Joel Hernandez

Policy Analyst

Policy Analyst Joel joined The New Zealand Initiative after completing his Master’s in Economics at Victoria University where his work focused on productivity, labour economics and game theory. Before this, he completed a Bachelor of Science from the University of Otago, majoring in Microbiology.

Currently, Joel is working on education research using data from Statistic’s New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI).

Latest reports:
Research Note: The State of Schooling (2020)
Insights and Excellence: School success in New Zealand (2020)
In Fairness to our Schools: Better measures for better outcomes (2019)
Research Note: Tomorrow’s Schools: Data and evidence (2019)


Phone: +64 4 499 0790


Recent Work

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Tinder Economy

Depending on your own experience with dating apps, you might be surprised to learn that success in the online dating market is not distributed equally. So, this Valentine’s Day, spare a thought for those struggling to find love among the insidious and “unjust” inequality on apps like Tinder or Bumble. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
14 February, 2020

Bungled census jeopardises evidence-based policy

In a letter to a select committee last week, Liz MacPherson, chief statistician of Statistics New Zealand (SNZ), said about 240,000 individuals had only partially completed the 2018 census. This, on top of the 480,000 individuals who did not complete the census at all, increased the census data gap to more than 700,000 individuals (or 14.3 per cent of the population). Read more

Joel Hernandez
The Dominion Post
18 April, 2019

Decile debacle

“Decile is not a proxy for school quality”. Principals, teachers and education professionals have said this for years, and yet students have been flocking out of low decile schools and into high decile schools all this while. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
12 April, 2019

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