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 (14)

Promoting vaccination uptake in Australia

Poll 49

"What measures should Australian governments adopt to promote demand for vaccination once supply is no longer a constraint?"

Photo credit "Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND"


Vaccine passports for higher-risk settings (eg. flights, restaurants, major events);National advertising campaigns;Mandatory vaccination for higher risk occupations

Anything is better than nothing. A critical challenge is lack of consistent information and positive messaging. But also -- there is much information of what works and what does not work from other countries. This is a not a unique issue to Australia.

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.

Policies to deliver higher wage growth

Poll 48

Our panellists were asked

"Higher wages growth is now a top priority of the RBA in its efforts to sustain stronger economic growth. Please identify the three of these government policies you think would best help deliver higher wages growth".  

Photo credit "Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND"



Measures to boost productivity growth;Measures to boost business investment

From the list provided I could not identify three options. The challenge is that you provided one side of the response but not the other side of the response. E.g. constrain immigration v. enhance immigration; e.g. boost bargaining power of trade unions v. enable greater/increased negotiation rights/deviations from union or EBA, etc.

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


Transition to electric cars

Poll 47

This month, our panellists were asked whether Australia should take action to speed the transition to electric cars.

"As part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions, Australian governments should take action to accelerate the take up, or take no action to accelerate the take up of electric cars"

Photo credit "Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND"


Remove the luxury car tax from all-electric cars, Subsidise public charging points for electric cars


What I have not seen/read is a benefit-cost analysis of the use of electricity versus gas/diesel. We should also take into consideration the externalities associated with moving fumes from gas/diesel from major cities to the locations where electricity is generated. From a quick search, there is a belief that over 40% of energy-related carbon emissions are due to the burning of fossil fuels for electricity generation.

The Federal Budget May 2021

Poll 46

"On May 11, the government delivered a budget designed, in the Treasurer's words, to 'secure Australia's economic recovery and build for the future'.  What grade would you give the budget given that objective, A, B, C, D, E, F?"

Photo credit Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND




Very safe and pragmatic. Was it ambitious enough? Given we are experiencing an event none of us have ever experienced, there are no lessons to learn from the past. Moreover, the pandemic is a worldwide issue - much of it is out of our control. Likely the budget represents the best that can be done for now.

Top economists want JobSeeker boosted by $100+ per week and tied to wages

Poll 44

"Ahead of a decision about any permanent increase expected early next year, The Conversation and the Economic Society of Australia asked 45 of Australia’s leading economists where they thought JobSeeker should settle."

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


Be indexed in line with wages

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."




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."




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)


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