Economic Policy

The Centre for Independent Studies is guided by the philosophy of free markets and individual responsibility. Our economic policy research centres on ideas that will strengthen Australia’s economy for the future and challenge the reach of big government. With ongoing uncertainty for economies around the world, the CIS’ research into financial and monetary issues is more vital than ever in helping shape public policy.

Continuing economic reform is desperately needed in Australia, and that is why our TARGET30 program seeks to reduce waste in government and in the public sector, and to bring government spending under control.

For more information on our economic research, please proceed to:

Featured Publication


Youth Unemployment in Australia
Patrick Carvalho
22 November 2015 | Research Report 7

This report looks at quantifying the rising youth unemployment problem, understanding its causes and proposing policy solutions. Youth employment has progressively taken a hit after the Global Financial Crisis, practically doubling since mid-2008. At an average rate of 13.5% in the past 12 months, the…

Principles and recommendations for tax reform - CIS submission National Reform Summit
Simon Cowan, Robert Carling, Henry Ergas
27 August 2015 | The Centre for Independent Studies

The slant towards cutting taxes before 2010 was welcome, but for such an approach to return in the foreseeable future, the growth of government spending will have to be curbed and the size of government as a share of GDP reduced. Although tax reform may…

Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts 2015
11 August 2015

The CIS submission into the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry proposed two tightly targeted areas be changed: 1. That the Department of Health withdraw all financial support for the Health Star Rating system, including explanatory websites, public awareness campaigns, and studies of its effectiveness. 2. That the government…

The Case for a New Australian Settlement: Ruminations of an Inveterate Economist
Wolfgang Kasper
26 June 2015 | OP141

Australia needs a cultural counter-revolution that appeals to the traditional Australian spirit of self-reliance and can-do optimism – a new ‘Australian settlement’ which goes beyond mere economic policy. It should be underpinned by agreed basic understandings across political and social divides: (i) ours is a…

Australia’s Future in the Balance: Overcoming Antagonism & Reigniting Enterprise & Prosperity
Wolfgang Kasper, Paul Kelly
25 June 2015

Following economic reforms that began in 1983 and petered out around 2003, Australians enjoyed the greatest advance in their living standards since Federation. But the lagged effects of those reforms have now subsided and the post-2003 upsurge in our terms of trade is being reversed.…

Media & Commentary

Childcare tantrum over hourly fees
Trisha Jha
27 November 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

That wailing sound you heard coming from childcare centres this week was not from upset children. It was the caterwauling from the childcare industry as it howled with indignation over…

Give youth a leg up not a handout
Patrick Carvalho
27 November 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

We need economic reforms to foster investment and job creation that can fight the rising problem of youth unemployment in Australia. My new research report outlines that jobless rates have…

Competition reform is our best bet to lift the economy
Patrick Carvalho
25 November 2015 | The Australian

The federal government response to the Harper Review is a good start, but the legislative road to competitive markets is a long one and full of pitfalls. Vested interests can…

PBO report confirms family home is the missing piece of pension puzzle
Simon Cowan
25 November 2015

The PBO report Costing 2015 Pensioner Loans Scheme shows that options to boost pensioner living standards through equity release are seriously underutilised, says Centre for Independent Studies economist Simon Cowan…

The case for a cut in company tax
Michael Potter
24 November 2015 | Business Spectator

The evidence is in: company tax harms investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship – and even reduces wages. Not that you’d know this from reading some stories this week, which claim advocates…