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Beginner's guide to economics for the public sector

Crawford School of Public Policy | Executive course
Executive program

Summary

Course participants will develop an understanding of the key insights from economics and how they can be applied in policy and government settings.

See related courses: Beginner’s guide to microeconomics for the public sector and Beginner’s guide to macroeconomics for the public sector.

Course overview

Beginner’s guide to microeconomics for the public sector (Weeks 1-2)

Microeconomics analyses the behaviour of individual consumers, households and firms. It provides a framework for understanding decision-making by all of these agents in the economy. It examines motivations, incentives and decision-making processes. While its direct relevance to businesses is well understood, the insights and solutions that can be gained from microeconomics are equally important for the public sector. Successful policy design and implementation is greatly facilitated by a solid understanding of the responses and reactions of those influenced by policy.

This course takes you through basic concepts of microeconomics, including trade-offs, opportunity cost, supply and demand, taxes and subsidies, public goods, externalities and market failure. Competition, monopolies and regulation will also be examined. The course uses case studies, and competing viewpoints will be explored.

If you have ever wondered what economists really mean when they talk about key microeconomic concepts, this course is for you.

Beginner’s guide to macroeconomics for the public sector (Weeks 3-5)

Participants will develop an understanding of the relationship between government, the macro-economy and well-being. Participants will understand the basic concepts of macroeconomics including: economic output, productivity, growth, inflation, foreign investment, international trade and exchange rates. Participants will gain an understanding of a wide-range of aggregate economic statistics used by government and media.

Participants will learn about the role of key institutions such as the Reserve Bank of Australia in managing the national economy. Participants will learn about the role of the government in the macro-economy and develop an understanding of how to think about key policy issues such as: Should Australia be worried about deficit and debt? Can the government create more innovation and productivity? Can the government prevent economic crises?

Participants will learn about key concepts and statistics relating to the global economy including net foreign investment, the current account balance and exchange rate theory and purchasing power parity.

Students will learn:

  • Key insights from microeconomics and macroeconomics
  • Supply and demand
  • The role of markets and the importance of prices
  • Market failure and policy responses
  • The application of key insights to government and policy-making

Who should attend?

This course is designed for individuals at any level of their career who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of basic economics and its usefulness and application to policy issues. The course is designed for those with no economics background.

Course presenter(s)

Dr Adam Triggs

Adam is an economist and the Director of Research at the Asian Bureau of Economic Research at the Crawford School of Public Policy. He is a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Global Economy and Development program.

Adam is widely published in leading economics journals and is a regular contributor to the Australian Financial Review, The Conversation, East Asia Forum, The Monthly, Huffington Post and other Australian and regional publications.

In previous roles, Adam was a resident fellow at Brookings and worked as an economic policy advisor to the Shadow Assistant Treasurer of Australia, the Hon. Andrew Leigh MP, and is a former advisor at Prime Minister and Cabinet on the global economy and the G20. He is a former consultant at the Cape York Institute and a former mergers and acquisitions analyst at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Adam holds a bachelor’s degree in law, a bachelor’s degree in economics, a master’s degree in international economics and a PhD in macroeconomics.

A/Prof Paul Burke

Paul Burke is an economist at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy. He works on the economics of energy, the environment, and the economies of the Asia-Pacific. Paul has won a College prize for his teaching excellence and is a frequent contributor to Australian discussions on economic approaches to environmental challenges.

Updated:  17 October 2021/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team