4 March 2018

From world’s most liveable city to Australia’s most expensive city?

When it comes to making housing affordable, Melbourne has always done it better than Sydney. Sydney’s geography may be spectacular, but it’s bad for building housing. Ocean to the east, mountains to the west, and the Ku-ring-gai national park to the north limit Sydney’s urban sprawl. Whereas Melbourne can build more – and cheaper – housing on abundant greenfield land closer to the city.

12 January 2018

There’s no silver bullet when it comes to housing affordability

The debate over negative gearing illustrates a broader problem ignored by many affordable housing advocates. While negative gearing and a number of other housing tax reforms are definitely worth pursuing, they alone won’t solve our housing affordability crisis.

5 December 2017

Why oligopolies are not dominating Australian consumers

Around the world, many are concerned that competition is waning. They say large firms are dominating markets, pushing up prices and profits, squeezing suppliers, and slowing growth in wages and productivity. They point to the consolidation of old industries and the rise of new technology platforms. Back at home, Australia is often said to be the land of the oligopoly. But is competition in Australia really weak and getting weaker?

16 November 2017

Same-sex marriage results crush the idea that Australian voters crave conservatism

Australians have overwhelmingly voted “yes” for same-sex marriage. This means politicians will have to give up relying on the myth that a cultural backlash against the progressive agenda is driving voters to minor parties.

10 October 2017

The implications of ageing for economics and politics

Conventional wisdom tells us that the global population is ageing, governments won’t be able to afford future pension and health care costs, people won’t have enough for their retirement, and governments should encourage people to save more. But in this presentation, Grattan CEO John Daley shows that, at least for Australia, the conventional wisdom is wrong.

26 June 2017

Malcolm Turnbull be warned: the young are coming

The UK election shows that young people can once again be a force in politics. After years of being dismissed as apathetic and disengaged (and treated accordingly), young voters turned out in big numbers. Their very strong split towards Labour played a pivotal role in the surprisingly poor showing of Theresa May’s Conservative government.

16 June 2017

The rise of protest politics – a comment on David Marr’s Quarterly Essay

David Marr’s Quarterly Essay, The White Queen, captures the highlights of Pauline Hanson’s career well, but the focus on Hanson overlooks a much bigger picture – political discontent in Australia’s regions is not new. The challenge to established political parties and the threat of minor parties is a broader issue that will likely continue – whether the One Nation Party implodes again or not.

15 June 2017

Submission to the Major Bank Levy Bill 2017

The Federal Government has failed to make the case for its new levy on the big banks. In this submission to the Senate Economics Committee, Grattan’s Productivity Growth Program Director Jim Minifie argues that, in the absence of such a case, the levy can be seen as an opportunistic grab for cash.

11 August 2016

Ride-sharing reforms: a win for Queenslanders

From September 5, Uber and other ride-sharing services will be legal in Queensland, as they already are in the ACT and NSW. How do the proposed reforms stack up?

3 May 2016

Infographic: the size of Australia’s government

These eight charts show where Australia’s federal government spends money, and how this compares to other OECD countries.