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Author's Name: Craig Emerson
Date: Wed 06 May 2020

Craig Emerson

Dr Craig Emerson

Dr Craig Emerson is an eminent economist with 35 years’ experience in public policy, politics and public service. He is Managing Director of Craig Emerson Economics Pty Ltd, providing professional services to governments and the business community. He is a Distinguished Fellow at The Australian National University, Director of the APEC Study Centre at RMIT, Adjunct Professor at Victoria University, Chair of the McKell Institute and a columnist with The Australian Financial Review.

Dr Emerson was Australia’s Minister for Trade and Competitiveness from 2010 to 2013. Prior to that he was Minister for Small Business and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs. He was the architect of the 2012 White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century and was appointed Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy. He is also a former Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research and Chair of the Productivity Committee of Cabinet.

Dr Emerson was economic, trade and environmental adviser to Prime Minister Bob Hawke in the 1980s. He has also held the positions of Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Director-General of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage and Policy Analyst at the United Nations in Bangkok.
Dr Emerson has a PhD in Economics from the Australian National University, and a Master of Economics degree and a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) degree from the University of Sydney.

Subject Area Expertise

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Website

Company website: http://www.craigemersoneconomics.com


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Responses (2)


Wage freeze for economic recovery

Poll 39

"A freeze in the minimum wage will support Australia's economic recovery"

Photo credit: Wes Mountain/The ConversationCC BY-ND 

 

Strongly disagree

8

A fundamental weakness in the Australian economy before the COVID-19 crisis was weak wages growth and the decoupling of labour productivity growth and wages growth. This has adversely affected consumption, which comprises 57 per cent of gross domestic product. When the pandemic is over, workers will have even weaker bargaining power. Without a statutory increase in wages, there will be little or no wages growth going forward, guaranteeing that any recovery will be feeble. The federal government's industrial relations roundtables with unions and business organisations might improve the enterprise bargaining system, but in the absence of a statutory increase in the minimum wage the prospects of cooperation between unions and employer organisations will be severely compromised.


Social Distancing Measures, May 2020

Poll 38

"The benefits to Australian society of maintaining social distancing measures sufficient to keep R<1 for COVID-19 are likely to exceed the costs"

 

Disagree

6

The economic challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic is to maintain as much as practicable the links between employees and their employing businesses and between those businesses and the economy. The longer the restrictions are in place the greater will be the likelihood of those links being broken - leading to severe economic hardship, business failures, mortgage defaults, domestic violence, mental health problems, suicide and long-term unemployment, particularly for the young. In this deepest recession since the Great Depression, the worst affected are young people and especially young women. Keeping R at less than 1 as an absolutely binding constraint could lead to all these hardships. It nevertheless should be a key, non-binding, guiding principle but not a rule.


Wage freeze for economic recovery

Poll 39

"A freeze in the minimum wage will support Australia's economic recovery"

Photo credit: Wes Mountain/The ConversationCC BY-ND 

 

Strongly disagree

8

A fundamental weakness in the Australian economy before the COVID-19 crisis was weak wages growth and the decoupling of labour productivity growth and wages growth. This has adversely affected consumption, which comprises 57 per cent of gross domestic product. When the pandemic is over, workers will have even weaker bargaining power. Without a statutory increase in wages, there will be little or no wages growth going forward, guaranteeing that any recovery will be feeble. The federal government's industrial relations roundtables with unions and business organisations might improve the enterprise bargaining system, but in the absence of a statutory increase in the minimum wage the prospects of cooperation between unions and employer organisations will be severely compromised.


Social Distancing Measures, May 2020

Poll 38

"The benefits to Australian society of maintaining social distancing measures sufficient to keep R<1 for COVID-19 are likely to exceed the costs"

 

Disagree

6

The economic challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic is to maintain as much as practicable the links between employees and their employing businesses and between those businesses and the economy. The longer the restrictions are in place the greater will be the likelihood of those links being broken - leading to severe economic hardship, business failures, mortgage defaults, domestic violence, mental health problems, suicide and long-term unemployment, particularly for the young. In this deepest recession since the Great Depression, the worst affected are young people and especially young women. Keeping R at less than 1 as an absolutely binding constraint could lead to all these hardships. It nevertheless should be a key, non-binding, guiding principle but not a rule.