National Economic Panel



ESA National Economic Panel Polls





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Author's Name: Guay Lim
Date: Thu 07 May 2020

Guay Lim

Professor Guay Lim

Guay Lim is a Professorial Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economics and Social Research and an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Melbourne. Her research interest is in the application of macroeconomic forecasting and policy models to obtain insights about macroeconomic issues particularly around inclusive growth and business cycle stabilisation. Her papers have been published in major international journals like the Journal of International Economics, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Applied Econometrics. She is a member of the CAMA Shadow Board and the Advisory Board of the Australasian Macroeconomics Society. She has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Guay is the head of the Macroeconomics Program at the Melbourne Institute responsible for the production of various indicators of activity about the Australian economy.

Subject Area Expertise

Macroeconomics,  Small Open Economies, Macro-econometrics.


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Responses (7)

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

Does the budget rebuild our economy and create jobs?

Poll 43

"On 6 October, the Government delivered a budget designed, in the Treasurer's words, to 'rebuild our economy and create jobs'.  What grade would you give the budget given the objective?  A, B, C, D, E, F"

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



Fiscal policy has to be more active in stimulating the economic recovery in an environment where monetary policy is operating at close to the zero-lower bound. This budget did that by including a range of fiscal stimulus measures to support jobs and to promote economic growth.

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 


Bring forward legislated personal income tax cuts, Corporate tax cuts, Permanently boosting JobSeeker (Newstart) beyond December 31, 2020, Infrastructure projects

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 


Be deferred


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 




The public debt will be sustainable if the fiscal support yields a growth in income which exceeds the cost of funds. Since interest rates are currently very low, the burden of the debt is unlikely to be high.

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 




A wages' pause (especially in an environment of low price inflation) would contain labour costs, allow businesses to save/create jobs, encourage employment and support the process of economic recovery. While a freeze in the minimum wage will likely disadvantage low income earners, it can be mitigated by other direct fiscal supports.

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"




Whether the benefits are likely to exceed the costs is uncertain as we are talking about concepts that are hard to measure/quantify. Are direct fiscal payments costs and/or benefits? The evaluation will also depend on how long social distancing measures will be in place, the severity/strictness of the measures as well as the nature of financial and non-financial supports. The prevalence of testing and contact tracing will also be important to the analysis.