What Australian Economics Professors Think

Authors

  • Malcolm Anderson,

    1. Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research University of Melbourne
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  • Richard Blandy

    1. Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research University of Melbourne
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    • *We wish to warmly thank all those who graciously took time and effort to fill out an inordinately expansive questionnaire. For advice and practicalities, acknowledgments are due to Ross Williams (Department of Economics, University of Melbourne), Bill Lloyd-Smith (Household Economics Research Unit, University of Melbourne), David Johnson and Sherl Au (IAESR).


Abstract

In this article we present the results of a recent survey of economics professors in Australia. We found that there is a comfortable measure of consensus in many areas of economic science, including several contentious issues which currently worry policymakers and the general public alike. We show that there is good evidence to suggest that Australian academic economists share a world economic culture with their western European and (to an even greater extent) their American colleagues.

We also asked the professors to share their thoughts on university economics education. There was good consensus that the professors wanted a rigorous classical economics education for their students, but they were not willing to sacrifice breadth: the ideal student, it appears, is one technically competent in economics with a head for the social and political dimensions of the profession. Overwhelmingly, the professors voted the economics department of the Australian National University as the best place for such an education, with those of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales, and Monash, close behind.

Finally, the professors gave their opinions on the understanding of economics by government agencies, business and community groups.

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