|The story of Bill Phillips is further evidence of the “world-changing New Zealanders” theory promoted by nzedge.com.
The 50 ‘New Zealand Legends’ essays we have published since 1999 show the remarkable character of New Zealand innovators who have discovered or influenced and improved the world in some way.
Bill Phillips was a world-changing economist with an incredible story as a WWII hero, innovative engineer, cinema entrepreneur, crocodile hunter, electrician, computer designer, globally significant academic and professor, and intrepid traveler. He was unassuming in manner, generous of spirit, and brilliant of mind.
Bill Phillips made connections that formed fundamental equations in national economic structures and operations, particularly in the relationship between inflation, employment and wage growth (‘The Phillips Curve’). He was born at Te Rehunga, a small farming community near Dannevirke in the Wairarapa in 1914.
This essay by Craig Williams is 6,000 words with 24 academic source references. Craig has previously written New Zealand Legends stories about the pioneering surgeons Harold Gillies and Archibald McIndoe, and guerilla warfare pioneer and legendary engineer Te Ruki Kawiti.
Craig graduated from Victoria University Wellington with a BA, BSc (Hons) and MSc in Psychology, and has specialised professionally in the design, development and implementation of behavior change programs in government organizations and corporations. Born in Hastings, he attended high school in Sydney and worked as a shipping agent and then as a private investigator in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. His experiences as an investigator generated in him an interest in human behavior.
Bill Phillips’s story is told in full by Alan Bollard in his book “A Few Hares to Chase: The Life and Economics of Bill Phillips,” Auckland University Press, 2016.
Not all New Zealanders want to be world-changing, but the fact is we have been and continue to be. This is a very good national aspiration and a point of global recognition and contribution. An up-close study of our world-changing people is a key element for extending this national character trait.
Brian Sweeney / Producer / nzedge.com