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The Economics Curriculum in Australian Universities 1980 to 2011


  • Many people provided valuable assistance with this article. I thank them all for their generosity and expertise.

Tim Thornton, School of Economics and Finance, LaTrobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia. Email:


This paper examines the recent evolution of the Australian economics curriculum.2 First, it examines 2011 survey evidence produced by the Economic Society of Australia that shows that the Australian economics profession wishes to see a broadening and updating of what is taught. These findings are then related to an analysis of the curriculum in both 1980 and 2011 to see if the curriculum is moving in the desired direction. It is shown that the curriculum is not moving in the desired direction, becoming narrower, rather than broader. It has also not kept up to date with important advances in economic knowledge. It is argued that there are strong intellectual and practical benefits that would come from remedying this situation.