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Author's Name: Bruce Chapman
Date: Tue 12 Feb 2019

Bruce Chapman, AM

Professor Bruce Chapman, AM

Bruce Chapman is a professor of economics at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the ANU. He has a PhD from Yale University and has published around 200 articles and several books including in the areas of: higher education financing and student loans; wage and unemployment determination; government as risk manager; income contingent loans; and the economics of crime, happiness, cricket and marital separation. He has extensive experience in public policy having helped design the HECS policy, as a senior economic adviser to Prime Minister Paul Keating, and as an adviser to the World bank, the OECD and the governments of a large number of countries. He received an Order of Australia in 2001 and the Distinguished Fellow Award of the Economics Society of Australia in 2015.

Subject Area Expertise

  • Labour Economics
  • The Economics of Education (higher education student financing)
  • Economics Policy
  • Applied Econometrics
  • The Economics of Crime
  • The Economics of Sport

Website

https://crawford.anu.edu.au/people/academic/bruce-chapman

 


Responses (19)


Congestion pricing - November 2018

 

Agree

7


Sugar sweetened beverage tax for Australia - July 2018

Poll 31

Proposition 1: "The best economic policy instrument available to policy makers seeking to address obesity and related health issues in Australia is the introduction of a tax on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs)."

Proposition 2: "The health and non-health benefits from a tax on SSBs are likely to outweigh the possible costs felt elsewhere in the economy."

 

1 - Agree

2 - Agree


Will building more homes make housing cheaper? - May 2018

Poll 29

"A sustained increase in the number of new homes constructed each year, all else equal, will make housing cheaper than otherwise."

 

Agree

5


Australian Federal Budget 2018 - Reduce government debt or provide tax cuts? - April 2018

Poll 28

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

1 - At some point very high debt means less capacity for budget flexibility because of interest rate payment obligations. But we are nowhere near this so the priority is not great.

2 - My answer is influenced significantly by my view that the case for either income or corporate tax cuts is very slight.


US corporate tax cuts - March 2018

Poll 27

"The recent US corporate tax cuts will have no impact on investments in and capital flows into Australia."

 

Strongly agree

8


Journalism as a public good - January 2018

Poll 25

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 - Uncertain (neither agree nor disagree)


Same sex marriage - November 2017

Poll 24

"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."

 

Disagree

7

I can't see why this will generate net economic benefits. Even if more people decide to marry and this results in a boost for the marriage industry, the switch in expenditure has to come from other areas.


Robots, artificial intelligence and the 'future of work' - October 2017

Poll 23

Question A: "Holding labor market institutions and job training fixed, rising use of robots and artificial intelligence is likely to increase substantially the number of workers in Australia who are unemployed for long periods."

Question B: "Rising use of robots and artificial intelligence in Australia is likely to create benefits large enough that they could be used to compensate those workers who are substantially negatively affected for their lost wages."

 

A - Strongly disagree

B - Strongly agree

Technical change is always with us, and it is part of the process of innovation. There is no evidence that rapid technical change creates higher unemployment, although for some workers there will inevitably be displacement. Seen any blacksmiths around lately? We must remember that technical change, including the use of robots, increases efficiency and this tends to decrease prices and increase incomes. High purchasing power leads to higher levels of expenditure and this helps create employment. although the types of jobs inevitably are different.


The Finkel Review - August 2017

Poll 21

"The Finkel Review has recommended a mandatory certificate scheme that obliges electricity retailers to purchase a certain proportion of the electricity they sell from sources of electricity whose emission intensity is below a defined level. This is preferable to conventional approaches to the pricing of externalities, such as an emission tax or cap and trade scheme."

 

Uncertain (neither agree nor disagree)

10


Australian Federal Budget 2017 - Outsourcing Economic Forecasting - May 2017

Poll 18

"Given the Commonwealth Treasury?s ongoing difficulty in making accurate forecasts of some of the key economic variables underpinning the Budget ? in particular nominal GDP growth ? the Government should ?outsource? the economic forecasts used in framing the Budget to an independent agency (such as the Parliamentary Budget Office), as now happens in the United Kingdom."

 

Disagree

7

The issue here concerns the capacity of the officials to make accurate forecasts. I don't think there is any reason to believe that a different body would do a better job than Treasury. If there is an inference that Treasury is not "independent" this suggests that the institution is prepared to make mistakes for political purposes even though this would tarnish the reputation of the institution, which I find somewhat implausible.


Energy shortages - reserving Australian gas - April 2017

Poll 17

"In response to energy shortages around Australia, government policies requiring gas producers to reserve some production for domestic consumption are a good way to ensure that Australian consumers have access to sufficient gas supplies while still allowing for gas exports."

 

Uncertain (neither agree nor disagree)

9


CGT deductions - March 2017

Poll 16

"Capital gains tax deductions for housing investment should be removed because they overstimulate the housing market, contributing to rising house prices."

 

Uncertain (neither agree nor disagree)

10

I just don't know.


Social costs of gambling - December 2016

Poll 14

"The social costs of gambling exceed the benefits (including consumer surplus from recreational gambling and tax revenue for governments)."

 

Uncertain (neither agree nor disagree)

10

I don't know what the evidence on this is. I am very confident that I don't know what the evidence is.


Immigration - November 2016

Poll 12

'The total benefit of current levels* of migration to Australia will outweigh the total costs to Australia's economy'.

 

Agree

7


RBA economic growth targets - August 2016

Poll 10

"The Reserve Bank of Australia should be tasked with targeting nominal economic growth rather than inflation."

 

Disagree

6

It is hard to know what the point is with respect to this suggestion.


The Brexit - impact on UK citizens - July 2016

Poll 9

"Assuming it is implemented, Brexit will deliver net economic benefits, on average, to UK citizens within its first 5 years."

 

Disagree

6


Spend on education or business tax cut - June 2016

Poll 8

"Australia will receive a bigger economic growth dividend in the long-run by spending on education than offering an equivalent amount of money on a tax cut to business."

 

Strongly agree

8

Recent work by Eric Hanushek and Lugar Woessmann supports strongly the view that literacy and numeracy skills of the population are the most important contributors to long-run growth. So long as the additional education contributes importantly to these capacities there should be little doubt that expenditure in this area is of the most critical significance.


Efficiency of tax incentives - February 2016

Poll 4

"New tax incentives for investments in technology and innovation businesses and start-ups are likely to be inefficient."

 

Agree

6


Penalty Rates Reform - November 2015

Poll 2

"Aligning Sunday penalty rates for hospitality, entertainment and retailing industries with the current levels for Saturday, as proposed in the Productivity Commission's draft report, will lead to more employment and greater availability of services in these industries on Sundays."

 

Agree

8