Massimiliano Tani

I carry out applied research with an economic angle and business/policy implications, mostly related to how knowledge forms and what actions enhance it. For example, I have analysed whether mobility improves productive knowledge at individual, organisational, and national level; whether visiting and being visited have different effects on productivity (and what travel budgets should promote!); what prevents the full use of foreign-trained migrants' human capital in the destination country; whether presenting topics as stories unfolding in documentaries rather than video-lectures improve students' cognitive skills; and whether a small teaching innovation increases the in-class participation of Asian students in Australian classrooms. I also carry out more traditional analyses about the labour market including employment choices facing migrants, rural-urban migration in China, the labour market for graduates, employment and subjective well-being, and depression pointers among students in medicine and law.

I enjoy data-intensive work to establish correlations as well as cause-effect relationships, including those emerging from small-scale experiments. I work with both cross-sectional and panel data techniques. My work generally uses well-known secondary data from national statistical offices but have organised the collection of primary data from travellers at Australia's main airports (more than 20 surveyers!) and students in Australia and Singapore (over 5,000 respondents).

I teach/taught macroeconomics as well as finance at both undergraduate and graduate level in face-to-face and distance mode. My education includes a PhD in Economics from the Australian National University (Canberra, Australia), a MSc Econ from the LSE and Laurea from Bocconi University (Milan, Italy). Before moving to Australia in 1999 I had a previous life in investment banking in the UK.


  • –present
    Professor, University of New South Wales, Canberra at Australian Defence Force Academy