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Alexander Philipatos

Former Policy Analyst, Economics Program

philipatos-alexanderAlexander Philipatos is a Policy Analyst in the Economics Program. His research has included analysis of public transport infrastructure, but now focuses predominantly on industrial relations and labour market policy.

Alexander has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from La Trobe University and before joining the CIS in 2011 he was employed as a tutor at La Trobe teaching Introduction to Quantitative Analysis.

Click here to see the events Alex has spoken at recently.

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Publications by Author

  1. Withholding Dividends: Better ways to make the public sector efficient

    Alexander Philipatos | 29 May 2014 | TARGET30 Papers

    The government needs a better way to drive efficiency in the public sector. The government has been relying on the efficiency... Read More...

  2. Budget 2014-15: Fiscal responsibility or savage cuts?

    Alexander Philipatos, Benjamin Herscovitch, Helen Andrews, Jennifer Buckingham, Matthew Taylor, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Steven Schwartz, Trisha Jha | 16 May 2014 | Special Publications

    The CIS analyses the Abbott government’s crucial first budget, including significant changes in the key policy areas of... Read More...

  3. Submission to the National Commission of Audit

    Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Trisha Jha | 01 Apr 2014 | TARGET30 Papers

    The federal government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) was established in 2013 to review the performance and role of government.... Read More...

  4. Emergency Budget Repair Kit

    Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Trisha Jha | 21 Nov 2013 | TARGET30 Papers

    The federal budget deficit has been described as an emergency. Cutting wasteful programs can save more than $20 billion a... Read More...

  5. Relics of a Byzantine IR System: Why Awards Should Be Abolished

    Alexander Philipatos | 23 May 2013 | Issue Analysis

    Awards are uniquely Australian, and practically as old as the country itself. But in Australia’s modern, competitive economy,... Read More...

  6. Back to the Bad Old Days? Industrial Relations Reform in Australia

    Alexander Philipatos | 06 Dec 2012 | Policy Monographs

    Has the Fair Work Act thrown industrial relations back to ‘the bad old days?’ This report analyses the changes in industrial... Read More...

  7. BOOK REVIEW: Adapt

    Alexander Philipatos | 07 Feb 2012 | POLICY Magazine

    Adapt By Tim Harford (Princeton University Press, 2011.)

  8. Free-Trade Ferries: A Case for Competition

    Alexander Philipatos | 27 Oct 2011 | Issue Analysis

    Sydney needs a network of ferries that is able to cater to the city’s changing demographics but is also financially sustainable... Read More...

Opinion & Commentary by Author

  1. Cut spending by cutting government

    Alexander Philipatos | 30 May 2014 | On Line Opinion

    Plans to double the efficiency dividend indicate the government is lazy about designing public service cutbacks.

  2. Canberra should do less, but do what it does well

    Alexander Philipatos | 29 May 2014 | The Australian

    The efficiency dividend has failed to curb the rising cost of the public service.

  3. Penalty rates cut will give youth a chance to find jobs

    Alexander Philipatos | 21 May 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    The Fair Work Commission has handed down a decision that will boost the job prospects of casual workers, reducing Sunday... Read More

  4. No easy fix for youth unemployment

    Alexander Philipatos | 22 Apr 2014 | The Canberra Times

    The youth unemployment rate, now 13.6 per cent, is twice the economy-wide rate, and the youth employment-to-population ratio... Read More

  5. Nothing to stop young workers being paid above minimum

    Alexander Philipatos | 04 Apr 2014 | The Australian

    The high minimum wage is eroding employment opportunities for our youth.

  6. Make business easier with non-union agreements

    Alexander Philipatos | 06 Mar 2014 | ABC The Drum

    The Coalition should be bold and make it easier to do business in Australia by reintroducing non-union greenfields agreements.

  7. A coalition of the willing on IR reform

    Alexander Philipatos, Jeremy Sammut | 18 Feb 2014 | ABC The Drum

    The Abbott government is sending the message that they will help those who help themselves by prosecuting the case for IR... Read More

  8. Australia pays the penalty for workplace awards

    Alexander Philipatos | 07 Feb 2014 | Business Spectator

    It's time restrictive and economically damaging conditions were removed from our labour market regime.

  9. Double trouble means it's time for drastic cuts

    Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham | 21 Nov 2013 | The Canberra Times

    Duplication across state and federal governments blurs the lines of responsibility and unnecessarily increases costs to taxpayers.

  10. Should teenaged shop workers receive a pay rise?

    Alexander Philipatos | 12 Jul 2013 | The Drum

    A wages claim to pay young retail workers equally to adults may sound like a good idea, but it will be a hard sell.

  11. Union campaign emotive but misleading

    Alexander Philipatos | 21 Jun 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    It is misleading to assert that Australian workers are being overworked in insecure jobs.

  12. Politics over policy in industrial relations

    Alexander Philipatos | 29 May 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Employers should be able to determine wages and conditions for new projects. It simply does not make sense that unions must... Read More

  13. Awards don't deliver fair go

    Alexander Philipatos | 23 May 2013 | The Australian

    It is possible to increase labour market flexibility, create more jobs and keep the fair go alive by abolishing the outdated... Read More

  14. Time to scrap the minimum wage?

    Alexander Philipatos | 28 Feb 2013 | Business Spectator

    To get the unemployed back into work, the government could allow businesses a six-month exemption from the minimum award... Read More

  15. A failure of enterprise bargaining mechanics

    Alexander Philipatos | 30 Jan 2013 | Business Spectator

    Australia's current enterprise bargaining system makes it difficult for automotive manufacturers to improve their performance... Read More

  16. Our award system is costing too much

    Alexander Philipatos | 14 Jan 2013 | Australian Financial Review

    Reforming labour market policy must look to the award system, a key part of our flexibility and productivity problem.

  17. Not the bad old days of IR but not so good either

    Alexander Philipatos | 06 Dec 2012 | The Australian

    Has Australia's industrial relations system become unworkable?

  18. A war that’s building over bottles of beer

    Alexander Philipatos | 29 Nov 2012 | The Punch

    Watering down the building and construction industry watchdog has emboldened the union movement.

  19. Labour debate ignores status quo

    Alexander Philipatos | 12 Oct 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Individual contracts form a pivotal part of the workplace system and have been far more important for labour market flexibility... Read More

  20. Unions doing it for themselves

    Alexander Philipatos | 06 Sep 2012 | The Age

    The battle that has been raging at the Myer construction site in Melbourne's CBD is primarily about flexing union muscle,... Read More

  21. Unions could make a difference for workers if they canned the sloganism

    Alexander Philipatos, Simon Cowan | 25 Jun 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    Union outrage over Enterprise Migration Agreements reveals the damaging contradictions the union movement has employed in... Read More

  22. A return to the IR dark ages?

    Alexander Philipatos | 20 Jun 2012 | Business Spectator

    These are two significant problems within the Fair Work Act, but the story of industrial reform is not all doom and gloom.... Read More

  23. IR duplication hinders competitive federalism

    Alexander Philipatos | 02 May 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    Industrial relations matters should be left to the states.

  24. Minimum wage is a two-edged sword

    Alexander Philipatos | 22 Mar 2012 | The Geelong Advertiser

    Like New Zealand’s young workers, Australia’s apprentices are also highly vulnerable to market fluctuations. Many of... Read More

  25. Work act flaw threat to growth

    Alexander Philipatos | 07 Mar 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Job security is a major bone of contention between unions and employers under the Fair Work Act.

  26. Sydney misses the boat on ferry reform

    Alexander Philipatos | 26 Oct 2011 | Australian Financial Review

    Sydney’s ferry system should go private to lowers costs for tax payers.

Ideas@TheCentre by Author

  1. Youth woes are structural

    Alexander Philipatos | 11 Jul 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    The mining boom helped to mask some of the underlying problems affecting young workers, problems that predate the GFC.

  2. Apply Adam Smith to dentistry to keep cavities away

    Alexander Philipatos | 27 Jun 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    More trained dentists immigrating to Australia can only be a positive outcome for consumers of dentistry.

  3. Cutting penalty rates: who benefits?

    Alexander Philipatos | 13 Jun 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Whether to reduce or abolish penalty rates is often pitted as employer v employee, which ignores other important groups,... Read More

  4. A top-heavy public service

    Alexander Philipatos | 30 May 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    What can we do to stem the growth in highly-paid public sector managers and make government agencies more efficient?

  5. The bright side of non-competitive IR federalism

    Alexander Philipatos | 24 Apr 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Classical liberals favour competitive federalism over national laws because competition between jurisdictions makes it harder... Read More

  6. Minimum wage facts and myths

    Alexander Philipatos | 28 Mar 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    The union movement is campaigning hard on the plight of low income workers, but what are the facts?

  7. The problem with youth is cost and incentive

    Alexander Philipatos | 21 Mar 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Changes to welfare decreased incentives for young workers to find work, while changes to labour market settings reduced demand... Read More

  8. Where will the new jobs come from?

    Alexander Philipatos | 28 Feb 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    There are impediments in our industrial relations system that are increasing costs and preventing new jobs from being created. ... Read More

  9. New allegations, old story

    Alexander Philipatos | 31 Jan 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    To deal with union corruption in the building and construction industry, government should restore the Australian Building... Read More

  10. Minimum wage exemptions for long-term unemployed

    Alexander Philipatos | 06 Dec 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Replace the Wage Connect subsidy scheme with a cheaper alternative of exempting employers hiring long-term job seekers from... Read More

  11. Cut waste by cutting departments

    Alexander Philipatos | 22 Nov 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The duplication across state and federal governments needs to end now to bring spending under control.

  12. Get used to tighter budgets

    Alexander Philipatos | 15 Nov 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Government agencies like the CSIRO will have to learn to deal with leaner budgets.

  13. Beefed-up cop is back

    Alexander Philipatos | 01 Nov 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The Australian Building and Construction Commission must use its new powers wisely if productivity is to be boosted in the... Read More

  14. Cut wasteful spending, not just public servants

    Alexander Philipatos | 18 Oct 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    A slimmer public service means a smaller burden on taxpayers, but the method employed to cut the bureaucracy is crucial.

  15. A top heavy public service

    Alexander Philipatos | 23 Aug 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    If the Coalition wants to make a lasting impact on the cost of the public service, it needs to look at the composition of... Read More

  16. Workplace rights taken to the extreme

    Alexander Philipatos | 19 Jul 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Mel Greig’s case against Southern Cross Austereo could open the flood-gates of litigation and make a mockery of workplace... Read More

  17. Ignoring the writing on the wall

    Alexander Philipatos | 28 Jun 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The ACTU is oblivious to the fact that wage cuts in the automotive industry are a necessary part of the drive to become competitive.

  18. Resurrecting the fossils of arbitration

    Alexander Philipatos | 31 May 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Labor’s proposed amendment to allow arbitration in long-running industrial disputes would reintroduce elements of the ‘bad... Read More

  19. Time to abolish awards

    Alexander Philipatos | 24 May 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Abolish the award system in favour of a single standard for all employees.

  20. Tough break for long-term job seekers

    Alexander Philipatos | 26 Apr 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Barring incentive payments for casual positions locks the long-term unemployed out of valuable job opportunities and a vital... Read More

  21. Tax freedom at last

    Alexander Philipatos | 05 Apr 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    This Sunday marks Tax Freedom Day; the day in the year when Australians stop working for the government.

  22. Penalty rates and job insecurity

    Alexander Philipatos | 22 Mar 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Moves to strengthen penalty rates may have the perverse effect of creating further job insecurity.

  23. Well intentioned but fiscally ludicrous

    Alexander Philipatos | 15 Feb 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Scrapping Wage Connect subsidies in favour of a minimum wage exemption should be a no-brainer.

  24. No need to heed the ACTU’s nonsense

    Alexander Philipatos | 25 Jan 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    All businesses, whether they are receiving subsidies or not, should be free to buy from whomever and wherever they please.

  25. IR debate needs historical perspective

    Alexander Philipatos | 07 Dec 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    It’s important to put industrial relations reform in historical perspective.

  26. Breaking the IR code

    Alexander Philipatos | 16 Nov 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Many employers are worried that increased union presence will create an ‘us versus them’ working culture.

  27. Dismissal amendments won’t stop go-away money

    Alexander Philipatos | 26 Oct 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Real reforms to unfair dismissal need to address the entire process of unfair dismissal claims.

  28. A new way to stymie cost reduction

    Alexander Philipatos | 05 Oct 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The Gillard government must be cautious in implementing reforms that put undue stress on balance sheets, like the proposed... Read More

  29. Flexibility rhetoric ignores common law contracts

    Alexander Philipatos | 14 Sep 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Saying there is no provision whatsoever for individual contracts under the current industrial framework is simply not true.

  30. Unions are not always for workers

    Alexander Philipatos | 31 Aug 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The interests of unions are not necessarily the same as the interests of workers, and a union campaign does not always equate... Read More

  31. Some positives from a disappointing review

    Alexander Philipatos | 09 Aug 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Amendments to dealing with unfair dismissal applications in the review of the Fair Work Act are welcome.

  32. Employee risk and youth wages

    Alexander Philipatos | 20 Jul 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    There are several reasons for youth wages to be less than adult wages.

  33. A watchful eye on workplace flexibility

    Alexander Philipatos | 22 Jun 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    HR Nicholls Society’s annual conference in Melbourne this year provided a timely analysis of the workplace issues arising... Read More

  34. Drop the protectionist rhetoric and do more for your members

    Alexander Philipatos, Simon Cowan | 01 Jun 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    If unions are serious about standing up for working families, they ought to be working with mining companies to improve prospects... Read More

  35. Forget measly tax cuts - businesses need reform

    Alexander Philipatos | 11 May 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Government ignores measures to ease regulatory burden and increase labour market flexibility in Budget 2012.

  36. Employment is a contract, not a right

    Alexander Philipatos | 27 Apr 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The law must reflect the reality that employment is a voluntary contract, and when one party no longer consents, the contract... Read More

  37. Poaching American and European talent

    Alexander Philipatos | 05 Apr 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Government should extend its offshore skills processing plans to the intellectual capital in the United States and Europe.

  38. Measly turnout for the protectionist vote

    Alexander Philipatos | 30 Mar 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Katter’s protectionism policies are harmful to the economy.   

  39. Whose business is it anyway

    Alexander Philipatos | 16 Mar 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    There is no role for the state to intervene in negotiations with unions.

  40. New report, old story

    Alexander Philipatos | 17 Feb 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Ferry reform must happen to introduce competition into the market and lower the cost for commuters.

  41. Car industry handouts are childish

    Alexander Philipatos | 27 Jan 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Paying for an industry that can’t support itself is lunacy. Car companies need to bite the bullet and find a sustainable... Read More

  42. Pay me my money

    Alexander Philipatos | 09 Dec 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Workers should have the choice of increased pay instead of holiday leave, if that’s what they want.

  43. No end to certainty of state paternalism in Australia

    Alexander Philipatos, Jeremy Sammut | 18 Nov 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    The insidious reliance on government paternalism is hobbling the responsible growth of the Australian nation and its people.

  44. Taken for a ferry ride

    Alexander Philipatos | 28 Oct 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    A free-trade ferry system in Sydney would provide faster ferries and save NSW taxpayers money.

  45. Invest in a creative type

    Alexander Philipatos | 16 Sep 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Community-based ideas like Pozible can help make arts more dynamic, robust and financially independent.

  46. Covert methods to curb criticism

    Alexander Philipatos | 26 Aug 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    New changes to Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) provisions will make it easier for successive governments to pass burdensome... Read More

  47. Good morning, this is your pilot striking

    Alexander Philipatos | 22 Jul 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Labour competition is not to be feared but encouraged.

  48. Another day, another ban

    Alexander Philipatos | 24 Jun 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Overzealous banning imperils Australia’s commitment to a free society.

  49. Ferry woes show no signs of abating

    Alexander Philipatos | 27 May 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Franchising Sydney Ferry will not end commuter woes.

  50. Failed US policies? Not in my back yard

    Alexander Philipatos | 06 May 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Just because the US Federal Reserve has abandoned price stability doesn’t mean that the RBA should too.