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Behavioural economics: a primer

The rational man is known well to any classical economist, writes Philip Grossman. But his devilish counterpart, the irrational man, is uncharted territory. Enter behavioural economics.

Ethanol: a political hat trick

How and when, if ever, should the ethanol industry be subsidised? Ben Brooks from the Left Right Think-Tank talks about the cosy link between biofuel production and politics.

Neville Norman: ESSA Q&A Topics

Australia after the mining boom: what next?

To answer this question, the first thing is to get the descriptions right: The ‘mining boom’ is still going and will be for a long time yet.  It was mainly a boom in commodity prices and profits by value, not huge growth in quantities. That scene now changes as the supply potential of coal and iron ore especially have been expanded.  What slows down in the ratio of mining investment (i.e. capital expenditure) as a percentage of GDP and the production boom now follows.

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It’s Politics, Stupid

by Amal Varghese

SYDNEY- Before David Axelrod- one of the finest political strategists in modern American history- there was James Carville; the man who played a big hand in Bill Clinton’s rise to the White House. His greatest achievement was touted as devising the catchphrase for the campaign ‘The Economy, stupid’, which was modified after it caught on fire to ‘It’s the Economy, Stupid’. That mantra highly resonated with American voters who were gradually convinced by the Clinton campaign that George H.W Bush, despite ending the Cold war and coming out a victor in the Gulf War, was not the man who could turn the downward-spiralling economy around. The year was 1992, and in the decade that followed America grew at an average of 3.8% GDP and managed to balance its budget for the bulk of that time under Clinton. The divides that are a caricature of Washington today were present back then (though perhaps the climate was not nearly as polarized) but political leaders found a way to come together and carve a future path for growth. In the decade and a half that followed Clinton’s exit from Pennsylvania Avenue, America’s deficits have ballooned to over US$16 trillion, its growth prospects remain bleak nearly five years after the financial crisis and political paralysis has become the hallmark of Washington. But in stark contrast to the 1990s, America’s deepest problems today are rooted in politics, not economics.

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Stephen Koukoulas: Q&A Review

By Stephen Koukoulas


A terrific panel of economists sparked a terrific discussion on immigration, the multi-speed economy and a host of other economic and policy matters.

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Morris Dalton: ESA Panel Event

By Morris Dalton


On Monday August 20  at 6pm at the University of Melbourne members were addressed by a panel of three distinguished speakers, Ross Gittins, Max Corden and John Daley at a forum examining the policy implications of the high Australian dollar.

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