The Productivity Zombie

Co-presented with the Evatt Foundation

The Evatt Foundation has brought together a panel of distinguished speakers to present critical perspectives on productivity, the most resilient concept in public debate over the direction of Australia’s economic policy since the 1980s. What do policy-makers and commentators mean when they talk about productivity? What is the relationship between productivity, social justice and the environment? Was the 1998 waterfront dispute a watershed in raising stevedoring productivity? Do the Gonski reforms offer the prospect of creating real life in place of the dead ideas that continue to walk among us?

Chaired by Rebecca Santos, Assistant Secretary of the Evatt Foundation.


Carmen Lawrence

Carmen Lawrence is a professorial fellow at the University of Western Australia, and was a member of the Australian government’s panel that reviewed school funding chaired by David Gonski. She is a former premier of Western Australia and a former minister in the Keating government.

John Quiggin

John Quiggin is professor of economics at the University of Queensland and a well known public commentator, whose most recent book is Zombie economics: how dead ideas still walk among us (2010).

Christopher Sheil

Christopher Sheil is a fellow at the University of NSW, an adjunct professor at Boston University and the president of the Evatt Foundation. He is writing a book on Australia’s 1998 waterfront dispute.

Frank Stilwell

Frank Stilwell is emeritus professor of political economy at the University of Sydney and an executive member of the Evatt Foundation. His most recent book is an updated edition of Political economy: the contest of economic ideas (2012).