21 September 2019

How policy makers should respond to Australia’s slowing economy

A panel of experts, including Grattan’s Brendan Coates, discuss whether the Reserve Bank of Australia is doing enough, and whether the Federal Government needs to do more, to stimulate our sluggish economy.

22 May 2019

Policy priorities for the returned Morrison government

Scott Morrison did not promise big policy changes in the election campaign. But on several issues inaction will be politically unwise. Economic growth is slowing, private health insurance is in a death spiral, home ownership is falling and homelessness rising, and energy costs and emissions are too high.

11 May 2019

At this election, voters have a clear choice on the economy

Labor is throwing out the rule book. The Coalition is sticking to the usual script. The upshot is the most distinct choice in economic policy for more than two decades.

17 April 2019

What the election should be about: priorities for the next government

A federal election is an opportunity to take stock of how we are doing, where we are going, and what governments can do about it. Grattan’s new Commonwealth Orange Book 2019 sets out the reform priorities for the next government.

29 October 2018

Australia’s dangerous fantasy: diverting population growth to the regions

A dangerous fantasy is taking hold in Australia: that government policy can divert population growth from our bulging capital cities to our needy regions. It’s a fantasy because a century of Australian history shows it won’t work. And it’s dangerous because it gives governments an excuse to avoid the hard decisions on planning and transport needed to make housing more affordable and cities more liveable.

4 December 2017

Australia isn’t dominated by big businesses that gouge customers

When we see excessive spikes in fuel prices, rapid annual increases in health insurance premiums, and a confusing array of electricity options to choose from, it is easy to conclude that big companies are using their market power to gouge their customers. But the latest report from the Grattan Institute finds claims about Australia being dominated by oligopolies are overblown. Only about 15% of the economy is dominated by large firms.

3 August 2017

Australia’s city/country divide is not as wide as you may think

Many people assume Australia’s regions are getting a raw deal compared to the big cities. But beneath the oft-told “tale of two Australias” is a more nuanced story. Cities and regions both have pockets of disadvantage, as well as areas with healthy income growth and low unemployment. But shifts in population are driving a wedge between city and regional Australia.

18 May 2017

FactCheck: do Australian banks have double the return on equity of banks in other developed economies?

In its 2017 federal budget, the Australian government included a 0.06% levy on Australia’s biggest five banks that will collectively cost the banks A$1.6 billion a year. Many commentators have suggested this cost will be passed directly onto customers. However, Scott Morrison said the banks could absorb the cost of the levy, given the size of their profits. Is that right?

20 March 2017

Women are dropping out of economics, which means men are running our economy

The dearth of women in leadership positions raises a red flag for the quality of Australia’s economic decision-making. Too many “like” individuals reduces the range of perspectives informing decisions. It also means wasted talent: if you bench half your potential team then the one that takes to the field is probably not your strongest.

27 February 2017

Business investment is weak, but an unfunded company tax cut won’t fix it

Eight years after the global financial crisis (GFC), economic growth remains weak in many rich nations. Australia has been an exception to the malaise, but growth has slowed as the mining boom winds down.