Articles on Economic policy

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Will stronger economic integration test the resilience of the Australia-New Zealand relationship? AAP

Australia and New Zealand’s slow and steady move towards economic integration

In March this year Australia and New Zealand will celebrate the 30th anniversary of a trade agreement known as Closer Economic Relations (CER). Few Australians and New Zealanders are likely to notice…
The true value of art cannot be measured by economic standards. Flickr/TruShu

Game of funds: return of the culture wars?

In 2012, public debate over the value of art and culture has reignited as conservative state governments in Victoria and Queensland cut arts funding from their budgets. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s…
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…
Arguments against taxing the super rich are centred around the notion that wealth encourages investment and creates jobs. But what about the effects of income inequality? R SH

Invested interests: debunking the economic case for the one percent

In a widely anticipated forthcoming book, Edward Conard – a former Bain Capital colleague of Mitt Romney’s – has advanced the arguments that investment drives economic growth, and that deregulation and…
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…
Policy or populism? Wayne Swan may be locking himself into a misguided stance on returning to surplus. AAP

Why is Wayne Swan locking himself into a return to surplus?

It is just possible that the Federal Government’s public statements about the need to get back, at all costs, to a budget surplus for the 2012-13 year are based on a grim view of the intelligence of the…
Joint Nobel Prize in Economics winners Christopher Sims and Thomas Sargent have contributed a body of work over decades. AAP

Economists’ lifetime of work honoured with Nobel prize

Princeton University professor Christopher Sims and New York University economist Thomas Sargent have been jointly named the 2011 winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics (or, for the purists, the Sveriges…
Nobel Laureates: Princeton University professor Christopher Sims (left) and Thomas Sargent, a New York University economist and visiting professor at Princeton. AAP

US economists win Nobel Prize for cause and effect theories

Two US economists have been named the 2011 winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics for their research on how economies are…
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…
Universities must ensure that their discoveries are put into practice. AAP

A role for universities in halting the death of manufacturing

Over the last few weeks, the cost of upheaval in the manufacturing sector has become ever more visible. BlueScope Steel is to shed 1,000 employees while OneSteel has announced the loss of 400 manufacturing…
Boom to bailout: Ireland’s economic implosion shows the consequences of unfettered policy. AAP

Why it pays to believe economists

This year’s Economic Society of Australia conference saw a range of strong views expressed on what Australian policy makers have managed to get broadly right (carbon tax – hurrah!) and wrong (NBN – boo…
Treasury Secretary Dr Martin Parkinson has said boosting Australia’s productivity is essential. AAP

Act on productivity now or see decades of reform go to waste

In his address to the Economic and Social Outlook Conference last week, Treasury Secretary Dr Martin Parkinson called for a renewed focus on boosting Australia’s falling productivity to ensure living standards…
Good financial inclusion measures will protect consumers from predatory lenders. Flickr/rinkjustice

Giving credit where it’s due will ensure financial inclusion

The Australian government has begun to focus on the issue of financial inclusion, as reflected by an allocation of $60.6 million in this year’s federal budget. This follows earlier government support for…

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