Editors’ Picks – April 13 2014

This week in Editors’ Picks, we take a look at the landmark Australia-Japan trade agreement, how smartphones are actually adding $33 billion to our GDP, raising the pension eligibility age as a fiscal policy option, the trajectory of the financial contract and the revolutionary work of Thomas Piketty.

Trade deal signed as Japan relents on beef – Phillip Coorey

Significant tariff barriers have always been an unrelenting mainstay in the Australia-Japan trade relationship, so this week’s breakthrough Economic Partnership Agreement marks a new stage in this important trade dynamics. Phillip Coorey explores the resultant benefits for both the Australian and Japanese economies.

Mobile adds more to GDP than arts – David Ramli

Think whiling away hours on your smartphone are a simple waste of time? Drawing upon recent ABS data analysis, David Ramli investigates how, on the contrary, mobile broadband contributes almost three times more to our national GDP than the arts.

Joe Hockey says raising pension age would be ‘fiscally prudent’ – Katharine Murphy

With the ageing population becoming a growing fiscal concern within the Australian economy, raising the pension eligibility age has gained momentum as a viable policy reaction. Katharine Murphy considers Treasurer Joe Hockey’s recent remarks and IMF reporting, to explore the policy in the context of the upcoming Federal Budget in May.

The slumps that shaped modern finance – The Economist

In an original, thought-provoking piece, The Economist evaluates the role and importance of the financial contract, within the framework of historical analysis, and looks at the crises that have given rise to finance as we know it today.

Why we’re in a gilded new age – Paul Krugman

Thomas Piketty’s work and research have silently revolutionised economic thought and statistical analysis, to which its English-translation publication is now likely going to give voice. Esteemed Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman discusses the influential nature of Piketty’s paper, and how the 21st century has potentially reverted to dynastic “patrimonial capitalism”.