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 our economic research, please proceed to:

Featured Publication


I, Mechanical Pencil: Why a socialist economy can never work
Steven Kates
06 February 2019 | PP14

Socialism brings poverty and oppression. The ignorance of so many as to why only a market economy is capable of bringing prosperity and political freedom is a major problem. Too many believe a socialist utopia can be achieved if only the right people took the…

Mapping migrants: Australians’ wide-ranging experiences of immigration
Charles Jacobs
05 December 2018 | PP13

Australians’ experiences of immigration are highly varied. Using 2016 ABS Census data, this POLICY Paper finds that – statistically – the wealth of the suburb we live in can have a major impact on the type of interaction we may have with migrants.  These different…

Why we should defend capitalism
Eugenie Joseph
28 November 2018 | PP12

Capitalism has become a controversial idea in recent years; yet economic markets and free enterprise are responsible for lifting millions of people out of abject poverty, improving the quality of life around the world, and creating shared prosperity. Capitalism has also proven effective at sustaining…

Australian Attitudes to Immigration: Coming Apart or Common Ground?
Jeremy Sammut, Monica Wilkie
18 November 2018 | PP11

Immigration has been a contentious political issue in Australia and overseas for a number of years. Many political parties and figures have emerged promising to severely restrict or halt immigration. Australia has largely avoided significant political disruptions over this issue. However, as immigration levels continue…

Voting for a living: A shift in Australian politics from selling policies to buying votes?
Robert Carling, Terrence O'Brien
05 September 2018 | PP9

This paper explores the hypothesis that growth of government has become self-sustaining through the emergence of a segment of the population that both enjoys sufficient direct support from government and is large enough that political parties shape policies to curry its favour. The researchers use…

Media & Commentary

Principle vs revenue in dividend tax furore
Robert Carling
15 February 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

The furore over dividend franking credit refunds is bringing out the worst in our politicians. The Coalition is running a parliamentary inquiry that has turned into an endless circus parade…

Neglect of young people a super problem
Eugenie Joseph
15 February 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

Once again, politics in Canberra has triumphed over good policy — with young Australians the latest casualty. To pass its superannuation reform package through the Senate, the government on Thursday abandoned…

Franking refunds a principle, not a perk
Robert Carling
12 February 2019 | Financial Review

It may just be misplaced nostalgia for a bygone era of rational policy debate that never really existed, but it does seem there was a time not so long ago…

Bank culture must be built on moral fibre
Eugenie Joseph
10 February 2019 | The Newcastle Herald

Treating your customers fairly can’t just be a legal obligation, it must become a moral imperative ingrained in a bank’s culture. This is a key take-away from the Hayne Commission’s…

Progressives reluctant to recognise poverty progress
Anis Rezae
08 February 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

Is the declining rate of global poverty simply a neoliberal lie, spread by the likes of Bill Gates? According to a British-based academic, the answer is yes — because the…