Professor Centre of Policy Studies, Victoria University

Philip is Professor at the Centre of Policy Studies (CoPS), Victoria University, Melbourne. Prior to his current position, Philip was Director and Professor at CoPS, Monash University (2004-2013). He is also past Australian coordinator for the Economic Outlook taskforce of the Pacific Economic Co-operation group. Prior to 2004, he held positions as Senior Research Fellow and then Director of Consulting at CoPS, having previously worked at the Bureau of Agricultural Economics (now the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics) and at the Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (now the Melbourne Institute). He holds a Masters Degree and a Ph.D., both in economics, from the University of Melbourne.
Philip's main area of expertise is the application of large multi-sectoral and multi-regional economic models for policy analysis and forecasting. Since completing his Ph.D., he has been involved in the implementation of several large models of the Australian economy: a short-run macro model; the Australia-wide MONASH model; and the MMRF dynamic model of Australia’s eight states and Territories. Philip has also been active in developing models for overseas organisations, including central government organisations in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Uganda, South Africa, Taiwan, Denmark, and Thailand. He has also run a number of training courses in the use of single- and multi-country CGE models. The multi-country training was undertaken using the GTAP model, built and maintained at the Global Trade and Protection (GTAP) project at Purdue University.
Philip has around 60 refereed publications covering topics such as: the prospects for industries, states and regions; the economic effects of import tariffs; the contribution of international tourism; the benefits and costs of major export projects; and the impacts of greenhouse-response policies for Australian regions. His articles have been published in a wide range of journals, including: the Journal of Policy Modelling, the International Journal of Forecasting, the Pacific Economic Review, the World Economy, Applied Economics, Economic Letters, Economic Studies Quarterly, the Asia-Pacific Economic Review and the Economic Record. With Brian Parmenter he is the co-author of a chapter on Environmental modelling in the Handbook on CGE modelling (published in 2013 by Elsevier B.V).
Philip’s primary responsibility at CoPS is contract research. His research clearly engages with important “real world” issues, and demonstrates impact through relevance and excellence. Indicators of the impactfulness of Philips’ research are the number of organisations that provide repeat funding and the considerable income that his research projects bring to the University. Between 2006 and the middle of 2014 that income amounted to $695,000 on average per annum.
Over this period his contract work has focussed on three areas.
1. The economics of climate change, climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation. Clients include: the Garnaut Climate Change Review, the Federal Treasury, the state treasuries of VIC, NSW, QLD and WA, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the DCCEE, Climate Works, Climate Institute and the WWF. His technical advice for the Federal Treasury led to the adoption of the MMRF system as Treasury’s principal tool for analysis greenhouse mitigation policies from 2006 through to the present day. His October-2007 report for the Climate Institute on the economic implications of forcing large cuts in greenhouse emissions in Australia was reported widely in the Australian Press. Philip also delivered one of the key invited lectures (November 2008) of Monash's 50th Anniversary Public Lecture Series, focussing on the insurance-aspects of an emissions trading scheme. Most recently he has worked: as technical advisor for Australia’s participation in the global 2050 Deep Decarbonisation Pathways Project (DDPP), coordinated by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) (http://www.climateworksaustralia.org/project/current-project/pathways-deep-decarbonisation-2050-how-australia-can-prosper-low-carbon); for the International Policy Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs (Climate change and sustainability branch) on a fact-finding mission to India (June 2013) designed to find potential partners for a joint Australia/India study on climate change issues; and with the CSIRO on a project to develop a large scale, detailed Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) covering global and detailed Australian regions.
2. Modelling emerging economies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Clients include: the Ugandan Ministry of Finance through Oxford Policy Management, the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation through Leading Point Management, the government of Oman (through the Sultan Qaboos University), the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the State Information Centre (a Chinese government think tank affiliated to the National Development and Reform Commission). All of these projects have involved capacity transfer of models, database and software through training courses and project documentation, and applications to key policy issues. The issues examined include: the economic, social and fiscal impacts of a large new oil discovery (Uganda); the removal of subsidies on energy and food (Jordan); the training and occupation implications of moving form an oil-focussed economy (Oman and Saudi Arabia); and the economics of climate-change action at the provincial level (China).
3. The economic impacts of large projects in mining, manufacturing, infrastructure and defence. Clients include: Acil Tasman (and now Acil Allens), Deloitte Economics, PwC, Ernst and Young, SGS Economic and Planning, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Centre of International Economics (CIE), Frontier Economics, KPMG, Urbis, SKM, the airport authorities of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, the Department of Materiel Organisation (DMO), BHP Billiton, Chevron, Woodside, Tennis Australia, Transurban, and the state government treasuries of Vic, NSW, QLD, WA and SA. This work typically involves extensions of Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) to cover the wider economic implications of specific large scale projects (construction and operation). Reporting is often confidential commercial in confidence, but the work is nearly always crucial in final decision making concerning the viability of various very large projects. For example, Philip recently completed a detailed study for DMO examining the economic impacts of various options for the next generation of submarines to be purchased by the Australian government. The overall cost of the program is reported to be around $50 billion.

Experience

  • 1991–present
    Director and Professor, Centre of Policy Studies

Education

  • 1989 
    University of Melbourne, PhD

Research Areas

  • Environment And Resource Economics (140205)
  • Economic Models And Forecasting (140303)