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ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

Beginner’s guide to macroeconomics for the public sector

One-day short course


26th November 2015


ANU Crawford School of Public Policy


Robert Breunig



This course at The Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy is designed to give economic beginners an understanding of economy-wide phenomena such as inflation, unemployment, international trade and economic growth.

Course overview


Macroeconomics deals with economy-wide phenomena such as inflation, unemployment, international trade and economic growth. Understanding macroeconomic ideas and thinking is essential to understanding the big economic policy debates in Australia and for analysing the environment in which the citizens, businesses and government of Australia function.

While microeconomics is concerned with the behaviour of individual agents, macroeconomics looks at what happens in the wider economy when all those agents come together and interact. Macroeconomics concerns itself with debates such as the use of fiscal and monetary policy to stabilise the economy; the role of the central bank and inflation targeting; and whether the government should try and run a balanced budget.

This one-day course takes you through all the basic concepts of macroeconomics including: unemployment, national income, inflation and the cost of living, national accounts, trade and the open economy, productivity and growth. It will also look at how best to measure well-being and review some comparative statistics across countries.

This course will help you to better understand the Australian economy and to be a more informed reader of newspaper financial pages.

This course is paired with a beginner’s course in microeconomics. Because they are inter-related, it is recommended you attend both courses.

Course convenor


Professor Robert Breunig

Robert Breunig conducts research in three main areas: economics of the household; empirical industrial organisation; and statistical and econometric theory. In recent work, he has studied the inter-generational transmission of dependence on government assistance; he has examined the relationship between women’s labour supply and child care policy and studied optimal child care subsidy policies; he has examined the complex relationship between outsourcing and innovation; and he has evaluated new econometric techniques for analysing panel data models of binary outcomes.

He publishes regularly in respected, international journals. His research is motivated by important social policy issues and debates. His work is characterised by careful empirical study and appropriate use of statistical technique.

Robert Breunig’s research agenda has led to many partnerships with government organisations in Australia and overseas. He works regularly with the Australian Treasury, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Innovation as well as many other agencies. He has been a consultant to private sector on marketing, mergers, bank competition and customer loyalty programs.

Robert Breunig particularly enjoys interaction outside of typical academic circles and takes pleasure in helping those who don’t usually use economics or statistical analysis to better understand and make use of these tools in their work. He has an extensive track record of helping the public service to build research capacity which he views as a particularly important activity. He has received grant support from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Australian Research Council.

Course date: 9.30am–4.30pm 26 November 2015
Venue: #132, Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU
Enrol: T 02 6125 2154 E
Cost: A$1,100 GST incl; Group discounts applicable

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