REAL WORLD ECONOMICS: invitation to contribute

Australia lacks a credible economic alternative to the policies enunciated by orthodox economists. The Centre for Policy Development is calling for the submission of articles and papers which explore alternate theoretical frameworks for the development of economic policy.

Such frameworks should outline how the benefits of our more open economy can be preserved over the long term. Many of Australia’s current policies are increasingly unsustainable. We are running up household and private foreign debt, and running down our infrastructure and natural, financial and social capital. In short, we are depleting our ‘common wealth’.

With public scepticism about privatisation and public-private partnerships on the rise, and with the flaws in the individualisation of funding for public services (e.g. childcare, health insurance) increasingly apparent, there is room to consider the appropriate roles for markets and governments in a way that moves beyond the ‘small government vs big government’ debate. Given both the changes in popular views over the past two decades and the failure of many centralised planning and control models, we may need to develop new forms of collective risk-sharing that are quite different from the public service provision of the past.

Much of the thinking that informs current government policy is based on outdated or oversimplified economic theory — recent research (for example in behavioural economics) have not been taken into account. We need to incorporate a broader, more balanced understanding of human nature into the economic principles that underpin policy development. We also need to ensure that our economic policies take into account instances of market failure and the impacts of externalising social and environmental costs.

Critiques of orthodox economics have proliferated in recent times, but often these critiques are not translated into alternative principles for policy-making. An alternate economic framework should articulate these principles and set the scene for portfolio policies in a range of areas, e.g. education, research, infrastructure, chronic joblessness, and taxation.

The Centre for Policy Development invites you to submit a short article or paper outlining what you would regard as the essential principles of an alternate economic framework. Your submission should also outline the implication of these principles for policy makers wishing to develop fair, sustainable, efficient, and resilient policies. Please note that we cannot guarantee the publication of all contributions.

For further information please contact CPD Director Miriam Lyons on (02) 9264 0263 or contact(at)