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Author's Name: Warwick McKibbin
Date: Tue 12 Feb 2019

Warwick McKibbin AO

Professor Warwick McKibbin AO

Professor Warwick J. McKibbin has a Vice Chancellor’s Chair in Public Policy and is Director of the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (CAMA) in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU). He is also an ANU Public Policy Fellow; a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences; a Distinguished Fellow of the Asia and Pacific Policy Society; a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C (where he is co-Director of the Climate and Energy Economics Project) and President of McKibbin Software Group Inc.

He was awarded the Centenary medal in 2003 “For Service to Australian Society through Economic Policy and Tertiary Education”.  Professor McKibbin is internationally renowned for his contributions to global economic modeling and has published more than 200 peer reviewed academic papers and 5 books as well as being a regular commentator in the popular press.

Subject Area Expertise

Economic Modeling, Global economic scenarios, Macroeconomic policy, Climate change policy, Climate change modeling, Pandemics, Demographics, Productivity and growth.

Area specialties - Australia, Japan, China, USA, Europe, Asia, India, New Zealand.



Responses (11)

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 - Disagree

2 - Uncertain (neither agree nor disagree)

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."


Strongly disagree


I assume that the question is about a Clean Energy Standard (CES) in electricity generation versus an economy wide tax or cap and trade system. An economy wide approach will get the same emissions reductions at a much lower price or much larger reductions in emissions at the same price. If the question is actually about A CES in electricity versus and cap and trade in electricity then our research on the US shows that there is not much difference in the cost or effectiveness. This is likely true in Australia as well.

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."




The problem is not with Treasury's ability to forecast. A range of forecasts should be used to make it clear how uncertain the future projections are. A mix of Treasury and external forecasts would provide a more accurate picture of risks in the budget outlays and revenue assumptions.

Economics teaching - micro before macro - February 2017

Poll 15

"It is more effective to teach an introductory course in micro-economics first before an introductory course in macro-economics."




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."


Strongly agree


"Superior" is the key word. She may not be a good President for Australia's interests especially if the Democrats in the Congress swing her even further to the left particularly in damaging trade policy and further threatening the fragile global economy.

RBA economic growth targets - August 2016

Poll 10

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


Strongly agree


There is a large theoretical and empirical literature going back over five decades that supports this proposition. The problem is that the best monetary regime depends on the nature of the economic shocks impacting an economy. Thus no monetary regime is always best for all shocks. However nominal GDP targeting has been found to be best in most cases and particularly relative to inflation targeting when responding to supply shocks (i.e. productivity shocks) and changes in country risk. More information here.

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


Budget 2016-17 - Returning to surplus - May 2016

Poll 7

"The recently released 2016-17 Commonwealth Budget projects that the Australian Government's underlying cash balance will return to surplus by 2020?21*. Australian politicians should rebalance the budget with greater urgency."


Strongly agree


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."


Strongly agree


Efficiency of tax Government investments in major sporting events - February/March 2016

Poll 5

"Government investments in major sporting events usually generate net benefits for the city or region where the investment is made."


Uncertain (neither agree nor disagree)


The question is ambiguous. Does the "gain to the city or region" include the cost to the taxpayers who don't live in the city or region? It could be that economic output of a city rises but the tax payers in other parts of the State pay higher taxes which leads to lower overall utility. It also depends very much on how the event is supported and how it is funded. It also depends on the nature of capital investments that might be made as part of the hosting. Are capital investments sustainable after the event or do they become white elephants like the Olympic stadiums in Greece?. Does "usually" mean the number of events that lead to gain or the total value of events that lead to gain?

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."


Strongly agree