Australian Economic Review

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  • Press Release
December 06, 2009
Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Institute releases December 2009 issue of the Australian Economic Review

The December issue of the quarterly Australian Economic Review (AER vol. 42, no. 4) has now been released. The AER is produced by the Melbourne Institute, The University of Melbourne, and includes articles from leading academics and experts.

This issue includes a lecture by Howard Davies, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, that examines the role of central banks in the global financial crisis. It is argued that central banks should have paid more attention to asset price bubbles. The lecture is entitled ‘Pricking Bubbles in the Wind: Could Central Banks Have Done More to Head Off the Financial Crisis?’

Contributed articles in the December issue are:

  • ‘Political Cycles in the Australian Stock Market since Federation’ by Andrew C. Worthington. This article examines the political cycle in Australian stock returns from 1901 to 2005 as defined by the party in power (Labor or non-Labor), ministerial tenure and election information effects.
  • ‘Assessing the Costs of a Haulage Regime’ by Nick Wills-Johnson. This article examines likely impacts of a regulated rail haulage regime for Australia’s iron ore railways, using data from US railways. The article finds, with some caveats, that haulage seems more appropriate to the Pilbara situation than access.
  • ‘Skill Upgrading in New Zealand, 1986–2001’ by Dean Hyslop and Dave Maré.
  • ‘Dynamic Gains and Market Access Insurance: Another Look at the Australia–US Free Trade Agreement’ by Richard G. Harris and Peter E. Robertson.

 The Policy Forum section of this issue includes five articles on Financial Regulation after the Global Financial Crisis:

  • ‘Financial Regulation after the Global Financial Crisis’ by Kevin Davis.
  • ‘What We Have Learned and Not Learned from the Current Crisis about Financial Reform’ by Robert A. Eisenbeis.
  • ‘The Future of Financial Regulation: Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis’ by R. J. Edgar.
  • ‘Financial Regulation: The Risks of Unintended Consequences or Early Mover Disadvantages’ by Martin Codina.
  • ‘Regulation of Retail Financial Services’ by Deborah Ralston.

The Policy Forum article by Kevin Davis discusses how the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has prompted a wide range of ad hoc government responses internationally that include new forms of government involvement in the financial sector and new forms of financial regulation. He outlines that short-term responses include measures to promote investor confidence (such as government guarantees of bank deposits and debt); ‘unfreeze’ and restore liquidity to capital markets; prevent destabilizing speculation (such as by imposing short-selling bans); and to resolve troubled or failed financial institutions (such as by partial nationalisation).

Also in the Policy Forum section, articles by Martin Codina and Bob Edgar address the topic of how much, and what type of, change in financial regulation is likely and/or needed in Australia. They both see a need to ensure that proposed financial regulation in overseas jurisdictions is not inappropriately imported into Australia.

The article by Robert Eisenbeis, chief monetary economist at Cumberland Advisors Inc. (New Jersey), provides an overview of the regulatory responses to date, with an emphasis on the role of incentive structures for regulators and for financial institution managers arising from moral hazard associated with ‘too-big-to-fail’ or implicit and explicit guarantees. Deborah Ralston’s article points out that when the GFC struck, a program of reviewing consumer protection and rationalisation of regulation was already in train.

The AER December issue also contains a survey article entitled ‘Market Data Resources for Researchers: The SIRCA Data Repository’ by Maurice Peat.

In the ‘For the Student’ section of the AER, John Creedy’s article, ‘Personal Income Taxation: From Theory to Policy’, examines the relationship between economic theory and personal income tax and transfer policy.