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


The Role of Think Tanks: A Reply to the Critics
Jeremy Sammut
13 June 2016 | OP145

Because their aims are educational and democratic, what think tanks do and why they do it is entirely transparent: they ensure their research is publically available and seek to ensure it is disseminated via the media to as broad an audience as possible in the…

The case against tax increases in Australia: The growing burden
Michael Potter
07 June 2016 | Research Report 15

View Interactive Snapshot The tax burden imposed by the Commonwealth Government alone, and by all Australian governments, is above its historical levels and forecast to go well above these averages. Similar results are obtained if the budget deficit is included to measure the long-run tax…

MEDI-VALUE: Health Insurance and Service Innovation in Australia - Implications for the Future of Medicare
Jeremy Sammut
20 April 2016 | Research Report 14

For healthcare innovation to flourish there needs to be a real market for health services in Australia. Providers that deliver cost-effective, patient-centred care should be rewarded for increased efficiency and lower costs by being able to sell that value-proposition to cost-and quality-conscious purchasers. For innovation…

Investor-State Arbitration and the Rule of Law: Debunking the Myths
Patrick Carvalho
13 April 2016 | Research Report 13

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a legal provision in international agreements that enables foreign investors to take host states to an arbitral tribunal for alleged treaty breaches. The goal of investor-state arbitration is to provide a de-politicised, unbiased and law-based adjudication forum to guarantee the…

Taming the Monster: Reforming Personal Income Tax
Robert Carling
05 April 2016 | Research Report 12

Without any change in personal income tax rates or thresholds, the tax burden will increase substantially and many more taxpayers will face high marginal rates over the next few years. The adverse economic impact of personal income tax is already high and is set to…

Media & Commentary

Poor performance treads company boards
Peter Swan
28 July 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

A fortnight prior to its abolition by independent senators and the Turnbull Government, the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal set minimum pay rates for 35,000 owner-drivers, but not for employee-drivers. Hence,…

HILDA points to the home
Simon Cowan
22 July 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

The big news from this week’s latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey is that the proportion of homeowners is declining, with fewer young people owning homes…

Selling farm policy
Michael Potter
22 July 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

A Productivity Commission draft report has found that Australian farm businesses are subject to a “vast and complex array of regulations”. The report won’t be pleasant reading for any of…

Facts have a left wing bias, do they…?
Michael Potter
20 July 2016 | The Spectator Flat White

I spluttered on my tea recently when reading the claim that facts have a left-wing bias. I suppose the proponents of this view weren’t keen to outline the numerous major…

Friendless free trade
Trisha Jha
15 July 2016 | The Spectator Flat White

The Australian Financial Review recently published two news stories: Nationals could get two extra spots but Malcolm Turnbull holds policy line: “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has pushed back against any…