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Analysis and Comment (28)

Hearing voices. Francois Hollande watches a Mirage 2000-5 taxi out of its hangar. Hearing voices. Francois Hollande watches a Mirage 2000-5 taxi out of its hangar. Philippe Wojazer/EPA

The European Left’s economic policies risk looking feeble

Why does the economic policy pursued or proposed by the Left in Europe often seem so pathetic? The clearest example of this lies just across the channel. France is subject to the same fiscal straitjacket…
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey hosting the recent G20 finance ministers' meeting in Sydney, a lead-up event to November’s Brisbane Summit. Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey hosting the recent G20 finance ministers' meeting in Sydney, a lead-up event to November’s Brisbane Summit. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Double or nothing: Australia’s G20 energy challenge

When Australia hosts the G20 Leaders' Summit in November, a top agenda item for its “Brisbane Action Plan” will be “practical actions to improve productivity and competitiveness”. So here’s a good place…
A mini power plant in a North Sydney basement. Trigeneration plants like these generate electricity, heating and cooling far more efficiently than with mains power. A mini power plant in a North Sydney basement. Trigeneration plants like these generate electricity, heating and cooling far more efficiently than with mains power. AAP/Short Communications, Girrit Fokkema

How to save business billions, without cutting renewable jobs

The debate about the future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) has largely focused on the issue of immediate costs to business. But if we’re thinking about Australia’s long-term economic interests…
After a promising start to an ambitious economic turn-around program, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will have more difficulty with tax changes scheduled to come in over the next few years. After a promising start to an ambitious economic turn-around program, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will have more difficulty with tax changes scheduled to come in over the next few years. EPA/Harish Tyagi

Japanese tax hikes loom large for Abenomics

Another record trade deficit for Japan is raising doubts about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” strategy for economic revival. The new figures follow poor manufacturing sentiment numbers earlier…
Measuring growth can be tough. Measuring growth can be tough. woodleywonderworks

Too soon to celebrate: a flawed obsession with economic stats

So the International Monetary Fund has revised its economic growth forecast for the UK upwards. It now expects 2.4% growth in the UK this year, up from the 1.9% they predicted a few months back. Cue celebratory…
Singapore’s Marina Bay is viewed as a role model for casino precincts. Singapore’s Marina Bay is viewed as a role model for casino precincts. Slack12/Flickr

Casino precincts and tourism: gambling our way to prosperity?

Last month Queensland Premier Campbell Newman called for expressions of interest to develop a major integrated resort casino precinct within the Brisbane CBD. The vision is for a new casino surrounded…
Big car firms now make huge sums from financial subsidiaries. Big car firms now make huge sums from financial subsidiaries. Martin Rickett/PA

Short-term profit seeking risks the future of manufacturing

In both the US and UK, policymakers have been excited to see a small but significant increase in manufacturing activity and exports. While growth in manufacturing jobs has been sporadic, the creation of…
Tasmania is travelling down a more sustainable path. Tasmania is travelling down a more sustainable path. Paul D'Ambra - Australia

Dumbonomics: why Tasmania doesn’t need to be lectured by the rest of Australia

Recent reports would have you believe that Tasmania is a basket case and in desperate need of another bailout. The Fairfax-owned Launceston Examiner recently ran a story headlined “Tasmania’s economy is…
How does Australia’s economy stack up when compared globally? How does Australia’s economy stack up when compared globally?

FactCheck: how strong is Australia’s economy?

“We have among the lowest of budget deficits and debt to GDP of any other major economies in the developed world… If it’s so bad, Mr Abbott, why have we been given by the three ratings agencies a AAA credit…
The last few years in Australian politics have seen the rise of a new definition of ‘lying’. The last few years in Australian politics have seen the rise of a new definition of ‘lying’. AAP/Lukas Coch

Redefining the lie: politics and porkies

Lie (v.) (1) To make a politically unpopular statement; (2) [retrospectively applied] To make a statement which appears inconsistent with a more recent statement, indicating that its maker has changed…
Chris Bowen’s mini budget doesn’t tackle the structural problems facing the Australian budget. Chris Bowen’s mini budget doesn’t tackle the structural problems facing the Australian budget. AAP/Lukas Coch

Bowen’s band-aid mini budget

Chris Bowen, the new Labor Treasurer, has announced the government’s plans for savings and new sources of revenue to meet a budget shortfall with the aim of bring about the elusive budget surplus in 2016/17…
Bearers of bad news: Treasurer Chris Bowen and Finance Minister Penny Wong deliver the government’s economic statement. Bearers of bad news: Treasurer Chris Bowen and Finance Minister Penny Wong deliver the government’s economic statement.

Economic statement: experts respond

A slowing economy and drop in government revenue has led to an increased budget deficit, new taxes and some cuts to existing programs. Delivering the Rudd government’s long awaited economic statement…
Chris Bowen and Kevin Rudd are facing the challenge of paying for their new policies while minimising political “nasties”. Chris Bowen and Kevin Rudd are facing the challenge of paying for their new policies while minimising political “nasties”. AAP/Lori Neilsen-Carr

Grattan on Friday: Boats done – the economy’s next on Rudd’s agenda

Now Kevin Rudd has ticked off emissions trading and unveiled his PNG solution on boat arrivals, he’s turning his full attention to trying to neutralise the “debt and deficit” issue. In other words, he’s…
Don’t bust out the champagne yet: not everyone will be able to afford it. Don’t bust out the champagne yet: not everyone will be able to afford it. Toni Blay

Recovery may not be enough to fix unemployment

With economic “green shoots” appearing, you might expect to see improvements in the labour market, with higher wages and lower unemployment. But don’t get the champagne out just yet: this crisis isn’t…
Competitiveness and productivity are top priorities in Kevin Rudd’s economic policy agenda. Competitiveness and productivity are top priorities in Kevin Rudd’s economic policy agenda. AAP

Rudd’s economic blueprint is a timely election pitch to business

Yesterday, Kevin Rudd set about outlining the broad terrain of economic policy to be pursued in this his second stint as Prime Minister. In his speech to the Press Club, the PM highlighted seven core drivers…
How should we measure the size of the Australian economy? How should we measure the size of the Australian economy? AAP

Punching above our weight: sizing up Australia’s economy

Treasurer Wayne Swan recently noted that Australia now has the world’s twelfth largest economy. This suggests it has moved up three places during Labor’s period of office, and regained the three places…
In the UK, innovation and research has been at the forefront of the government’s economic policy agenda. In the UK, innovation and research has been at the forefront of the government’s economic policy agenda. bisgovuk

Innovation or stagnation? Lessons Australia could learn from the UK

After decades in the wilderness, industry policy is back centrally on the economic agenda in the UK. What is striking is how the policy is being driven by strong evidence on what works from years of accumulated…
Neither Anna Bligh nor Campbell Newman seem keen to talk about Queensland’s staggering debt. Neither Anna Bligh nor Campbell Newman seem keen to talk about Queensland’s staggering debt. AAP

Standing in the shadow of debt in the sunshine state

In the run-up to the Queensland state election, politicians are making all sorts of pledges to win over constituents, but few are willing to tackle a potentially paralysing problem: the spectacular growth…
Tony Abbott has tough decisions to make on workplace reform before the next election. Tony Abbott has tough decisions to make on workplace reform before the next election. AAP

A return to WorkChoices: Why is business trying to hammer it home?

In one of the most significant moments of the 2010 federal election campaign, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott declared the Coalition’s unpopular WorkChoices policy “dead, buried, cremated.” In an interview…
Big sporting events often make a loss, but the locals still enjoy the party. 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…
Iron ore is now Australia’s biggest export. Iron ore is now Australia’s biggest export. AFP/CHRISTIAN SPROGOE RIO TINTO

The Boom: Iron ore and Australia

Australia’s economic future lies underneath our feet. The island continent is blessed with a variety of natural resources but none as plentiful or important as iron ore. Iron is a common element in soils…
Designer shopping in China can lead to an experience like no other. Designer shopping in China can lead to an experience like no other. Flickr/Gadgetdan

Middle classes and the Party: changing faces of power in China

China’s phenomenal economic growth during the last three decades has significantly altered its pattern of social stratification. One of the most equal countries in the world has become one of the most…
Sharing the spoils: WA Premier Colin Barnett confers with Queensland’s Anna Bligh. Sharing the spoils: WA Premier Colin Barnett confers with Queensland’s Anna Bligh. AAP

Despite our patchwork economy, all states are sharing in the boom

The marked increase in international commodities prices and the accompanying rise in the value of the Australian dollar has led to popular concern about a two-speed or multi-speed economy, prompting the…
There is economic reasoning behind Glenn Stevens’s low public profile. There is economic reasoning behind Glenn Stevens’s low public profile. AAP

Is Ben Bernanke giving Glenn Stevens a run for his money?

Late last month, Ben Bernanke held the first ever press conference by a chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank. For more than an hour, he took questions about the Federal Open Market Committee’s decision…

Research and News (5)

Research Briefs (2)