National Economic Panel



ESA National Economic Panel Polls





Got an Idea?

Author's Name: Susan Thorp
Date: Tue 04 May 2021

Susan Thorp

Susan Thorp

Susan Thorp is Professor of Finance, Associate Dean Research and Research Education in the Business School. She has previously held positions at the University of Technology Sydney and the Reserve Bank of Australia. Susan has an honours degree in Economics from the University of Sydney, and a PhD in Economics from the University of New South Wales.

Susan researches household and consumer finance focussing on retirement savings and decumulation. She uses theoretical, empirical and experimental techniques to understand financial decision making. Much of this research has tested the way decision makers respond to advice, disclosures and choice architecture.

Financial econometrics is another concentration of Susan’s research. She has studied the increased integration that occurs in financial markets during crises.

Susan has published over 45 papers in international academic journals. She has led and participated in grant projects attracting over $4 million dollars in public and industry funding. She is also a regular contributor to consumer finance and superannuation policy discussions, and her research is cited by major public reviews and inquiries.

Susan is a member of the Steering Committee of the Mercer CFA Global Pensions Index, an annually compiled internationally recognised index of pension system quality, a member of the ASIC Consultative committee and a member of the Research Committee of the OECD/International Network on Financial Education.

Subject Area Expertise

Consumer Finance, Superannuation


Responses (6)

How economists would raise $20 billion per year

Poll 58

When panellests were asked to find an extra A$20 billion per year to fund government priorities like building nuclear submarines and responding to climate change, Australia’s top economists overwhelmingly back land tax, increased resource taxes, an attack on negative gearing and extending the scope of the goods and services tax.

Photo credit by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash


Efficiency picks: Increase resource taxes Equity picks: Introduce inheritance taxes Wind back the capital gains exemptions on the family home

Efficiency comments: Resource extraction is inadequately taxed in Australia and allow rents to accrue mining company owners. Equity comments: Inheritances taxes can reduce the concentration of wealth between generations and slow increases in inequality. Similarly, capital gains tax exemptions on the family home are a source of inter-generational inequity.

Prioritising issues for the incoming Government

Poll 54

Panellists were asked: 

"From this list, please pick the three issues you think will be the most important for the incoming government and should be the most important in the election".

Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND



The government needs to make clear energy and climate policy addressing both adaptation to climate change and mitigation of emissions. Immigration of skilled migrants and casual workers has support productivity and will continue to be a key component of economic management and growth. This need not be a limit on wages growth. Housing availability and affordability and a major contributor to welfare and distortions in the taxation and social security system that limit affordable housing should be corrected.

Intake of permanent migrants

Poll 52

"What do you think the intake of permanent migrants should be in coming years"

Australia’s leading economists have overwhelmingly endorsed a return to the highest immigration intake on record, saying Australia should aim for at least 190,000 migrants per year as it opens its borders, up from the target of 160,000 per year set ahead of COVID.

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



190,000 is about right

Skilled migration is a key to growth in a naturally aging population.

Australia’s top economists back carbon price, say benefits of net-zero outweigh cost

Poll 50

Ahead of November’s Glasgow climate talks, our panellists were asked

"Australia would likely benefit overall from the national economy transitioning to net-zero emissions by 2050"

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


An economy-wide carbon price (either via a cap-and-trade scheme or an emissions tax)


Price signals and trade are the basis for efficient pollution reduction.

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

Cash incentives might encourage people who are avoiding a vaccination because of inconvenience or discomfort to take the jab more quickly but cash from a government is unlikely to change the minds of those who are really hesitant. It would also possibly set a precedent. Would people expect another cash incentive in future for COVID vaccination boosters or for flu shots or childhood diseases?

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




Several of the headline policies in the budget, such as increased spending on aged care, are heading in the right direction but face challenges of implementation. And despite the benefits of ongoing expansionary fiscal policy, the budget fails to direct certainty and support to two major export sector, tourism and universities.