Articles on Economics

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Robert F Kennedy thought it a mistake to equate success with what we produce. RFK Wharehouse

There’s more to good policy than increasing GDP

Economists are regularly criticised for worrying about gross domestic product (GDP) and similar measures. The classic statement of the case was by Robert F Kennedy: “Too much and too long, we seem to have…
Elinor Ostrom, the only woman to have won a Nobel prize for economics, was most famous for challenging the idea of the “tragedy of the commons”: that in the absence of government intervention, people will overuse shared resources. acschweigert

The grand philosopher of the Commons: in memory of Elinor Ostrom

The grand philosopher of the Commons, Elinor Ostrom, passed away on the 12th June 2012. She was a brilliant, creative polymath; a theoretician of fine precision and great intellectual power; a deviser…
If Australia had been founded according to the Eurozone model, our current economic situation would look very different. adam79

Australia and the Eurozone: a counterfactual account of economic history

Suppose that in 1901 Australia’s founding fathers had designed the Commonwealth differently. The states were to retain all powers to tax and had to finance themselves (including health, education and social…
With natural gas - like other commodities - it can be necessary for prices to rise in anticipation of increasing demand. Flickr/jasonwoodhead23

Natural gas: expect price to rise as market expands

Many are concerned with the price of natural gas. Natural gas is an important part of Australia’s overall energy mix; it represents roughly a quarter of all primary energy sources consumed. And, as we…
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and administrator of the UN Development Program, Helen Clark at last week’s UN meeting on wellbeing and happiness. Casa Presidencial República de Costa Rica

Wellbeing, happiness and sustainability: hallmarks of a new economic paradigm

What do the following people have in common? Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, former Australian deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, HRH Prince Charles, OECD chief…
In times of financial collapses, banks and governments are painted as the villains. But what about economists? ~ dgies

Time to stop rewarding economists for bad behaviour

Since the beginning of the global financial crises in 2007, there have occurred numerous economic and financial crises around the globe, plunging often prosperous nations into hardship and even near bankruptcy…
What would Marx (left) and Engels say about capitalism’s current predicament? Marcio Cabral de Moura

Marxism versus the mainstream: rethinking the economic crisis

The current economic crisis has renewed interest in alternative economic ideas. Most conspicuously, Keynesianism has returned from the margins. Unfortunately, particularly in Europe, policymakers quickly…
A life without money isn’t pie in the sky any more. truthout.org

Occupy a money-free world? Now that’s a capital idea

When New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered police to clear Zuccotti Park of Occupy protestors on 15 November last year he called on the protesters to “occupy the space with the power of their arguments…
Despite President Barack Obama’s charms, Australia must focus on China. AAP Image/ Scott Barbour

The US or China? Australia can’t afford to make mistakes

Australia’s recent fleeting love affair with President Barack Obama notwithstanding, Australia’s future lies with China and the North, not the Pacific and the East. This is not simply a matter of economics…
Nobel Prize in Economics winners Christopher Sims and Thomas Sargent: in the neoclassic mold. AAP

Why does neoclassical thinking still dominate economics?

The Sveriges Riksbank’s Prize in Economic Sciences - or the Nobel prize in economics - awarded last week to Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims- implicitly claims that economics is a science. But how accurate…
Australia will have to try something new, and align itself more closely to Asia. AAP Image/Adam Gartrell

Is Australia ready for the ‘Asian century?’

AUSTRALIA IN ASIA: In the first of The Conversation’s series on Australia’s relations with Asia, Professor Tony Milner of the Australian National University examines whether we are prepared for the “Asian…
Big sporting events often make a loss, but the locals still enjoy the party. AFP/Franck Fife

What will the Rugby World Cup be worth to New Zealand?

RUGBY WORLD CUP – In the latest of The Conversation’s series on the Rugby World Cup, Massey University’s Sam Richardson looks at the costs and benefits to the host country New Zealand. New Zealand has…
Planting the idea: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott opposes a carbon tax. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Australia should delay a carbon tax until the rest of the world acts

The big question about the carbon tax is not whether it’s a good or a bad idea in theory. The major issue is whether it makes sense for Australia to implement it at a time of great uncertainty, both in…
Stock markets around the world plummeted after news of the US credit rating downgrade (EPA/FRANK RUMPENHORST)

Debt dive: why is the US at the mercy of anonymous credit agencies?

Without the firing of a single shot in anger, a country has been, at least in a sense, brought to its economic knees. The capitalist system, with variations and aberrations, is now reacting. Shares are…
Concerns have been raised over the levels of foreign investment in Australia, including in the mining sector AAP.

Should foreign investment rules be reviewed?

The purchase of 43 farms in northern NSW by a state-controlled Chinese mining company has prompted calls this week for tougher restrictions on foreign investment. Greens leader Bob Brown, independent Senator…
A carbon tax priced at $26 per tonne could raise $11.5 billion in the first year, said economist Ross Garnaut. AAP

Final Garnaut climate change review: the experts respond

Economist Professor Ross Garnaut has released his final report to the government on climate change and the economy. The report says global warming is expected to continue and estimates that a $26 per tonne…

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