Good Economics for Hard Times

Good Economics for Hard Times


Directors’ Welcome

Thank-you for reading this year’s edition of Equilibrium. Since the very beginning, this publication has been a cross-campus effort. But we are proud to say that this year’s Equilibrium was a more collaborative effort than ever before. Despite being physically apart, across time zones and countries, our writers, committee and all contributors worked extremely hard to bring together a beautiful publication. We’re also glad to have students from the University of Adelaide and Deakin University share their love of economics and contribute to the publication.

The ongoing pandemic has made clear our reliance on institutional integrity, sound policy and good economics for hard times. This year’s edition pays tribute to two pioneers within the economics discipline: the 2019 Nobel laureates, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. Their experimental approach to tackling poverty demonstrates the transformative impact of economic insights. We were inspired by the wide scope of their thinking and fresh perspective on thorny, global issues present in their book, ‘Good Economics for Hard Times’. We’ve taken some licence with their title and we hope we’ll be forgiven for trying to plagiarise their attitude towards economics.

On the next several pages, we present different, mostly optimistic, partly controversial, perspectives on how economics can improve the world. You’ll find articles discussing the future of education in Australia at a time when the debate on deregulation is arguably fiercer than ever; the possibility of a carbon tax in the EU despite heightened division on the issue; a world beyond financial maximisation; the economics of innovation; and more.

Thank-you to all our writers, sponsors and editors for your hard work during these hard times.

We hope you enjoy the read.

Jonas Larsen & Thao-Mi Bui (ESSA Melbourne & Monash Clayton)

Publications Directors 2020