In the Media

As an economist, I think it is important to promote my work and actively take part in policy debates in various arenas, including the media.

My study entitled “Internet usage and educational outcomes among 15-year old Australian” received significant media attention worldwide. For example, the study featured in news stories by CNN, CBS, The Guardian, The Times of London, and Toronto Star internationally. Domestically, the study was covered by most major newspapers and television outlets, including The Australia, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, as well as ABC News 24, SBS World News, 9 News, 10 News, and 7 News. This study was cited hundreds of time in the international media over August and September 2016. 

Recently, I was also asked by the Australian Institute of International Affairs to write a piece about Venezuela-Colombia relations in light of the Venezuelan's government choice to expel a large number of Colombian migrants in that country. The piece argues that severe economic mismanagement has caused chaos in Venezuela. Therefore President Nicolás Maduro is using Colombian migrants as a scapegoat.

I wrote a piece for The Conversation on the implications of Cuba-US renewed diplomatic relations for the rest of the Latin American region, particularly Neo-Socialist countries. I was invited by Radio 2SER in Sydney to discuss the Venezuelan crisis. I talked about how out-of-control government expenditure coupled with price ceilings lead to the worse economic crisis in Venezuela’s history. The crisis is a story of bad policies and unsustainable practices with important lessons for the Latin American region and beyond.

I have also been interviewed in ABC Weekend Breakfast with Andrew Geoghegan and Eliza HarveyABC NewsRadio Drive with Tracey Holmes and in Breakfast with Red Symons on ABC Melbourne about how our recent research on sports economics and player productivity can be used to predict the chances of the Australian team making it past the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Unfortunately for the Socerroos, this does not look likely!
The Australian Financial Review featured several stories by RMIT researchers including a snapshot of what Simon Feeny, Lachlan McDonald and I (with collaboration with many others) have been doing in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. The story highlights various features of our work, including our finding that women in these societies bear a substantial burden of the adjustment to macroeconomic shocks, at the household level. A shorter version of this piece can be found here.
I have been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to participate in 'Talking Business' as well as receiving media attention from other outlets. Talking Business' is a weekly review of the Australian economy produced by journalists Leon Gettler and Gary Barker, and sponsored by the College of Business at RMIT University. Each weekly episode consists of three segments: Part A: an interview with a leading figure in business (Australian mostly, but also visitors from overseas) Part B: and an examination with an economist of the latest significant Australian Bureau of Statistics figures Part C: a review of the week in business. I speak in Part B. This has given me the opportunity to review and comment on features generally outside my area of research, which focuses on developing countries. For example, I have commented on issues such as union membership in Australia, its falling numbers and its implications for policy makers. Interestingly, union membership has fallen across most countries. However, does this necessarily mean that workers will be worse off? I guess wages will depend more on your own bargaining power, which will be a function of your own level of skill. I have also commented on Australia's trade deficit. Economists worry a lot less about trade deficits than politicians. Let's remember that balance of payments by definition balances, and a trade deficit means capital account surplus. Arguably, a large flow of foreign capital decreases the cost of funds and raises investment, which leads to higher economic growth. That sounds like a pretty good thing! Moreover, we now know that heavily relying on exports can lead to significant levels of volatility. I also spoke about the gender wage gap in Australia and other OECD countries. Although, gender wage inequality has narrowed in recent years, the gap still remains. The question is, therefore, should governments interfere. Economists, for the most part, argue that government interference is a last resort. In this case, many economists argue that a gender wage gap may exist because of a higher risk premium associated with hiring women, due to maternity leave benefits (for example). Others, however, suggest that discrimination is rampant in labour markets. In fact, there is a lot of evidence of discrimination based on gender, race and even sexual preferences! Additionally, did you know that better looking people receive a wage premium?