National Economic Panel



ESA National Economic Panel Polls





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Author's Name: John Piggott
Date: Tue 12 Feb 2019

John Piggott

Professor John Piggott

John Piggott is Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), at the University of New South Wales, Australia, where he is Scientia Professor of Economics and also holds an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship. He is concurrently Adjunct Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU.

Dr Piggott has a long standing interest in retirement and pension economics and finance. His publications include more than 100 academic journal articles and chapters in books. He has also co-authored two books, both published by Cambridge University Press.

He was a member of the Henry Tax Review Panel and served for several years on the Ministerial Superannuation Advisory Committee. Internationally, he has been a consultant to several foreign governments on pension issues, including Russia and Indonesia. In 2007 he was appointed Visiting Professor, Zhejiang University, China, and from 2008-2010 was Visiting Scholar with the Department of Insurance and Risk Management, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

Subject Area Expertise

The Economics of Pension, Retirement and Ageing; Public Finance.



Responses (19)

Congestion pricing - November 2018


Strongly agree


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."




It is always difficult to judge the impact of corporate taxes on the locational decisions of firms. But is hard to believe they are of no consequence. According to DFAT, the US is our largest foreign investor. So a net decrease in investment outflow from the US will likely impact Australia.

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 - Disagree

1 - Our debt to GDP ratio is to large by international standards. But Australia is a (perhaps not so) small open economy, and we will become vulnerable if we let this ration get too high.

2 - I think we need sensible tax reform. I dont think it's impossible, with strong leadership. This could easily comprire an increase in top marginal rates of income tax, a decrease in corporate tax rates, and some adjustment in the GST rate. The current proposed phased reduction in corporate tax rates, plus a 2 percentage point increase in GST and a two percentgae point incerase in the top marginal rate, might actually reduce the debt ratio, by managing revenue and stimluating investment and growth simultaneously.

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."


Strongly agree


Royal Banking Commission (II) - February 2019

Poll 35

"There is no way to significantly increase the degree to which Australian retail banks act in the interests of consumers."




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 - Strongly agree

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 - Agree

B - Uncertain

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"




Our major cities are in need of considerable infrastructure investment, especially to facilitate greater housing supply in commutable distance to major employment centres, but it is important that the investment is well thought through

Does privatisation of human services hurt outcomes? - July 2017

Poll 20

"For-profit provision of human services like health and education leads to poor client outcomes and high costs to government."


Uncertain (neither agree nor disagree)


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)


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


Immigration - November 2016

Poll 12

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


Strongly agree


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."




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.




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


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."




A great deal depends on the terms of the exit, which have not been negotiated. There is no precedent for such a negotiation. But within 5 years of the conclusion of those negotiations, the real disadvantages of this separation, both for the UK and rest of Europe, in terms of trade flows and factor movements, will begin to become apparent. The UK may in fact be diminished by Scotland's separating.

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


The transition may be a long time coming. Probably Australia will benefit most from "domestic" exports - tourism, education, maybe health - in the shorter term. While the commodities price boom is over, the demand for Australian commodities by China continues to grow.

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."




A lot depends on how efficiency is defined in the context of risky innovation. At a modest scale, support for start-ups may well yield success stories that will more than compensate for the public investment involved.

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