how will you account for the bias introduced by making interim results available? Surely there is a hysteresis effect? E.g. ‘hmm how can I choose between all these handsome devils (and Donna who is not handsome but nevertheless very good looking)? Oh lets see what others have said … Darren Gibbs eh? Well, looking again at his photo I must admit he does have a strong chin and steely gaze . so I’ll vote for him too!’ Also, if anyone wanted to make sure their favourite beautiful economist wins the crown, they could organise a sufficiently large group to vote just before voting closes.

    • This is also very true. And there is no way this will give us an idea of the true social ranking of economists – I haven’t forgotten arrow’s impossibility theorm yet!

      We will see what happens. Poll is closed midday tomorrow – and I will have a write up on Monday. Hopefully I can find a way to do an interview with the winner!

  • If it wasn’t for thqat grey wig, you’d be on the list, Matt.

    • Wig, that’s my hair … I’ve aged significantly in recent months

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  • Elizabeth Marshall

    Sexy economist=oxymoron

  • Stu Donovan

    Geoff Cooper, Chief Economist at Auckland Council, is a notable omission. He’d definitely win the “sexiest spatial economist ” sub-category.

  • Hannah Gibbs

    I’m so surprised to find this, The winner is my father