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


Industrial Relations in a Post-COVID World
Judith Sloan
13 August 2020 | AP12

The economic shocks of COVID-19 and the associated government responses have rendered aspects of our industrial relations regulations unworkable and/or perverse. While the system of regulation was initially a federated role in which the states played significant roles, the federal jurisdiction is now dominant. Apart…

The Economic Challenge of Covid-19
Robert Carling
08 July 2020 | PP32

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the Australian economy was under-performing its potential and in need of reinvigoration. Economic growth in per capita terms had slowed to a crawl and business investment and productivity growth were depressed. Policy changes that were previously desirable have now…

Lower Company Tax to Resuscitate the Economy
Jeff Bennett, Michael Potter, Tony Makin
06 July 2020 | PP31

In response to the economic contraction of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal and state governments have dramatically expanded the scope and scale of state involvement in the economy. This massive spike in government spending continues to be funded by increased government borrowing that has put…

A Fiscal Vaccine for COVID-19
Tony Makin
10 June 2020 | PP30

The fiscal response to the Covid-19 crisis ensures that the federal and state governments will experience large budget deficits and escalating public debt for the foreseeable future. Federal government debt could for instance conceivably double to over $1 trillion within a few years in the…

State Finances after the Pandemic
Robert Carling
28 May 2020 | PP29

The strength of Australia’s government finances is an important dimension of economic performance as it helps set the foundations for the delivery of public services, the flexibility governments need to respond to unexpected events and a stable fiscal environment for private sector investment. This strength…

Media & Commentary

COVID-19 has put fundamentals of federation in jeopardy
Simon Cowan
12 September 2020 | Canberra Times

The extraordinary decision in Queensland to prevent a Canberra woman from first seeing her father in his final days, and then attending his funeral, indicates the extent to which COVID-19 has…

New data shows pandemic’s economic impact
Robert Carling
10 September 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

With many countries, including Australia, having reported their national accounts for the April to June quarter, we have further quantification — if any was needed — of the enormity of…

Job slump may spur socialist youth
Joanne Tran
10 September 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

Headlines hit recently that our unemployment rate was at its worst in 19 years, at 7.1% — almost half of that being young people. Many are entering the labour market…

Revealed: new analysis shows the true cost of mismanaging the corona crisis
Robert Carling
08 September 2020 | Spectator

With many countries, including Australia, having reported their national accounts for the April to June quarter, the initial economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is now a matter of record — with…

Extra infrastructure spending not an economic panacea
Tony Makin
03 September 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

Increased government spending on infrastructure has been proposed yet again to revive the economy from the government-imposed recession. However, there are good reasons to be sceptical. Spending big on infrastructure…