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ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

Measuring societal wellbeing: insights for policymakers

One-day short course


When:

10th September 2015
9.30am-4.30pm

Where:

132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU

Speakers:

Clifford Winston

Cost:

A$1,100

How can we use economics to drive efficiency? In this masterclass, you’ll learn how economics has got us to where we are today, what economic initiatives we weren’t able to achieve, and how economics can provide the tools and ideas to spur growth and improve productivity.

Course overview

 

How can we use economics to drive efficiency? In this masterclass, you’ll learn how economics has got us to where we are today, what economic initiatives we weren’t able to achieve and how economics can provide the tools and ideas to spur growth and improve productivity.

A nation’s economic welfare is determined by its efficiency at producing goods and services and by how it distributes those goods and services among its people. Economic ideas and research raise a nation’s welfare by providing insights that help individuals make decisions that increase their utility and that help private firms make decisions that increase their profits. Economics can assist by assessing current policies and proposing new policies that improve the government’s efforts to correct market failures, to recognize when there is no serious market failure to correct, and to redistribute resources to achieve social goals.

In this course, I will provide an overview of economic ideas and their actual contributions to economic welfare and also their potential contributions which have failed to materialize. Evidence will be drawn from the U.S. experience, but there will be discussion of lessons for Australia.

Questions to be addressed

• What are the contributions of economics to improved efficiency of firms’ operations and government policy?

• What are the contributions of economics to potentially improve government policymaking by correcting market failures?

• What are the contributions of economics that could potentially improve government policymaking by promoting innovation and technological change to spur growth?

• What are the contributions of economics to improved or potentially improved distributional efficiency to achieve social goals?

• What constraints limit economists’ contributions to economic welfare and how could those constraints be overcome?

Background readings

Robert E. Litan, Trillion Dollar Economists: How Economists and their Ideas Have Transformed Business, John Wiley Press, 2015

Clifford Winston, Government Failure Versus Market Failure: Microeconomic Policy Research and Government Performance, Brookings Institution, 2006

Richard Layard and Alan A. Walters, Microeconomic Theory, McGraw Hill, Chapter 1, Welfare Economics, 1978

Course convenor

 

Dr Clifford Winston

Clifford Winston is the Searle Freedom Trust Senior Fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Economic Studies program. He is an applied microeconomist who specialises in the analysis of industrial organisation, regulation, and transportation.

Winston has also been co-editor of the annual microeconomics edition of Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. Prior to his fellowship at Brookings, he was an Associate Professor in the Transportation Systems Division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Civil Engineering.

The author of numerous books and articles, Winston has published First Thing We Do, Let’s Deregulate All the Lawyers, with Robert Crandall and Vikram Maheshri (Brookings, 2011); Last Exit: Privatization and Deregulation of the U.S. Transportation System (Brookings, 2010); Government Failure versus Market Failure (AEI-Brookings, 2006); Deregulation of Network Industries: What’s Next?, with Sam Peltzman (AEI-Brookings, 2000); Essays in Transportation Economics and Policy: A Handbook in Honor of John R. Meyer, with Jose A. Gomez-Ibanez and William B. Tye (1999); Alternate Route: Toward Efficient Urban Transportation, with Chad Shirley (1998); The Evolution of the Airline Industry, with Steven A. Morrison (1995); The Economic Effects of Surface Freight Deregulation, with Thomas M. Corsi, Curtis M. Grimm, and Carol A. Evans (1990); Road Work: A New Highway Pricing and Investment Policy, with Kenneth A. Small and Carol Evans (1989); Liability: Perspectives and Policy, with Robert E. Litan (1988); Blind Intersection? Policy and the Automobile Industry, co-author (1987); and The Economic Effects of Airline Deregulation, with Steven Morrison (1986). His articles have appeared in such journals as the American Economic Review, Econometrica, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic Literature, Bell Journal of Economics, and the Rand Journal of Economics.

Dr Winston received his A.B. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1974, his M.Sc. from the London School of Economics in 1975, and his PhD in economics from UC Berkeley in 1979.

Course date: 9.30am–4.30pm 10 September 2015
Venue: #132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU
Cost: A$1,100 GST incl; Group discounts applicable

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