Transforming Australia into an outward looking economy: why the 1940s matters

Crawford School of Public Policy | Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis | Other | Research School of Economics

Event details

Public Lecture

Date & time

Thursday 10 May 2018


Acton Theatre, Level 1, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


David Vines, University of Oxford.


Rossana Bastos Pinto
61 2 6125 8108

In this talk Professor Vines will describe the radical shift in thinking by the generation of economists who worked in Canberra during and immediately after World War II, including Nugget Coombs, John Crawford, Lyndhurst Giblin, Leslie Melville, and, especially, Trevor Swan.

Their work made possible a Keynesian policy of rapid economic growth and high immigration that was outward-looking; it ensured that outcomes were no longer constrained by the gold standard, as had been the case during the Great Depression. The postwar era was transformed globally by the Bretton Woods Institutions and became known as a golden age; these Canberra economists saw their task as that of ensuring that Australia prospered during this period. It was Trevor Swan who showed how all the pieces fitted together. What this group of economists did laid the foundations for the later Hawke-Keating reforms.

In this seminar Vines will describe the work that he has been doing in the National Library of Australia on the ideas and actions of these economists, holding a National Library of Australia Fellowship.

David Vines is Emeritus Professor of Economics and Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College at the University of Oxford. He is the Director of the Ethics and Economics Programme at the Oxford Martin School and a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London. He is also a Research Associate at CAMA and a Co-Director of CAMA Globalisation and Trade Program. You can find his full bio here.

This public lecture is jointly organised by the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy and by the Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics.

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