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Australia must avoid America’s demographic stagnation

I have an op-ed in The Mandarin on why Australia must avoid America’s demographic stagnation. Text below the fold.

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posted on 23 November 2020 by skirchner in Population & Migration

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Avoiding US-style demographic stagnation: The role of immigration and population growth in Australia’s post-pandemic recovery

I have a new report out with USSC Avoiding US-style demographic stagnation: The role of immigration and population growth in Australia’s post-pandemic recovery.

In the report, I compare recent demographic trends in Australia and the US, in particular, the decline in the US population growth rate to the lowest in a century, even before the onset of the pandemic. This is the product of record low fertility and the Trump Administration’s tightening of US immigration policy, which the Biden Administration will not be able to unwind quickly.

In Australia, population growth is set to slow to its lowest rate since 1916-17, mainly as a result of pandemic-related international border closures. Treasury is assuming no attempt is made in future to make-up the loss in net overseas migration, implying a permanent loss of populaiton and productive potential relative to a no-pandemic counterfactual.

In the report, I call for a federal government-funded increase in managed isolation and quarantine capacity to ease the rationining of international arrivals in the short-term. The government should also set aside its budget planning cap on permanent migration numbers with a view to making-up for lost NOM and reducing the permanent hit to Australia’s population.

I also argue that the government’s National Population and Planning Framework risks state government capture of federal immigration policy.

There is write-up of the report by Shane Wright in the SMH/Age.

posted on 16 November 2020 by skirchner in Population & Migration

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How the activist Fed will pile more pressure on the RBA

I have an op-ed in the AFR explaining how the Fed’s new inflation targeting strategy differs from the RBA and how it will put pressure on the RBA to lift its game.

posted on 31 August 2020 by skirchner in Monetary Policy

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My Guest Apperance on the BIP Show

My guest apperance on the BIP Show podcast. We talk the US economy, election, MMT and more.

posted on 24 July 2020 by skirchner in Economics

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Enduring partners: The US-Australia investment relationship

The United States Studies Centre has released a new report, Enduring partners: The US-Australia investment relationship, by David Uren. The report is a follow-up and update to our landmark 2017 report, Indispensable Economic Partners on the bilateral investment relationship.

In the latest report, I take the opportunity to update my model of the determinants of inward FDI published in the Australian Economic Review in 2012. The model still holds up quite well adding data up to Q1 2020 and can be used to benchmark Australia’s inward FDI performance relative to economic fundamentals since the Australia-US FTA came into force in 2005.

posted on 16 July 2020 by skirchner in Foreign Investment

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China’s behaviour warrants increased scrutiny of foreign investment

I have an op-ed in The Mandarin on the government’s new national security test for foreign acquisitions. Full text below the fold.

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posted on 09 July 2020 by skirchner in

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My interview with David Beckworth’s Macro Musings podcast

My interview with David Beckworth’s Macro Musings podcast is now available. We talk inflation vs NGDP targeting, Australia’s recent macroeconomic history and what they put in the water at the BIS.

posted on 30 June 2020 by skirchner in Monetary Policy

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Globalisation and labour productivity in the OECD: What are the implications for post-pandemic recovery and resilience?

I have a new report out with the United States Studies Centre on ‘Globalisation and labour productivity in the OECD: What are the implications for post-pandemic recovery and resilience?’

Globalisation is measured on the basis of both the depth and breadth of international connections and so is consistent with seeking greater diversification among trading partners to increase resilience to international shocks.

The report finds a positive relationship between globalisation and productivity for the OECD over the period 1970-2017 and provides a basis for measuring the loss of productivity due to the COVID-19 de-globalisation shock.

The report also finds a negative relationship between the government share of consumption spending and labour productivity, pointing to the need to wind back COVID-19 stimulus measures in the long-run, although these should not be withdrawn prematurely.

The report underscores the importance of restoring and improving Australia’s international connectedness as part of the government’s effort to boost post-pandemic productivity and resilience.

posted on 04 June 2020 by skirchner in Economics

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The US is central to this China trade quarrel

I have an op-ed in The Canberra Times on why Australia-China trade tensions are as much about our trade and industry policy as they are about our foreign policy.

posted on 25 May 2020 by skirchner in Free Trade & Protectionism

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Birmingham on thin ice challenging China to take Australia to the WTO

I have an op-ed in the AFR arguing our barley producers are just as much casualties of Australian industry and trade policy as they are of Chinese foreign policy. As one trade lawyer put it to me, China will wait for Australia to launch a WTO case, then retaliate with WTO complaints against our duties on Chinese imports and negotiate the cases jointly at the WTO.

posted on 15 May 2020 by skirchner in Free Trade & Protectionism

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My Substack newsletter

This blog is a legacy medium, but still has a few hundred subscribers via RSS. If you would prefer to get content alerts via email rather than RSS, you can do so via my Substack newsletter.

posted on 30 April 2020 by skirchner in Economics

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What COVID-19 means for Australian productivity

I have a piece at the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia blog on the implications of the current pandemic for Australian labour productivity based on my recent report for USSC.

David Uren also writes up my report for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute blog, The Strategist.

posted on 23 April 2020 by skirchner in Economics

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Coronavirus means globalisation has suffered but we must not give up on trade links

I have an op-ed at ABC Online arguing that the current disruptions to the global economy dramatise the hidden benefits of globalisation. We can now see more clearly than ever the extent to which our standard of living depends on integration with the global economy.

posted on 17 April 2020 by skirchner in

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Failure to converge? The Australia-US productivity gap in long-run perspective

I have a new report out with the United States Studies Centre on the Australia-US productivity gap in long-run perspective.

The report discusses the relationship between US and Australian productivity and how the openness of the Australian economy has allowed us to import productivity trends from the global frontier represented by the United States.

A key implication is that the globalisation of the Australian economy is an important determinant of Australian productivity growth. The slower pace of globalisation since the mid-2000s explains the slowdown in productivity growth in ways that competing explanations do not.

The report concludes that re-establishing and improving Australia’s international connectedness must be a priority for Australian policymakers in the aftermath of the pandemic.

posted on 16 April 2020 by skirchner in Free Trade & Protectionism

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My interview with Scott Sumner

My interview with Scott Sumner from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University on monetary and fiscal policy responses to the pandemic, the future of globalisation and his forthcoming book on market monetarism.

posted on 14 April 2020 by skirchner in Economics

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