The Political Economy of Permanent Productivity Crisis
25 February, 2015
9.30 AM - 5.00 PM
The Political Economy of Permanent Productivity Crisis - the Productivity Commission’s role in economic and social policy in Australia
What: Political Economy: Productivity Crisis - the Productivity Commission's role in economic and social policy in Australia
When: Wednesday 25 February 2015
Where: Darlington Centre Boardroom, University of Sydney, Australia
Conference Theme: the Productivity Commission's role in economic and social policy in Austalia
Since at least the mid-1970s, there have been claims of recurring productivity crises in Australia, and elsewhere. Over this time the Productivity Commission (in its current and earlier guises) has performed the role of ‘advocate in chief’ within government for the productivity crises thesis, especially in regard to industry policy, industrial relations and government regulation. It has recently expanded its role into social policy with reports on gambling, indigenous welfare, child care, vocational education and the national disability scheme.
It is timely therefore, to reflect on the ideas that animate the Commission’s approach and its role in economic and social policy formulation within government. Papers from a variety of disciplines such as heterodox economics, economic history, industrial relations, social policy and politics are invited for a conference organised by the Department of Political Economy, at the University of Sydney, on Wednesday 25 February 2015.
Critical analyses are invited on topics such as, but not limited to:
· the neoclassical concepts that define the PC’s economic analysis including, its conception of the causes and measurement of productivity growth; competition; bases of and gains from international trade; technical innovation and the functioning of labour markets
· the econometric modeling employed by the Commission (do the assumptions within the modelling maximise the cost of industry assistance and minimise its benefits?)
· historical perspectives on the evolution of the PC and the dynamic between government and the PC in setting policy over the years
· contemporary industry policy and the PC (neoclassical trade theory vs. active industry policy and the developmental state; the ‘Washington vs. Beijing Consensus’; how does the PC’s consistent advocacy of neoclassical trade theory stand in relation to the shift by major international institutions such as the World Bank, OECD and IMF to recognise the scope for state intervention in the industrial structure, innovation and firm performance)
· evaluations of specific PC Reports (are forecasts realised?)
· the PC approach to Industrial Relations- (does its conception of ‘contemporary human resource practices’ as comprising managerial prerogative; numerical, functional and wage flexibility and individual contracts match research and practice?)
· the conceptual bases and empirical data sources in PC reports on social policy (how consistent is its social policy analysis with its economic analysis? how well does it engage with other approaches to social policy?)
Expressions of interest in presenting a paper and/or interest in participating in the conference should be made to Assoc. Prof Stuart Rosewarne, firstname.lastname@example.org ph. 9351 2492 or Dr Phillip Toner, email@example.com ph.0414 334 626.
Papers should not exceed 5,000 words in length. The deadline for receipt of papers is 15 December 2014.
For further information regarding the conference and conference contributors please contact Assoc. Prof Stuart Rosewarne, firstname.lastname@example.org ph. 9351 2492 or Dr Phillip Toner, email@example.com ph.0414 334 626
Conference contributors will be invited to submit revised versions of their papers to The Economic and Labour Relations Review for double-blind peer-reviewing. It is intended to publish accepted articles in the second half of 2015.
- Productiivity Commision and Innovation Policy
- Productivity Commision & Auto Industry
- The Productivity Commission Report on Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements
- The Industries Assassination Commission
Power Point presentation: