ESA National Economic Panel Polls
| Author's Name: Prue Kerr|
Date: Tue 12 Feb 2019
Professor Prue Kerr
Prue Kerr is currently a Visitor at the University of Adelaide, School of Economics, and is a member of the ESA group, Women in Economics. She has a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Adelaide, and an M.Phil and PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK. Her research interests include the post-war Cambridge Keynesians and the subsequent development of alternative, post- Keynesian approaches, in particular to growth and income distribution, and the basis these offer for understanding economic and social implications of distributive inequality, and for effective policy.
She is also interested in the history of economic ideas and co-authored with Geoff Harcourt, an intellectual biography of Joan Robinson (2009). She publishes in the Cambridge Journal of Economics and Contributions to Political Economy and has contributed journal articles and chapters in collections on these themes. She is a co-founder of CAMHIST, a Cambridge seminar group exploring the history of economic theory within an interdisciplinary context.
Motherhood, caring and the careers of Australian women - April 2019
Proposition 1: "Without changes to existing public policy or private sector practice in Australia, motherhood will always negatively affect a woman's career."
Proposition 2: "In Australia, fathers are more restricted than mothers in fulfilling a caring role while in employment."
Part 1 - Agree
The biological fact of birth and early mothering tends to take new mothers away from their careers for at least a short period and partially away after that, for negotiable alternative arrangements of work. The pervasive culture of a male breadwinner who must aim for the top job is not always so negotiable in his own expectations of his career or as a father. Much progress has been made in workplace practices, for example, to address opportunities for parental rather than only maternal leave, or for flexibility in timing of hours at the work place and working from home. But changes to the gender imbalance of long term career outcomes might, like quotas, require rules of conduct as well as incentives.
Part 2 - Agree
US corporate tax cuts - March 2018
"The recent US corporate tax cuts will have no impact on investments in and capital flows into Australia."
Since the main determinant of decisions concerning both real and financial investments is uncertainty about the future behaviour of other variables - economic and political and local, global and US - e.g. interest rates, exchange rates, prices of Australian tradables, legislation affecting markets for tradable commodities as well as currencies... Given the uncertainty created by current US economic and foreign policy decision-making, and the status of Australia's 'relationship' with US, it is very difficult to predict anything confidently!
Australian Federal Budget 2018 - Reduce government debt or provide tax cuts? - April 2018
Proposition 1: "Slowing the growth in the debt to GDP ratio should be a priority for Australian governments."
Proposition 2: "Slowing the growth in the debt to GDP ratio is a higher priority than income or corporate tax cuts."
1 - Agree
2 - Agree
2 - Investment depends on many imprecise factors, political stability, well-behaved labour, reliable infrastructure all feeding into 'uncertainty'. Tax is a known cost and unreliable impact of changes on investment.
Electric vehicles and road-use pricing - June 2018
"Pricing of road-use for electric vehicles should be the same as fossil fuel-powered vehicles."
If the object of reducing environmental damage is primary and the distributional outcomes consistent with its impact, the transition to electric transport requires such incentives or market interventions.
Royal Banking Commission (II) - February 2019
"There is no way to significantly increase the degree to which Australian retail banks act in the interests of consumers."
Gig economy and worker welfare - February 2018
"The wages and conditions of Australian workers providing services in sectors affected by the rapid growth of digital on-demand subcontracting platforms will, on average, be expected to fall without further government intervention."
Journalism as a public good - January 2018
Proposition 1: "The modern phenomena of information overload and social-media-fuelled 'fake news' bring into focus the value of quality journalism. Quality journalism has a public-good dimension that warrants public support."
Proposition 2: "The Australian government presently provides funding for the ABC and SBS, Australia's independent public broadcasters. The Australian government should increase its financial support of quality journalism."
1 - Strongly agree
2 - Agree
Same sex marriage - November 2017
"Assuming that the law will be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry in Australia, this will generate net economic benefits for the nation as a whole over the next 10 years."
Uncertain (neither agree nor disagree)
Why would a social issue such as this require an economic criterion? Perhaps some of the indirect outcomes will be ‘economic’ but these are not relevant to the principle of the issue. Surely economic determinism has some boundaries? Unless the particular question here is ironic?