Economic Policy – The Centre for Independent Studies

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.

Continuing economic reform is desperately needed in Australia.  Our new project, Left Behind, is looking at the shifting patterns of employment, inequality and family breakdown in Australia and will give a unique picture of the Australia’s workforce.

In addition our work on regulation and the tax system continues to focus on providing solutions that will strengthen economic independence and prosperity. For more information on research areas, please proceed to:

Featured Publication


Attitudes to a post-Covid Australia
Robert Carling, Simon Cowan
26 August 2021 | AP25

There are both reasons for optimism and reasons for pessimism in this paper. The poll suggests that Australians are unlikely to meekly accept ongoing lockdowns once vaccination reaches critical levels. Only a small minority believe we should continue to chase Covid Zero exclusively. Moreover, few…

90 Days to Freedom? Why Australia can learn from Canada’s vaccination success
Robert Carling
18 August 2021 | PP43

Predictions have been made by the Doherty Institute and others that Australia will achieve full vaccination of 70% of the eligible population by the end of October and 80% by mid-November, thereby meeting the thresholds for liberalisation of restrictions set by national cabinet. Doubts that…

The MMT Hoax
Tony Makin, Gene Tunny
27 May 2021 | PP41

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a supposedly new macroeconomic paradigm, but it is essentially a reprise of 1930s Keynesian economics. Its central premise — that countries which can borrow in their own currencies should not worry about government deficits and can finance as much government…

Does high-rise development damage neighbourhood character?
Peter Tulip, Zachary Lanigan
29 April 2021 | PP40

Local residents often oppose new apartment buildings on the grounds that they would harm neighbourhood character. This paper suggests these concerns are overstated. The paper examines several examples of high-rise development in Sydney: Chatswood, Forest Lodge, Green Square, Liverpool and Turrella. If these developments harmed…

Make every drop count, and count every drop: Vanishing groundwater needs proper monitoring and management
Grahame Campbell
22 April 2021 | PP39

Aquifer groundwater is a crucial and valuable resource for Australia, but is poorly managed and monitored to the point of being neglected in some areas. This neglect is a risk for the future of Australia’s $60 billion agriculture production and industry that relies on the…

Media & Commentary

The ARM's 'Australian Choice' falls short
Simon Cowan
15 January 2022 | Canberra Times

The Australian Republic Movement (ARM) has unveiled its latest model for an Australian republic and, if nothing else, it proves the maxim that a camel is a horse designed by…

Zoned out: how land use restrictions divide the nation
Peter Tulip
14 January 2022 | John Menadue's Public Policy Journal

Housing policies ensure continual wealth gains for current home owners while leaving renters and potential buyers locked out of the market. Housing policy is a battle between the haves and…

The winners and losers of 2021
Simon Cowan
01 January 2022 | Canberra Times

It’s common at this time of year to seek wisdom in reflective aphorisms and clichés. “Make each day better than the last” … not exactly the kind of advice that’s…

Someone has to pay for Australia's financial largesse
Simon Cowan
18 December 2021 | Canberra Times

The government is painting a very rosy picture in its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. It’s not just that the economy has recovered from COVID lockdowns so much better than…

Dark times ahead as Australia faces crisis on crisis
Tom Switzer
16 December 2021 | The Australian

I used to be an optimist about the world but now I am depressed. When I was born in the early 1970s, the popular wisdom warned that, unless prompt and…