12 August 2019
Economic modelling at UQ has influenced climate change public policy and debate, thanks chiefly to the work of Australian Laureate Fellow in Economics Professor John Quiggin.
Economic modelling at UQ has influenced climate change public policy and debate, thanks chiefly to the work of Australian Laureate Fellow in Economics Professor John Quiggin.

Research academics rarely drive policy change, but Professor John Quiggin and UQ’s Risk and Sustainable Management Group have certainly influenced the thinking behind several big shifts in public sentiment, if not policy, during the past decade or so.

The Risk and Sustainable Management Group has worked in three significant policy areas, namely the role of water trading in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, the Garnaut Climate Change Review, and the Climate Change Authority’s light vehicle fuel efficiency policy.

Modern policymakers increasingly rely on economic modelling

The best economists, while not exactly soothsayers, are highly sought after for their ability to help policymakers predict what might happen when different monetary or fiscal levers are pulled, allowing policy decisions to interact with market forces – sometimes with unforeseen results.

Consider how the Reserve Bank of Australia’s cash rate decisions resonate within the community each month, or the implications for millions of Australians when the Federal Government makes a relatively small change to taxation or superannuation rules.

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