Assoc Prof Nathan Berg

Associate Professor of Economics

  • Area of Specialisation:
    • Behavioural Economics, Game Theory, Econometrics, Organisational Behaviour
  • Faculty/Key Office:
    • Associate Professor of Economics, University of Otago
    • Associate Editor, Global Economics and Management Review
    • Associate Editor, International Journal of Economics and Business Research
    • Associate Editor, Review of Behavioral Economics
  • Education:
    • Ph.D. (with Honours) Economics, University of Kansas
    • M.A. (with Honours) Mathematics, University of Kansas
    • B.A. (with Honours) American Studies, University of Kansas
"If you think you're mediocre, then do what everyone else does, conforming to fashion, trends and orthodoxy in a well-defined field. If you know you're excellent, boldly go in your own direction. And you can learn lots from your MBA classmates."

International teaching and industry experience:

Nathan taught masters students at leading business and economics universities in Europe and Asia as well as the U.S., including University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin (Germany), Waseda University (Japan), Tsukuba University (Japan) and Osaka University (Japan). Nathan is a sought-after consultant for his expertise in behavioural economics, financial decision making, health care cost control, marketing and public policy informed by behavioural research.

Why does Nathan like teaching in the MBA programme?

Nathan enjoys teaching MBA students because ideas and entrepreneurial risk taking are irreplaceable inputs into economic wellbeing.  There is also the pleasure of intensely focusing one's mind and truly ambitious undertakings. The NZ business environment presents unique opportunities for new business launches that have game-changing effects on domestic and international markets.  Otago MBA students' intensity (taking on career and post-graduate study, sometimes at the same time) and their breadth of international backgrounds make interacting with each other every day truly fun, which characterises successful organisations. They’ve made deliberate decisions to enrol in Otago’s MBA programme – incurring significant time and money costs – and so they’re determined to get the most back from their investment. For any teacher, that’s very rewarding.

What global perspective is reflected in your course/teaching?

Nathan’s goal is to encourage students to ‘think like an economist’ and to equip them with as many useful tools as possible – to be able to make better decisions in business and in their lives overall.  If you want to know what Nathan think about the multiple definitions of `global' circulating among business researchers, please read his paper:

Berg, N. and Maital, S. (2007) Tailoring globalization to national needs and wellbeing: One size never fits all, Global Business and Economics Review 9(2/3), 319-334.