National Economic Panel



ESA National Economic Panel Polls





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Author's Name: Max Corden
Date: Tue 12 Feb 2019

Max Corden, AC

Professor Max Corden, AC

Professor W (Warner) Max Corden is Emeritus Professor of International Economics of Johns Hopkins University, and  has been a Professorial Fellow in the Department of Economics of the University of Melbourne since October 2002.

He was educated at Melbourne High School, the University of Melbourne and the London School of Economics.  He has held tenured positions at the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University, Oxford University (Nuffield College), and the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)  of the Johns Hopkins University.  He has held visiting positions at many other Universities, and also worked for two years for the International Monetary Fund.

He has received many honours. In particular, he is an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Economic Association, is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the  Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Society of Australia, has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Melbourne, and is a Companion of the Order of Australia.

Professor Corden was President of the Economic Society of Australia from 1977 to 1980.

Subject Area Expertise

Australian Economy, International Macroeconomics, Protection theory

Responses (12)

Congestion pricing - November 2018


Strongly agree


An obviously sensible policy.

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."




The main consideration is the attractiveness of investing in Australia. If our government spends its income from tax on foreign capital wisely it will improve the infrastructure environment, and that will make investment in Australia (for Australians and  foreigners) more attractive.Similarly, improving education in Australia will also make such investment more attractive. Of course the level of the US corporate tax can have some effect. But we must keep in mind the effects on the Australian (federal and state) government budgets, and the benefits that government spending can yield.

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 - Agree

1 - I have a Love-Hate relationship with SBS. I love it for its many quality documentaries. They are very educational. Please keep it up, and more. But I hate SBS for its excessive, frequent, interruptions of serious documentaries. These interruptions  are quite unnecessary, especially as advertising of its own forthcoming programs, and they spoil the whole process.

2 -

Public borrowing for infrastructure investment - September 2017

Poll 22

"As interest rates are at low levels by historical standards, federal and state governments, despite their public debt levels, should be borrowing more than they currently are to invest in infrastructure"


Strongly agree


This policy MUST be associated with independent analysis of projects and that governments make a commitment to carefully considering this analysis. Minimise confidentiality! Timing should also take into account the implications for expected aggregate demand over the period of the relevant investment.

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."


Strongly agree


I agree with the proposal to follow the UK example.

2016 US Election - November 2016

Poll 13

"Hillary Clinton is likely to be the superior US presidential candidate for the Australian economy and for Australia."




Trump would be a disaster for the world. Do we want another Hitler? Or Mussolini? No, No. Hillary is Ok.

Immigration - November 2016

Poll 12

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




There are many aspects to this issue. Clearly a crucial aspect is the need to preserve social harmony. Let us not have an Australian Trump! I am also in favour of taking more refugees for moral reasons. As an immigrant myself many years ago I regard  that as very important. Let me just discuss the relationship between the short-run and the long run. The future population, including the descendants of immigrants, will share both the  future cost of current public debt incurred and the future benefits of current investment in infrastructure. If the current population is expected to increase we can thus justify more debt-financed investment (both private and public, and especially public). This may be desirable in order to currently maintain aggregate demand if monetary policy becomes less or very ineffective in stimulating demand (as in many countries overseas and notably Japan).        Expected population growth also requires improvements in urban (and rural - environmental)  planning. Furthermore, widely expected population growth may actually also stimulate private sector demand as well as justifying more public investment. All this concerns the link between  expectations about the future and current demand  and hence employment.         One more thing. Prudence leads many of us to be cautious about budget deficits and hence increases in the public debt. After all, such deficits increase the liabilities of future taxpayers - both  the interest payments (which are low at present) and debt repayments. But this is only half the story. If the extra debt-financed spending increases the nations assets this could offset or more than offset the increased liabilities. Therefore, let us (and our governments) focus on the need to spend wisely (on infrastructure and other forms of  investment, such as education) and not necessarily to avoid such spending for the sake of keeping debt low.

Part 1: 'Behavioural economics provides new and useful insights into individual behaviour.' Part 2: 'It is unethical for governments to use behavioural economics to

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




Behavioural economics - September 2016

Poll 11

Part 1: 'Behavioural economics provides new and useful insights into individual behaviour.'

Part 2: 'It is unethical for governments to use behavioural economics to "nudge" citizens.'


PART 1 - Disagree


PART 2 - Disagree


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."


Strongly disagree


The financial sector and housing sector in London will lose.

China services boom for Australia? - April 2016

Poll 6

"As the Chinese economy makes its transition from investment-led to consumption led growth, the Australian service sector which currently accounts for around 20% of total exports, will produce a second 'Chinese economic windfall' for Australians."




We will have to ensure that our cities remain SAFE and foreign-friendly, and with adequate public transport (all concerning tourism and foreign students).