News story 27th Nov 2015

Introducing the ESA Monash Forum

Monash Business School, in partnership with the Economics Society of Australia, is excited to introduce the ESA Monash Forum, a new space for thought-provoking economic debate and analysis.

The forum brings together the country's most distinguished economists to provide insight and analysis on national and global economic issues. It is a dynamic platform for the National Economic Panel to evaluate emerging trends and provide fresh perspectives on the economic and public policy challenges of today and the future.

Monash ESA Forum

"The aim of the forum is to contribute to economic debate, fostering a broad and deep exchange of ideas to illuminate some of the pressing economic issues of today," said Professor Rodney Maddock, Adjunct Professor of Economics at Monash Business School and President of the Victoria branch of the ESA.

Through the forum, the panellists will address a topical and relevant issue. It is designed to explore to which extent these Australian economists agree or disagree on key national and global public policy issues, through regular polling of the eminent economists on the ESA's National Economic Panel.

In addition, they are asked to rate their level of confidence in their answer on a scale of 1-10. Lastly, each panellist is offered the opportunity to provide an assessment or comment regarding their viewpoint.

For each question presented, an economist from the Forum will provide a commentary.

For this round, more than 80 per cent of our panellists responded, which is an excellent outcome."

The first statement the Panel was asked to discuss was regarding penalty rates reform:

Aligning penalty rates for hospitality, entertainment and retailing industries with the current levels for Saturday, as proposed in the Productivity Commission's draft report, will lead to more employment and greater availability of services in these industries on Sundays.

The panel members were largely in agreement with the statement, with 45 per cent stating they strongly agreed and 35 per cent stating they agreed. 12.5 per cent of respondents were uncertain, 2.5 per cent disagreed with the statement and only 0.5 per cent strongly disagreed.

Most respondents were quite confident in their responses, with only two panellists providing a rate of 5 or lower.

The first commentary was provided by Professor Bruce Chapman, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australia National University.

You can find more information on the ESA Monash Forum and the first question with commentary on our website: