National Economic Panel



ESA National Economic Panel Polls





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Author's Name: A Abigail Payne
Date: Tue 12 Feb 2019

Abigail Payne

Professor Abigail Payne

Professor Payne is the Director of the leading Australian institute on applied economic and social research.  The Institute has a team of more than 50 academic researchers that are engage in research on various microeconomic and macroeconomic topics.  Professor Payne’s own work focuses on empirical public economics issues.  Her research encompasses questions around student performance and understanding donor and charity behaviour.  Her current research includes projects to understand the motivations of donors, the role of fundraising in private giving, charity operations and their effects on communities. Professor Payne’s current research in education includes understanding the decision to attend post-secondary education, understanding gender gaps in educational performance, and determinants of successful transitions from high school to university. 

Subject Area Expertise

Public Economics, Law and Economics, Economics of Education, Economics of Charities



Responses (9)

October Budget 2020 - preferred four programs

Poll 42 

"The October budget will see the government announce additional policies to support recovery.  Please nominate the four programs you think would be the most effective (for an intervention of a given size) over the next two years"

Photo Credit: Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND 


Expanded investment allowance, Social housing, Incentives for renewable energy, More funding for education and training

What has 2020 revealed to us? In January we were reminded of the serious complications to life with increasing temperatures and the importance of addressing climate change. The pandemic and resulting recession has reminded us of the fragility of the economy and the importance of caring for our neighbours that may live in disadvantage. The changing of the economy stresses the importance of being nimble and ambitious in education and training beyond high school.

The legislated increases in compulsory super contributions should...

Poll 41

"The legislated increases in compulsory super contributions, which are set to climb from 9.5% of wages to 12% over the next five years should...."

Photo Credit: Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND 


Proceed as planned


While many of us are facing severe financial constraints with COVID-19, I have to be optimistic that these constraints will end in the short-medium term. Saving for retirement and having a strong financial base is a long term plan. We should not give up on goals of ensuring stronger financial stability in our post-retirement years.

Government Debt during the COVID19 Crisis

Poll 40

"Governments should provide ongoing fiscal support to boost aggregate demand during the economic crisis and recovery, even if it means a substantial increase in public debt"

Photo Credit: Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND 


Strongly agree


Gig economy and worker welfare - February 2018

Poll 26

"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."


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."




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 - Uncertain

B - Disagree

Gender diversity in the workplace - role of government? - June 2017

Poll 19

"The recent Parliamentary Inquiry into "Gender segregation in the workplace and its impact on women's economic equality" was asked to examine measures to encourage women?s participation in male-dominated occupations and industries. Although there is growing awareness of the productivity gains of gender diversity, the private market alone is unlikely to steer the Australian labour market toward gender equality in male-dominated industries. Breaking down gender segregation in the labour market can only be achieved with some degree of government intervention."




My challenge with this question pertains to what is meant by "government intervention" ... we know this could range from nudges to mandated quotas ... Do I think there is subtle or inadvertent discrimination? Yes. Do I think more could be done by individuals to promote gender, racial, religious equality? Yes. Do I think the government can play a role? Yes. Do I think the government should play a heavy hand in promoting job opportunity and equality? Probably not.

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."




I think the issue is the notion of outsourcing implies that one group would still be responsible for the forecasts. We know there will be measurement error and/or judgment calls (assumptions) to make when constructing a forecast. We also know that politics can interfere the the judgment calls and/or assumptions made. To me the question is whether more than one group/organization should be used to develop a forecast -- expecting that in some periods all groups will reach consensus and in other periods groups may differ. Critical for giving credibility to any forecast is some "objective" measure that best practices are used to develop the forecast.

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."