Labour Market

Labour markets tend to be among the most regulated markets in the economy. While these regulations were meant to protect workers, they are often counterproductive by putting obstacles in the way to job creation. Finding the right balance between these two goals remains a difficult task.


UBI – Universal Basic Income is an Unbelievably Bad Idea
Simon Cowan
05 November 2017 | RR32

The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), paid by the government to its citizens with few restrictions, has been around for a long time. One of the main justifications for introducing a UBI is the impending changes to the labour market as a result…

Reforming Social Housing: financing and tenant autonomy
Michael Potter
27 April 2017 | RR25

Around 400,000 Australians live in social housing, which includes public and community housing. This sector is ripe for reform, with many public housing dwellings failing adequacy standards, numerous tenants are dissatisfied and live in housing that is too small or too large for their needs.…

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…

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…

Fairer Paid Parental Leave
Matthew Taylor
07 July 2014 | T30.11

Australia spends just under $1.4 billion (2012–13) on statutory Paid Parental Leave (PPL) to provide more than 130,000 parents with up to 18 weeks of parental leave paid at the full-time minimum wage. The Abbott government proposes to pay primary carers at their pre-birth wages…

Media & Commentary

Robot truck drivers shape up as a heavy load
Tom Switzer

The robots are coming to the rescue. So screamed a headline about artificial intelligence. The article appeared recently in The Times of London and it reported that, just as automation and outsourcing will boost…

Future work: universal basic income is redundant
Simon Cowan

Despite its recent troubles with the eligibility of Senate candidates at the federal level, One Nation looks like it will secure significant political influence in the upcoming Queensland election. It’s…

Robots coming for our jobs? The data says no to Chicken Little
Simon Cowan
11 November 2017 | CANBERRA TIMES

Overnight on November 10, striking workers broke into a factory and smashed up the machines, reportedly angry that the factory owners were hoarding profits and thinking of cutting jobs. If…

Technological change does not justify ‘free money’
Simon Cowan
05 November 2017 | MEDIA RELEASE

Embargo: 11.59PM, Sunday 5 November 2017 Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a deeply flawed idea and the case for introducing one is weak, new research from the Centre for Independent…

Will robots take my job?
Susan Windybank
25 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

This is a question on many people’s minds, and it’s fuelling fears that advances in automation and artificial intelligence will lead to widespread unemployment, if not a jobless future. The…