Articles on Economics

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Bankers forgot how to be clever. Scott Ableman

Banking report suggests a cure for stupidity epidemic

For a brief period of time in the 1980s, one of the biggest selling t-shirts carried a print of an arrow which simply said “I’m with stupid”. It pointed to the person next to the witty wearer. In the 1990s…
The Bank of England: still the key to growth? Yui Mok/PA

Ignore the calls for stimulus and stick with Plan A

Many critics of the coalition government’s “Plan A” argue that it should deviate from deficit reduction plans to instead stimulate growth via additional infrastructure spending. Recent advocates of this…
Treasurer Wayne Swan has unveiled an $19.4 billion deficit, but promises to be back in surplus by 2016-17. AAP

A long slide towards debt leads to Wayne’s budget swansong

How did the Australian economy, which boasts the best performance of the major advanced economies, end up with an estimated budget deficit of A$19 billion this year and an estimated debt of $178 billion…
Can economics really describe love? Well, it starts with greed… Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Economics: what’s love got to do with it?

Economists understand greed very well; after all, the urge to get rich is our discipline’s main explanation for human actions. Economists further recognise that greed can be good. When our greedy urges…
An influential economics paper — which has now been shown to have several methodological flaws — was used by policymakers to justify austerity drives around the world. AAP

Economists, an Excel error, and the misguided push for austerity

The economic literature is full of excellent articles that are not read outside small academic circles. There are, however, important exceptions. “Growth in a Time of Debt”, by Carmen R. Reinhart and Kenneth…
If there’s one thing we can say with certainty, it’s that economic forecasting is far from an exact science. Image from www.shutterstock.com

When it comes to economic forecasting, it’s wise to admit to uncertainty

One certainty about economic forecasts is that, almost certainly, they will prove to be incorrect. The best forecasters can hope for is not to make systematic errors – to get it right on average – and…
In a recently released report, IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard admitted that implementing austerity in Europe was a mistake. AAP

We were wrong: IMF report details the damage of austerity

In a rare volte-face, the International Monetary Fund this week admitted that it grossly underestimated the impact of the austerity regime it advised Europeans to adopt. A paper authored by IMF chief economist…
College day betting lead to a fascination with the stockmarket for this physicist. Dan Raustadt Flikr

A rocket scientist’s view of the stockmarket

The last Space Shuttle recently returned to Earth. That reminded me that 45 years ago I was undertaking a PhD in physics at Australian National University, investigating the re-entry of the space shuttle…
Economist and FT economics commentator Martin Wolf delivered this year’s Corden Lecture to more than 500 people. University of Melbourne

Universities left economists ill-prepared for the GFC: Wolf

Universities and macro-economists still haven’t found a way to solve the crisis of economics that was triggered by the global…
Stanford University’s Alvin Roth (pictured) and UCLA’s Lloyd Shapley were given the Nobel prize “for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design”. AAP

Match-making economists earn Nobel prize for economic engineering

The Nobel prize for economics is often awarded for relatively abstract theoretical work. Rather less often, it is awarded for work with clear practical relevance. This year, the committee responsible for…
Beyond charity: philanthropists want a stake in giving. Broken Simulacra / flickr.com

Is ‘philanthrocapitalism’ the future of Australian charities?

The collapse of the child-care business ABC Learning in 2010 was an extraordinary chapter in Australian corporate history. Colourful Queensland businessman Eddy Groves, built the world’s largest publicly…
If the government is serious about maintaining its economic prosperity into the future, it needs to address Australia’s historically poor productivity growth. Ann Douglas

Australia’s productivity problem: why it matters

The majority of Australians would prefer higher living standards. This can take the form of better access to better healthcare services and education, better environmental outcomes, more time for friends…
Solar photovoltaic and onshore wind could be the cheapest sources of electricity by 2030. SustainableDevelopment

Australian energy cost estimates: experts respond

Renewable energy sources such such as solar photovoltaic and onshore wind could generate the lowest electricity costs in…
Campbell Newman’s linking of Queensland’s dire financial situation with that of Spain saw quite a backlash, but is there an underlying element of truth? AAP

Perfect one day, bankrupt the next? Queensland’s missing fortune

Comments by Campbell Newman that Queensland was on the way to bankruptcy are, unfortunately, true. His comment that “Queensland does not have the money…” is globally true - but clearly specifically arguable…
Former politician and economist John Hewson speaks to ANU’s Crawford School’s Bruce Chapman and Daniel Connell.

John Hewson: tax reform doesn’t just mean lowering taxes

Welcome to the latest in our In Conversation series, between former politician and economist Dr John Hewson, Australian National University (ANU) Crawford School Director of Policy Impact Professor Bruce…

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