Wednesday , September 22 2021
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Tag Archives: economic policy

Improving economic participation to overcome Indigenous disadvantage

I took part in a UQ Economics Thought Leadership event last week, looking at this topic. It was a family event as my cousin Robynne, who has done lots of work in this field (currently chairs the Board of the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office, as well as being a professor at UTS among lots of other positions), also took part. Here’s a link to the UQ page with a video recording and here are my Powerpoint slides. My contribution was to link the discussion on Indigenous disadvantage to...

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Why “Output Gap” Is Inadequate

by Lekha Chakraborty and Amandeep Kaur[1] The macroeconomic uncertainty during the Covid-19 pandemic is hard to measure. Economists and policymakers use the “output gap” variable to capture “slack.” It is a deviation between potential output and actual output, which is a standard representation of a “cycle.” The potential output is an unobserved variable. There is an increasing concern about the way we measure potential output—decomposing the output into trends and cycles. This is...

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Paying for what we used to own: The strange case of CSL

That’s the headline for my latest piece in Independent Australia. Opening paras AS WE WAIT anxiously for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, which will be made overseas, most Australians will welcome the news that a new vaccine manufacturing plant will be built in Melbourne to produce vaccines for influenza and Q fever (and possibly for future pandemics), as well as antivenenes for snake and spider bites.The plant is the result of a deal between the Commonwealth Government and...

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RCEP

For some reason, I’ve been asked to do an interview with a Korean radio station about the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, frequently described as “the world’s largest trade deal”, on the basis that the countries involved have a combined population of 2.2 billion, more than any previous deal. The most interesting thing about the deal is what’s not in it (also, who’s not in it, notably India and the United States). Early drafts followed the classic pattern, with strong...

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It’s not about the watches …

… is Australia Post a commercial operation or a public service? That’s the headline for a piece I wrote for The Guardian (my first there in quite a while). A key point is that the deal that allegedly justified the expensive gifts was, in essence, the continuation of an arrangement established a hundred years ago between what was then the Post Office and the publicly owned Commonwealth Bank. Whoever put that arrangement together deserves commendation, but I doubt that they were...

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Outsourcing: what we pay for is what we get

Ross Gittins makes some obvious, but important, points about what is lsot when vital public services are contracted out. As he says, economists have known this since the work of Oliver Hart, last century, but it’s only now penetrating the policy establishment. In the UK, which led the charge for outsourcing under Thatcher, insourcing is the New Big Thing. Unlike Hart, I’m not in the running for the Economics Nobel, but I’ve spent much of the last thirty years supplying empirical...

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To get the economy going, we’ll need more than hard hats

That’s the headline for my latest article in Independent Australia. Opening paras WITH THE economy in recession as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and depressed conditions likely to continue for a year or more to come, attention has turned to strategies to promote recovery.Unsurprisingly, most participants in the policy process have turned to the kinds of strategies they have always favoured.High on the list for many is increased investment in physical infrastructure projects and...

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End oil imports

One of the consequences of the pandemic has been the realization that reliance on the ready availability of imported goods may be a problem in a crisis. This isn’t new, particularly in relation to oil, which plays an outsized role in geopolitics. The supposed need to protect sea lanes, and particularly oil supplies against disruption has been a major part of the rationale for naval defence spending. And we have repeatedly been criticised for failing to maintain stocks of refined...

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