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Stephen Kirchner

Former Research Fellow, Economics Program

kirchner-stephenIn addition to working at the CIS, Stephen was formerly a Senior Lecturer at the School of Finance and Economics, University of Technology, Sydney. His areas of expertise include monetary and fiscal policy, financial markets, trade and investment and Public Choice.Before joining the CIS, he was an economist with Action Economics, LLC and Director of Economic Research with Standard & Poor’s Institutional Market Services, based in Sydney and Singapore. He has also worked as an adviser to members of the Australian House of Representatives and Senate.

He has lectured in economics at the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University and the University of Technology, Sydney. He has a BA (Hons) from the Australian National University, a Master of Economics (Hons) from Macquarie University and a PhD in economics from the University of New South Wales.

Stephen also has his own blogsite http://www.institutional-economics.com Please note that the views expressed on the blog site are not necessarily endorsed by the CIS.

Click here to view the events Stephen has spoken at recently.

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Publications by Author

  1. BOOK REVIEW: Beyond the Boom

    Stephen Kirchner | 08 Sep 2014 | POLICY Magazine

    Beyond the Boom

  2. Eight Housing Affordability Myths

    Stephen Kirchner | 10 Jul 2014 | Issue Analysis

    Australians are conflicted in their attitude to the long-run change in real house prices because they are both investors... Read More...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. BOOK REVIEW: Why Australia Prospered

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 Feb 2014 | POLICY Magazine

    Why Australia Prospered    By Ian McLean    Reviewed by Stephen Kirchner

  6. Strengthening Australia’s Fiscal Institutions

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Dec 2013 | TARGET30 Papers

    The deterioration in the federal government’s fiscal position reflects a failure to adhere to a rules-based framework for... Read More...

  7. Federalism and Fiscal Transfers: Essays on Australia, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States

    Stephen Kirchner | 21 Oct 2013 | External Publications

    Australia’s experience with horizontal fiscal equalisation shows that the efficiency and equity implications of horizontal... Read More...

  8. Time to Dump Australia’s Anti-Dumping System

    Stephen Kirchner | 05 Jun 2013 | Issue Analysis

    This report argues that Australia should scrap its anti-dumping and countervailing system. The report examines the meaning... Read More...

  9. FEATURE: How Economists Succeed (and Fail) to Influence Policy

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 May 2013 | POLICY Magazine

    Can economists do well and do good?

  10. BOOK REVIEW: The Modest Member: The Life and Times of Bert Kelly

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 May 2013 | POLICY Magazine

    By Hal ColebatchReviewed by Stephen Kirchner

  11. REVIEW ESSAY: The Kingdom and the Quarry: China, Australia, Fear and Greed

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 Feb 2013 | POLICY Magazine

    The Kingdom and the Quarry: China, Australia, Fear and Greed By David Uren Reviewed by Stephen Kirchner

  12. Compulsory Super at 20: ‘Libertarian Paternalism’ Without the Libertarianism

    Stephen Kirchner | 25 Nov 2012 | Policy Monographs

    Examines the economic case for compulsory superannuation contributions and questions whether compulsory super is the most... Read More...

  13. Future Funds or Future Eaters? The Case Against a Sovereign Wealth Fund for Australia

    Robert Carling, Stephen Kirchner | 20 Feb 2012 | Policy Monographs

    This paper considers the arguments for and against greater use of a sovereign wealth fund in Australia. It argues that the... Read More...

  14. BOOK REVIEW: Too Much Luck is Never Enough

    Stephen Kirchner | 07 Feb 2012 | POLICY Magazine

    Too Much Luck is Never Enough By Paul Cleary (Black Inc, 2011.)

  15. BOOK REVIEW: Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future

    Stephen Kirchner | 06 Feb 2012 | POLICY Magazine

    Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future By Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron, and Meera... Read More...

  16. Hands, Mouths and Minds: Three Perspectives on Population Growth and Living Standards

    Stephen Kirchner | 19 Sep 2011 | Policy Monographs

    The long-run relationship between population growth and living standards has been a source of controversy among economists.... Read More...

  17. BOOK REVIEW: Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 Aug 2011 | POLICY Magazine

    Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance by Viral A. Acharya, Matthew Richardson,... Read More...

  18. Taxploitation II: Tax Reform for Incentive,Productivity and Economic Growth

    John Humphreys, Robert Carling, Sinclair Davidson, Stephen Kirchner | 13 Jul 2011 | CIS Readings

    This volume reviews tax reforms implemented since the publication of Taxploitation by the CIS in 2006 and concludes that... Read More...

  19. Why Does Government Grow?

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Apr 2011 | Policy Monographs

    This paper examines some of the stylised facts in relation to the growth of government in the Western world generally, and... Read More...

  20. BOOK REVIEW: The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward and Delusion on Wall

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Dec 2010 | POLICY Magazine

    The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward and Delusion on Wall Street By Justin Fox (HarperBusiness, 2009.)

  21. BOOK REVIEW: Ayn Rand and the World She Made & Goddess of the Market

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 Mar 2010 | POLICY Magazine

    For an author whose novels have consistently sold in the hundreds of thousands for more than half a century, Ayn Rand is... Read More...

  22. Shooting the Messenger: The Ban on Short Selling

    John Green, Stephen Kirchner, Robert Bianchi | 01 Feb 2010 | Policy Forum

    In September 2008, governments around the world instituted bans on the short sale of equity securities.  In Australia, the... Read More...

  23. Reforming Capital Gains Tax: The Myths and Reality behind Australia’s Most Misunderstood Tax

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Nov 2009 | Policy Monographs

    The implications of the Ralph Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reforms vary widely depending on the type of taxpayer, asset class,... Read More...

  24. Fiscal Fallacies : The Failure of Activist Fiscal Policy

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Oct 2009 | Policy Forum

    Editor, Stephen Kirchner ; Contributors, John B Taylor ; Tony Makin ; Robert Carling The global financial crisis that emerged... Read More...

  25. BOOK REVIEW: The Sub-Prime Solution

    Stephen Kirchner | 15 Sep 2009 | POLICY Magazine

    The Sub-Prime Solution (Princeton University Press, 2008) and Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and... Read More...

  26. Bubble Poppers: Monetary Policy and the Myth of ‘Bubbles’ in Asset Prices

    Stephen Kirchner | 28 Mar 2009 | Policy Monographs

    The monograph considers some of the practical problems that are likely to be encountered in implementing an activist approach... Read More...

  27. FEATURE: Blaming Greenspan: Monetary Policy, the Housing 'Bubble' and the Credit Crisis

    Stephen Kirchner | 03 Mar 2009 | POLICY Magazine

    Monetary policy alone cannot explain the US housing or financial crisis. In the context of globally integrated capital markets,... Read More...

  28. FEATURE: Commodity Prices and the Australian Economy: Trends Versus Cycles

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Dec 2008 | POLICY Magazine

    Real commodity prices will declines over the long run.

  29. Capital Xenophobia II: Foreign Direct Investment in Australia, Sovereign Wealth Funds, and the Rise of State Capitalism

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 Nov 2008 | Policy Monographs

    Stephen Kirchner offers a timely analysis of Australia’s foreign investment regime and gives his ideas on how to improve... Read More...

  30. Government Intervention in Mortgage Finance: The Case Against 'AussieMac'

    Stephen Kirchner | 08 Sep 2008 | Issue Analysis

    An Australian GSE and the mortgage securitisation industry would likely expand only at the expense of other financial intermediaries,... Read More...

  31. FEATURE: A 'New Era' for the Reserve Bank?

    Stephen Kirchner | 03 Mar 2008 | POLICY Magazine

    Australia's central bankers should face greater scrutiny and accountability.

  32. BOOK REVIEW: The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World

    Stephen Kirchner | 03 Mar 2008 | POLICY Magazine

    The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World by Alan Greenspan (Allen Lane, 2007).

  33. FEATURE: Fiscal Policy and Interest Rates in Australia

    Stephen Kirchner | 09 Sep 2007 | POLICY Magazine

    Tax cuts are unlikely to increase interest rates.

  34. REVIEW ESSAY: 'Quiet Boom' and 'The Search For Stability'

    Stephen Kirchner | 06 Jun 2007 | POLICY Magazine

    Two views on the economic expansion.Quiet Boom: How the Long Economic Upswing is Changing Australia and its Place in the... Read More...

  35. FEATURE: Future Fund or Future Eater?

    Stephen Kirchner | 09 Sep 2006 | POLICY Magazine

    The opportunity cost of Commonwealth revenue hoarding. Budget surpluses should be used to reform tax.

  36. BOOK REVIEW: Bubble Man: Alan Greenspan & the Missing 7 Trillion Dollars

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Dec 2005 | POLICY Magazine

    Bubble Man: Alan Greenspan & the Missing 7 Trillion Dollars by Peter Hartcher (Black Inc, 2005.)

  37. BOOK REVIEW: The Rise and Fall of Monetary Targeting in Australia

    Stephen Kirchner | 31 Aug 2005 | POLICY Magazine

    The Rise and Fall of Monetary Targeting in Australia by Simon Guttman (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2005).

  38. REVIEW ESSAY: The Mandarins of Martin Place

    Stephen Kirchner | 09 Sep 2004 | POLICY Magazine

    The RBA prefers to maximise policy discretion while avoiding increased accountability. Australia's Money Mandarins: The Reserve... Read More...

  39. BOOK REVIEW: The Ordinary Business of Life

    Stephen Kirchner | 03 Mar 2003 | POLICY Magazine

    The Ordinary Business of Life: A History of Economics from the Ancient World to the Twenty-First Century by Roger Backhouse... Read More...

  40. BOOK REVIEW: Guiding Global Order: G8 Governance in the Twenty-First Century

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Dec 2001 | POLICY Magazine

    Guiding Global Order: G8 Governance in the Twenty-First Century John J. Kirton, Joseph P. Daniels and Andreas Freytag (Ashgate,... Read More...

  41. BOOK REVIEW: Irrational Exuberance

    Stephen Kirchner | 09 Sep 2000 | POLICY Magazine

    Irrational Exuberance by Robert Shiller (Princeton University, 2000.)

  42. BOOK REVIEW: The Vices of Economists- The Virtues of the Bourgeoisie

    Stephen Kirchner | 03 Mar 2000 | POLICY Magazine

    The Vices of Economists- The Virtues of the Bourgeoisie by Deirdre McCloskey (Amsterdam University Press, 1997.)

  43. SCHOOLS' BRIEF: Australia's Virtuous Cycle

    Stephen Kirchner | 06 Jun 1999 | POLICY Magazine

    What makes the performance of the Australian economy more impressive is that this has been achieved despite a much greater... Read More...

  44. FEATURE: National Saving and Commonwealth Budget Strategy

    Stephen Kirchner | 09 Sep 1997 | POLICY Magazine

    A smaller public sector can increase saving.

  45. Reforming Central Banking

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 Mar 1997 | Policy Monographs

    This book is about which monetary institutions and monetary regimes are most likely to promote price stability.

  46. FEATURE: 'Two Point Something': The Credibility of Australian Monetary Policy

    Stephen Kirchner | 09 Sep 1996 | POLICY Magazine

    A missed inflation targeting opportunity.

  47. REVIEW ARTICLE: Beyond the Two Party: A Neo-Liberal Perspective

    Stephen Kirchner | 09 Sep 1995 | POLICY Magazine

    Beyond the Two Party System: Political Representation, Economic Competitiveness and Australian Politics by Ian Marsh (Cambridge... Read More...

  48. BOOK REVIEW: Chasing the Future: Recession, Recovery, and the New Politics in Australia

    Stephen Kirchner | 03 Mar 1995 | POLICY Magazine

    Chasing the Future: Recession, Recovery, and the New Politics in Australia by Laura Tingle (William Heinemann Australia,... Read More...

  49. FEATURE: Australia Should Dump Its Anti-Dumping Laws

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Dec 1992 | POLICY Magazine

    Dumping is widely thought to be unfair and injurious to Australia's domestic industries. The argument that dumping is generally... Read More...

Opinion & Commentary by Author

  1. Australia mustn't jump the gun on macro-prudential policy

    Stephen Kirchner | 25 Jul 2014 | Business Spectator

    There are good reasons for Australia not to follow other countries in making greater use of macro-prudential policy instruments.

  2. Scapegoating investors won’t slow up house prices

    Stephen Kirchner | 10 Jul 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    Unless global real interest rates rise significantly in the future, the gains in house prices are unlikely to be unwound.

  3. Europe holds its breath for ECB action

    Stephen Kirchner | 11 Apr 2014 | Business Spectator

    There have long been flashing warning signs that monetary policy in the eurozone has been too tight.

  4. Official statistics need a culture change

    Stephen Kirchner | 27 Mar 2014 | Business Spectator

    It's time to re-think the role of the ABC and allow the private sector greater involvement in the collection and dissemination... Read More

  5. Don't blame foreigners for rising house prices

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 Mar 2014 | The Age

    Shoddy tax laws, not Chinese investors, are driving up the prices of new dwellings.

  6. Forget trying to curb demand, build more houses

    Stephen Kirchner | 23 Jan 2014 | The Australian

    Public policy needs to focus on boosting supply of housing, rather than suppressing or diverting demand.

  7. Playing the currencies game is fraught with risk

    Stephen Kirchner | 06 Jan 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    When Treasurer Joe Hockey announced an $8.8 billion injection of funds into the Reserve Bank’s Reserve Fund, he said the... Read More

  8. We must fortify fiscal rules

    Stephen Kirchner | 16 Dec 2013 | The Canberra Times

    The Commission of Audit should build on the Charter of Budget Honesty by recommending the adoption of new fiscal rules.

  9. We are still stuck in the pre-1983 era on fiscal policy

    Stephen Kirchner | 09 Dec 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The floating of the dollar transformed the Australian economy, yet much of our macro-economic policy debate is still stuck... Read More

  10. When regulation becomes political interference

    Stephen Kirchner | 03 Dec 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The Graincorp decision is the latest example of the politicisation of cross-border acquisitions that flows from a flawed... Read More

  11. Reforming the regulation of foreign direct investment

    Stephen Kirchner | 03 Dec 2013 | Infinance

    Australia likes to view itself as open to foreign investment, but more cross-border mergers and acquisitions were withdrawn... Read More

  12. Credit controls won’t fix housing

    Stephen Kirchner | 03 Oct 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The danger is not a house price bubble, but that policy makers will attempt to suppress demand rather than stimulate supply.

  13. A dollar of super is not a dollar saved

    Stephen Kirchner | 25 Sep 2013 | Business Spectator

    Does compulsory superannuation increase saving? The answer is less obvious than many people suppose.

  14. Seizing a Sino free trade moment

    Stephen Kirchner | 16 Jul 2013 | Business Spectator

    Australia’s regulation of foreign direct investment is a critical stumbling block in a free trade agreement with China.

  15. Why tax-free imports are a retail red herring

    Stephen Kirchner | 24 Jun 2013 | Business Spectator

    Retailers would be better served lobbying government for policies other than raising inefficient taxes on low value imports.

  16. Dumping on free trade

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Jun 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Australia’s anti-dumping system will continue to serve the interests of a small number of Australian producers at the expense... Read More

  17. Stamp out the anti-dumping dinosaur laws

    Stephen Kirchner | 05 Jun 2013 | Business Spectator

    Australia’s economic welfare is enhanced as a result of ‘dumping’ by foreign producers.

  18. Why a forex foray could burn the Reserve

    Stephen Kirchner | 18 Apr 2013 | The Business Spectator

    With the Australian dollar trade-weighted index recently around 28-year highs, there have been calls for official intervention... Read More

  19. Increasing the super contribution rate is a second-rate solution

    Stephen Kirchner | 08 Jan 2013 | The Conversation

    It is timely to re-examine the economic case for compulsory superannuation.

  20. Better ideas than raising super guarantee

    Stephen Kirchner | 28 Nov 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Is compulsory super improving retirement incomes and reducing future demands on the budget from an ageing population?

  21. The interest rate cut that wasn't

    Stephen Kirchner | 05 Nov 2012 | Business Spectator

    A central bank that fails to at least accommodate increased demand for money will find itself presiding over deflation.

  22. Prime Minister, this Asian Century is so last century

    Stephen Kirchner | 30 Oct 2012 | The Australian

    We should revisit the unfinished economic reform agenda of the previous century before we consider the Asian Century white... Read More

  23. The buck must not stop with the RBA

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Aug 2012 | Business Spectator

    Intervention in the foreign exchange market to counter an appreciation in the Australian dollar is unlikely to be effective... Read More

  24. Coalition tightening of foreign investment policy a step backwards

    Stephen Kirchner | 06 Aug 2012 | The Australian

    The Coalition had the right policy 24 years ago. It should commit to the repeal of the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers... Read More

  25. Why the euro project must end

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 May 2012 | Business Spectator

    The most important lesson to emerge from the crisis in the eurozone has very little to do with fiscal policy.

  26. Independent body needed to preserve integrity of fiscal forecasts

    Stephen Kirchner | 21 May 2012 | The Conversation

    Treasury has not gone wrong in its forecast for recovery, but in its expectations for the preceding downturn.

  27. There are better ways to ensure State's future

    Stephen Kirchner | 21 May 2012 | The West Australian

    The WA Future Fund announced in the State Budget last week is based on two related but fundamentally flawed ideas.

  28. How taxing housing diminishes affordability

    Stephen Kirchner | 18 Apr 2012 | The Conversation

    Australia’s under-supplied housing market and housing affordability problem is largely due to the tax burden on housing.

  29. Murray's Future Fund brace is broken

    Stephen Kirchner | 23 Mar 2012 | Business Spectator

    David Murray's defence of the Future Fund can only inspire doubt about the ability of sovereign wealth funds to enhance Australia's... Read More

  30. Why a sovereign wealth fund won't work

    Stephen Kirchner | 21 Feb 2012 | Business Spectator

    Many of the desirable objectives of a sovereign wealth fund could be achieved through greater use of enforceable fiscal policy... Read More

  31. Future Funds or Future Eaters? The case against a Sovereign Wealth Fund for Australia

    Robert Carling, Stephen Kirchner | 20 Feb 2012 | The Conversation

    It has also been argued that Australia needs a SWF to better manage the macroeconomic consequences of the “terms of trade”... Read More

  32. Give austerity a chance

    Robert Carling, Stephen Kirchner | 08 Feb 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Fiscal policy should focus on micro-economic issues such as promoting incentives to save, work and invest, as well as ensuring... Read More

  33. The Fightback! lesson: how politics can stymie good public policy

    Stephen Kirchner | 26 Dec 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Twenty years ago, the Liberal-National Party coalition released Fightback!, the most comprehensive and market-oriented policy... Read More

  34. Time to revisit RBA board

    Stephen Kirchner | 07 Sep 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Union leaders would have you believe that the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia is beholden to the big end of town,... Read More

  35. What our economists really think about politics

    Stephen Kirchner | 26 Jul 2011 | The Conversation

    You might have expected that most economists, following Milton Friedman, view inflation as “always and everywhere a monetary... Read More

  36. Foreign investment will boost food security

    Stephen Kirchner | 02 Jul 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Foreigners acquiring Australian farm land appears to unite all political parties, we shouldn’t allow commercial decisions... Read More

  37. Budget office helps pollies, not punters

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 May 2011 | ABC News

    The Parliamentary Budget Office should focus analysing overall fiscal strategy and long-term fiscal sustainability rather... Read More

  38. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae: Guaranteed to fail?

    Stephen Kirchner | 17 May 2011 | The Conversation

    The failure of Lehman Brothers was a trivial event compared to the much bigger but largely ignored failure a week before,... Read More

  39. Population growth makes us smarter, richer

    Stephen Kirchner | 04 May 2011 | The Newcastle Herald

    The economic significance of more people is not in the contribution made by their hands or their mouths but their minds.

  40. Trimming to fit budget's reduced revenue

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Apr 2011 | The Australian

    The expenditure review process leading up to the annual budget is rarely about making cuts to existing spending programs.... Read More

  41. A failure of political leadership

    Stephen Kirchner | 11 Apr 2011 | The Straits Times

    Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan's rejection of Singapore Exchange's (SGX) bid for the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)... Read More

  42. A forgotten financial failure

    Stephen Kirchner | 16 Mar 2011 | Online Opinion

    The regulatory responses to the global financial crisis have for the most part been conditioned on a false narrative about... Read More

  43. Dump anti-dumping rules to protect consumers

    Stephen Kirchner | 02 Mar 2011 | The Australian

    Anti-dumping laws produce the outcome they are meant to prevent.

  44. Borrowers lose as mortgage industry takes its $4bn win

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Dec 2010 | The Age (Business)

    Rather than taking a hard line, the government is a soft touch.

  45. Attacks on banks are misdirected

    Stephen Kirchner | 18 Nov 2010 | The Australian

    Australia's interest rates are high because the nation has strong growth prospects.

  46. Aussie banker bashing

    Stephen Kirchner | 17 Nov 2010 | The Wall Street Journal

    This time Australian bankers are being bashed for taking responsibly to manage their excess demand.

  47. G20 should tend to their own backyards

    Stephen Kirchner | 16 Nov 2010 | ABC News

    The principal flaw of the G20 is the assumption that the group as a whole can somehow be more than the sum of its parts.

  48. A small Australia limits our creativity

    Stephen Kirchner | 07 Sep 2010 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    To advocate a small Australia is to deny the opportunities for economic, scientific and cultural advance that can flow from... Read More

  49. City got big but never grew up

    Stephen Kirchner | 19 Aug 2010 | The Australian

    A little bit of Sydney history illustrates the point that transport, infrastructure and other problems have nothing to do... Read More

  50. The mining tax debate highlights the terms of trade boom

    Stephen Kirchner | 15 Jul 2010 | The Australian (Business)

    Is the Future Fund the best option to manage the fiscal consequences of the trade boom? Perhaps the revenue would be better... Read More

  51. Migrants add to growth hopes

    Stephen Kirchner | 26 Apr 2010 | The Canberra Times

    There is a mistaken view that population growth and immigration policy should be conditioned on existing capacity constraints,... Read More

  52. The ANZAC story

    Stephen Kirchner | 23 Apr 2010

    I knew little of my grandfather’s service in World War I until an amateur historian drew my attention to several references... Read More

  53. Bond market vigilantes should also weigh the risks of continued inactivity

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Apr 2010 | Sydney Morning Herald

    Stagnation could be worse than a fiscal crisis.

  54. Misguided government gets poor return for largesse

    Stephen Kirchner | 17 Mar 2010 | The Age

    The Rudd government’s home insulation program demonstrates the dangers of activist fiscal policy.

  55. Benefits grow in monthly CPI data

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 Mar 2010 | Canberra Times

    Australia should adopt a monthly consumer price index.

  56. More inscrutable than the Chinese

    Stephen Kirchner | 19 Feb 2010 | The Australian

    Why are foreign investment criteria a secret?

  57. Imbalances essential to global economic system

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 Jan 2010 | The Australian

    The federal Treasury’s David Gruen recently told a conference at the University of Western Australia that global imbalances... Read More

  58. Economic policy must re-earn our respect

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 Jan 2010 | Business Spectator

    Policymakers sacrificed a lot of their credibility due to their responses to the global financial crisis and this can be... Read More

  59. The seasonal satisfaction index

    Stephen Kirchner | 26 Dec 2009 | Sydney Morning Herald

    According to Joel Waldfogel’s book Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays, you shouldn’t have... Read More

  60. Labour should not take its eyes off the target

    Stephen Kirchner | 21 Dec 2009 | The Dominion Post

    Twenty years after introducing inflation targeting in 1989 and revolutionising central bank governance that was to sweep... Read More

  61. Big spending, poor results

    Stephen Kirchner | 16 Dec 2009 | The Australian

    Big government spending leads to poor results.

  62. Capital gains tax won’t make housing more affordable

    Stephen Kirchner | 23 Nov 2009 | Online Opinion

    Many commentators think a CGT on owner-occupied housing is good economics, but bad politics. In reality, it is bad economics... Read More

  63. Kiwi monetary muddle

    Stephen Kirchner | 23 Nov 2009 | The Wall Street Journal

    The falling U.S. dollar is sparking a dangerous debate about the New Zealand central bank's role.

  64. Doomsayer does his dough

    Stephen Kirchner | 18 Nov 2009 | The Australian

    Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows capital city house prices up 6.2% for the year ended in September, University... Read More

  65. End of trend is nigh for central bank sales of gold

    Stephen Kirchner | 17 Nov 2009 | The Age

    It may seem odd that simply transferring ownership of existing above-ground stocks should make a difference to the gold price.... Read More

  66. More houses, not taxes

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Nov 2009 | The Australian

    Many commentators think a CGT on owner-occupied housing is good economics but bad politics. In reality, it is bad economics... Read More

  67. US dollar down but not out as kingpin of global finance

    Stephen Kirchner | 05 Nov 2009 | The Australian

    The broad US dollar index has been trending lower since its last major cyclical peak in 2001. This has led many observers... Read More

  68. Policymakers Sold Australia Short

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Oct 2009 | The Australian Financial Review

    The government has argued that GDP growth and the unemployment rate numbers demonstrate the effectiveness of its fiscal stimulus... Read More

  69. The many crises of Nouriel Roubini

    Stephen Kirchner | 10 Oct 2009

    It is not only banks’ balance sheets that have suffered in the global financial crisis. Many professional reputations have... Read More

  70. Canberra's Investment Confusion

    Stephen Kirchner | 30 Sep 2009 | The Wall Street Journal

    Chinese companies are increasingly looking to invest overseas, and foreign capitals are calibrating their policy responses.... Read More

  71. Hewson manifesto was ahead of its time

    Stephen Kirchner | 15 Sep 2009 | The Australian

    Revelations in Paul Kelly’s The March of the Patriots that then Reserve Bank Governor Bernie Fraser planned to invoke provisions... Read More

  72. FDI Liberalisation Falls Short

    Stephen Kirchner | 05 Aug 2009 | Institutional economics

    The federal Treasurer has announced measures to liberalise Australia’s regulatory regime for foreign direct investment... Read More

  73. NZ tries harder for foreign cash

    Stephen Kirchner | 31 Jul 2009 | The Age

    Rugby is not the only arena in which Australia is losing out to New Zealand. Australia also faces increased competition from... Read More

  74. No time for a media-shy central banker

    Stephen Kirchner | 24 Jul 2009 | Australian Financial Review

    By all accounts, Ben Bernanke is a shy and unassuming man. Yet this Sunday, the US Federal Reserve Chairman will submit to... Read More

  75. End the budget sideshow

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Jul 2009 | The Australian

    The federal government’s taxing and spending powers have far-reaching consequences for our economic prosperity.

  76. Don’t vilify the banks

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 Jun 2009

    The public vilification of banks by politicians and others for raising mortgage interest rates ignores a fundamental fact.... Read More

  77. Short-term fixes are a fiscal fallacy

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 Jun 2009

    Policymakers in Australia have instinctively reached for the Keynesian playbook in the context of the current global economic... Read More

  78. Can't stop the music

    Stephen Kirchner | 10 Jun 2009 | Business spectator

    The March quarter national accounts show that Australia has skirted the conventional and necessarily arbitrary definition... Read More

  79. The madding crowding out

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 May 2009 | The Age

    Treasurer Wayne Swan didn’t feel the need to mention the size of the deficit on budget night. The number had already been... Read More

  80. Hey, big spender, stop simulating

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 May 2009 | The Australian

    The 2009 budget forecasts the biggest expansion in federal government spending since Gough Whitlam. While the budget deficit... Read More

  81. Fear Canberra, not Beijing

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 Apr 2009 | Business Spectator

    Concerns about Chinese influence over the Australian government have become a political issue in recent weeks. But it is... Read More

  82. Should Keynes have a seat at the G20 table

    Stephen Kirchner | 28 Mar 2009 | NZ Business Roundtable

    If the leaders of the G20 nations and the International Monetary Fund are to be believed, activist fiscal policy is essential... Read More

  83. Don’t blame Greenspan’s monetary policy

    Stephen Kirchner | 18 Mar 2009 | The Age

    The recent boom and bust in United States housing and subsequent global financial crisis has been widely blamed on US monetary... Read More

  84. Foreign interest is all win for Australia

    Stephen Kirchner | 04 Mar 2009 | The Australian

    The debate over the proposed increase in Chinalco’s stake in Rio Tinto has once again highlighted concerns about... Read More

  85. Plan delivers little bang for very big bucks

    Stephen Kirchner | 04 Feb 2009 | The Australian

    The government’s fiscal stimulus packages represent discretionary policy actions that add to cyclical deterioration in... Read More

  86. 'Rudd Bank' puts taxpayers last

    Stephen Kirchner | 28 Jan 2009 | The Australian Financial Review

    In propping up politically-favoured firms and industries deemed most in need, the government will only prolong the necessary... Read More

  87. Keynes was wrong about the evils of thrift

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Jan 2009 | The Australian Financial Review

    Consumers and businesses should moderate their spending in the context of an economic downturn.

  88. Flinging wads of dosh about won't work

    Stephen Kirchner | 10 Dec 2008 | The Age

    As $8.7 billion in federal government payments land in the bank accounts of families and pensioners, the government has been... Read More

  89. Foreign investment flows are damned by political bias

    Stephen Kirchner | 27 Nov 2008

    The latest World Investment Report from the UN Conference on Trade and Development confirms a disturbing trend.  Australia... Read More

  90. Bubble, toil and trouble

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Nov 2008 | The Australian

    In December 1996, then US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan famously mused 'how do we know when irrational exuberance... Read More

  91. Car subsidies blow good money out the exhaust

    Stephen Kirchner | 11 Nov 2008 | Sydney Morning Herald

    The only good thing to come out of the government’s New Car Plan is the commitment to maintaining the current schedule... Read More

  92. Beware political saviours

    Stephen Kirchner | 29 Oct 2008 | The Australian

    According to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the global financial crisis is the outcome of ‘a culture of greed.' In the world... Read More

  93. Bailing-Out or Crowding-Out?

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 Oct 2008

    Losses on subprime-related debt instruments have resulted in a liquidity crisis becoming a solvency crisis for many financial... Read More

  94. Fiscal stimulus plan has missed opportunities for long term reform

    Stephen Kirchner | 15 Oct 2008 | The Wall Street Journal

    Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has just unveiled a fiscal stimulus plan worth 10.4 billion Australian dollars ($7.4... Read More

  95. Don’t Shoot the Messenger

    Stephen Kirchner | 23 Sep 2008 | The Australian Financial Review

    Authorities in the US and the UK have placed temporary restrictions on short selling financial stocks in response to recent... Read More

  96. AussieMac Won’t Work

    Stephen Kirchner | 08 Sep 2008 | The Australian Financial Review

    The commencement of a new easing cycle by the Reserve Bank of Australia has put the spotlight on mortgage interest rates... Read More

  97. $4billion government subsidy will not promote competition

    Stephen Kirchner | 30 Aug 2008 | The Age

    The federal government’s decision to purchase $4 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) has been justified... Read More

  98. Protectionism’s ‘Barren Truth’

    Stephen Kirchner | 16 Aug 2008 | The Business Spectator

    The Bracks review of the automotive industry supported the current timetable for reductions in car tariffs to five per cent... Read More

  99. Reserve Did Not Go Far or Fast Enough

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Aug 2008 | The Age

    Turning points in the official interest rate cycle are usually accompanied by claims that monetary policy has gone too far. ... Read More

  100. The RBA is at another arm's length, but what about transparency.

    Stephen Kirchner | 27 Mar 2008 | The Age

    One of the Rudd Government's first acts in office was to announce a "new era of independence" for the Reserve Bank, with... Read More

  101. Tax cuts can help fight inflation

    Stephen Kirchner | 10 Oct 2007 | The Australian Financial Review

    Unlike previous elections, this year’s federal campaign is likely to see only cautious spending and tax cut promises from... Read More

Ideas@TheCentre by Author

  1. What the RBA really said about renting versus buying

    Stephen Kirchner | 25 Jul 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    A recent Reserve Bank paper makes an excellent case for being indifferent between renting or buying before the fact.

  2. Improving housing affordability begins at home

    Stephen Kirchner | 11 Jul 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    The increase in house prices over the last few decades is well explained by economic fundamentals.

  3. Gary S. Becker, 1930-2014

    Stephen Kirchner | 09 May 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Gary S. Becker had a sophisticated understanding of political economy that often led to counter-intuitive conclusions.

  4. Scapegoating foreigners for home-grown policy failures

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Mar 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    It’s time to face the fact that housing affordability problems are entirely home-grown, not a result of foreign investment. ... Read More

  5. Improving on the debt limit

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Dec 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    A net debt limit as a share of GDP rather than in absolute dollar terms is part of a suite of fiscal rules proposed to impose... Read More

  6. Efficient markets in Nobel Prizes

    Stephen Kirchner | 18 Oct 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    This year’s Nobel Prize in economics is split between the economist behind the efficient market hypothesis and one of its... Read More

  7. Foreign investment tests Coalition's free trade credentials

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Sep 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The Coalition’s caution on FDI sits uneasily with its desire to develop Australia’s potential as a food exporter to Asia... Read More

  8. The RBA and the second monetarist counter-revolution

    Stephen Kirchner | 02 Aug 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The official cash rate by itself does not tell us much about the stance of monetary policy.

  9. Dumping on free trade

    Stephen Kirchner | 07 Jun 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The government should highlight the benefits of cheaper imports for Australian consumers and the economy, rather than creating... Read More

  10. Milton Friedman was right about Japan

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Apr 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Japan’s problems have been made much worse by the Bank of Japan’s failure to follow Milton Friedman’s advice 15 years... Read More

  11. Compulsory super is a captive tax base

    Stephen Kirchner | 30 Nov 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    As the pool of superannuation assets grows, the temptation for politicians to increase taxes on earnings will also increase.

  12. Don’t turn Chinese on foreign direct investment

    Stephen Kirchner | 27 Jul 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Australian politicians need to put greater trust in our internationally well-regarded domestic regulatory frameworks rather... Read More

  13. A penny for their thoughts?

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 Jun 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The traditional role of journalists as intermediaries and interpreters of information has been greatly diminished by the... Read More

  14. Taxing American human capital flight

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 Jun 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The US government has long made life difficult for its expats, taxing them on their global income, but the growing human... Read More

  15. Good and bad reasons for a budget surplus

    Stephen Kirchner | 11 May 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    In an open economy with a floating exchange rate and an inflation-targeting central bank, changes in fiscal policy do not... Read More

  16. Monetary policy can’t buy economic growth

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 Apr 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    It is usually the economy that drives monetary policy, not the other way around.

  17. WA should invest and lower taxes before hoarding revenue

    Stephen Kirchner | 24 Feb 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Sovereign wealth funds are not the way to store money, especially the mining profits.

  18. Foreigners are not going to take our food

    Stephen Kirchner | 10 Feb 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Foreigners owning agricultural land is not a threat to our food security.

  19. The long march of Fightback

    Stephen Kirchner | 09 Dec 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Major economic reform can lead to political success and good policy, and government shouldn’t forget it.

  20. iPod, iPad, iSelf

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Oct 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Steve Jobs may not have donated all his money to causes, but he devoted his life to Apple, giving the world something far... Read More

  21. Boat people circa 1871

    Stephen Kirchner | 23 Sep 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Australia should auction its immigration spots to the highest and most capable bidders to improve our standard of living... Read More

  22. How to respond to the terms of trade boom

    Stephen Kirchner | 02 Sep 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Historical experience highlights the danger of conditioning public policy on assumptions about the future direction of relative... Read More

  23. Is there a free market economist in the house?

    Stephen Kirchner | 10 Jun 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    The Economics Society of Australia is conducting a survey of the policy views of its membership, as well as other economists... Read More

  24. Tough talking budgets

    Stephen Kirchner | 15 Apr 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    The May budget has become not much more than a housekeeping document tacked on to the appropriation bills.

  25. The pages of creative destruction

    Stephen Kirchner | 11 Mar 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Books were expensive and choice limited. Yet technology has increasingly allowed Australian consumers to overcome these barriers.

  26. Time to celebrate the wealth creation that makes giving possible

    Stephen Kirchner | 17 Dec 2010 | Ideas@The Centre

    The lack of public affection for the creators of wealth explains why many billionaires are so ready to commit to such extravagant... Read More

  27. ‘Small capacity for a great city, properly so-called’

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Aug 2010 | Ideas@The Centre

    On 24 July 1912, an article on page 16 of the Sydney Morning Herald noted on the occasion of the opening of a new state parliament... Read More

  28. China’s underappreciated boost to global resource supply

    Stephen Kirchner | 16 Jul 2010 | Ideas@The Centre

    China’s contribution to global resource demand is well known, but its important contribution to augmenting global resource... Read More

  29. The Economic Consensus We Could Do Without

    Stephen Kirchner | 25 Jun 2010 | Ideas@The Centre

    Treasury Secretary Ken Henry this week accused academic economists of being ‘loath to come to a consensus position on anything’... Read More

  30. The Not So Super Guarantee

    Stephen Kirchner | 11 Jun 2010 | Ideas@The Centre

    Amid the debate over the proposed Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT), relatively little attention has been paid to the government’s... Read More

  31. How to reduce the budget deficit, without really trying

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 May 2010 | Ideas@The Centre

    According to Treasurer Wayne Swan, the government is set to preside over the ‘most substantial fiscal consolidation in... Read More

  32. The sun also rises on house prices and monetary policy

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 Apr 2010 | Ideas@The Centre

    Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens granted an unprecedented interview this week to a rather star-struck David Koch of Sunrise.... Read More

  33. The sun also rises on house prices and monetary policy

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 Apr 2010 | Ideas@The Centre

    Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens granted an unprecedented interview this week to a rather star-struck David Koch of Sunrise.... Read More

  34. The sun also rises on house prices and monetary policy

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 Apr 2010 | Ideas@The Centre

    Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens granted an unprecedented interview this week to a rather star-struck David Koch of Sunrise.... Read More

  35. Politicians no friends to home borrowers

    Stephen Kirchner | 19 Feb 2010 | Ideas@The Centre

    Many analysts were surprised by the Reserve Bank’s decision to keep interest rates steady at its February Board meeting.... Read More

  36. What if you got pink bats and a school hall for Christmas?

    Stephen Kirchner | 18 Dec 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    The rush to push stimulus dollars out the door is similar to the mad rush to buy presents before Christmas, resulting in... Read More

  37. Capital Gains Tax Reform as Supply-Side Economics

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Nov 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    The introduction of capital gains tax discounts for individuals and funds as part of the 1999 Ralph business tax reforms... Read More

  38. Wrong on House Prices, Ask Him How

    Stephen Kirchner | 06 Nov 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    University of Western Sydney academic Steve Keen made a name for himself with forecasts of economic doom, predicting a 40%... Read More

  39. Folly of Housing Stimulus without New Houses

    Stephen Kirchner | 04 Sep 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    The increase in the First Home Owners Grant is a key element of the federal government’s fiscal stimulus. But the June... Read More

  40. A Not So Capital Idea

    Stephen Kirchner | 21 Aug 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    It only took until 2pm last Saturday afternoon for the Treasurer to pour cold water on a report in The Weekend Australian... Read More

  41. Taxing Capital Hurts Labour Too

    Stephen Kirchner | 07 Aug 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    Last week’s ALP National Conference passed a resolution sponsored by the party’s left faction and left-wing unions calling... Read More

  42. Fiscal activists can’t have their cake and eat it

    Stephen Kirchner | 17 Jul 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    It was not that long ago that many economic commentators were talking of a direct trade-off between fiscal and monetary policy.... Read More

  43. It’s Hard to Buck a World Downturn

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Jun 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    The March quarter national accounts show that Australia has skirted the conventional and necessarily arbitrary definition... Read More

  44. That 70s Show: Whitlam Era Spending is Back

    Stephen Kirchner | 08 May 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    So much for fiscal conservatives.  The 2009 budget forecasts the biggest expansion in federal government spending since... Read More

  45. Australian FDI Policy: Too Restrictive for Chinese Central Planners?

    Stephen Kirchner | 24 Apr 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    The Treasurer’s conditional approval of Minmetals acquisition of OZ Minerals’ assets under the Foreign Acquisitions and... Read More

  46. Housing finance hardly an effective indicator of fiscal policy success

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 Mar 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    The recent surge in housing finance commitments has been cited as evidence for the effectiveness of the government’s fiscal... Read More