Better Living through Economics – upcoming presentation at UQ

Economists have made immense contributions to people’s wellbeing over the last fifty years. An Australian example that comes to mind is the instrumental role economists played in advocating for and designing microeconomic reforms, including tariff reductions, privatisations and the deregulation of industries. Such reforms have resulted in a higher standard of living, including through cheaper cars, clothes and plane flights, for example. Also, economists at the Treasury (of which I was one) and the RBA were critical in developing effective policy responses to the financial crisis. So economists have much to celebrate and to be proud of.

Hence, I welcome an upcoming presentation by Vanderbilt University Emeritus Professor John Siegfried on “Better Living through Economics”, at the University of Queensland, Brisbane on the evening of Thursday 17 November. Professor Siegfried will speak on case studies in a 2012 book he edited regarding the positive contributions that economics has made to our daily lives over the last half century. You can register to attend via this event registration website:

Better Living through Economics

The presentation will occur in the exclusive Terrace Room in the Sir Llew Edwards Building, which offers a terrific view of Brisbane’s leafy western suburbs. You might even consider having dinner at UQ’s world renowned Pizza Caffe afterwards.

The presentation is being sponsored by the Economic Society of Australia (Qld) of which I am the Secretary, Griffith University, QUT and the University of Queensland.


Undeniably, the secret to better living is economics.

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3 Responses to Better Living through Economics – upcoming presentation at UQ

  1. Glen says:

    I think Australia is poorer for not having a better understanding of economics and how it can better people’s lives, it would be great to see basic principles of economics taught as standard school subjects to engage people overall. I had a neighbour years ago who as a high school teacher would apply economics to his maths classes in a way to get the students more involved. One of the scenarios he used was to look at the cost to society of burying people and maintaining cemeteries, the second part of the project they would then look at how much it would save if everyone was cremated, he then added a final scenario of how much could be made if we were all simply mulched up and used as fertiliser. It not only engaged the students from a numbers perspective but also added their own social and morale considerations to the equation.

  2. Malcolm J. says:

    Economists and politicians were convinced the deregulation of the electricity markets in Queensland would put downward pressure on electricity prices. Its not better living when power bills keep rising. Is the author just cherry-picking certain sectors to support their point?

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