Central Council

The Trevor Swan Memorial Prize

< Previous    

Tribute for Trevor Swan

“My father, Trevor Swan, is most famous for his contribution to economic theory but in fact he had no interest in theory for theory’s sake. He devoted his whole working life on a daily basis to improving Australia’s economic policy. I, my sister, Barbara Spencer, son, Tony Swan, and the whole of the Swan family is absolutely delighted that this highly prestigious award is being used to promote serious analysis of Australian economic policy in a unique manner.” Quote from Peter Swan, Trevor's son, March 2017

The Trevor Swan Memorial Prize


The name of the prize recognises Trevor Swan – widely regarded as one of the finest Australian economists to have had distinguished careers in both government and academia. Trevor Swan’s article from 1956: “Economic growth and capital accumulation”. Economic Record 32 (2), pp.334–361, is one of the most cited articles in the history of economics (it remains the most cited article published in The Economic Record).


The objective is to recognise and promote contributions to Australian economic policy. The intention is not to preclude specifically theoretical contributions – as such publications may have a direct link to policy debates (as was Swan’s celebrated article).

The Swan prize will be considered every second year, commencing in 2017. It will be finalized in time for the announcement and presentation to be made at the Australian Conference of Economists in the same year.


Awarded to the paper considered by the selection committee to be the most important contribution to Australian economic policy published in The Economic Record in the previous two calendar years. The committee has the right to not make an award if it determines there are no meritorious papers.


The selection committee will be appointed by Central Council on the recommendation of the President of the ESA to determine the paper to be awarded the prize. The committee shall comprise the President (ex officio) who shall be chair, one other member of Central Council, one Distinguished Fellow, and the Editor of The Economic Record (or nominee). It is anticipated that the selection committee will develop more detailed criteria as required. If, in the opinion of the selection committee no paper is considered to warrant the award of the prize, the value of the prize shall carry forward to the next award.

Prize amount

The Trevor Swan Prize is now $5,000.

Award Recipients

The inaugural prize is jointly awarded to:

Daniel M. Rees, Penelope Smith and Jamie Hall (2016) 

A Multi-sector Model of the Australian Economy”  

Cain Polidano and Chris Ryan (2017) 

What Happens to Students with Low Reading Proficiency at 15? Evidence from Australia” 

(Learn more)


Share this with your friends