Bruce Chapman's picture

Bruce Chapman

Director, Policy Impact


Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours) Australian National University, 1973

Ph.D (Yale University), 1982, Thesis Title: ‘An Economic Analysis of Quit Behaviour: A Case Study of Young U.S. Males’

Contact details

Phone: 6125 4050

Room: Crawford 3.56

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Bruce Chapman is an economist and has worked at The Australian National University since 1984. He has extensive experience in public policy, including: the motivation and design of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (the first national income contingent loan scheme using the income tax system for collection) in 1989; engagement with the empirical and conceptual basis related to long-term unemployment leading to the Working Nation program in 1994; as a senior economic advisor to Prime Minister Paul Keating, 1994-96; as a higher education financing consultant to the World Bank and the governments of Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Canada, the UK, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malaysia, Colombia, the US, Chile and China, 1996-2013; as a consultant to the Bradley Review of Australian Higher Education on student income support, 2008; and as a consultant to the Australian Government’s Base Funding Review, 2011.

He has published over 200 papers on a range of issues, including income contingent loans, long-term unemployment, the meaning of job flows data, the economics of crime, the economics of cricket, fertility, marital separation and government as risk manager. Over the last several years he has convened conferences, and written extensively, on the application of income contingent loans to a host of social and economic reform issues, such as for the financing of drought relief, low level criminal fines, elite athlete training, paid parental leave, white collar crime, community based investment projects, Indigenous business investment, and for taxing the brain drain.

He was elected to the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia in 1993, received an Order of Australia in 2003 for contributions to economic policy, and was elected President of the Australian Society of Labour Economics (2004-07) and President of the Economics Society of Australia (2007-13). He was made Distinguished Fellow of the Economics Society of Australia in 2015. He is quite friendly, excessively modest and is a tenacious, fanatical and mediocre bridge player.

Prizes, fellowships and distinctions

  • 2007-2012 President, Economics Society of Australia (elected)
  • 2009 “Who’s Who in the World”
  • 2008 Sippanonda Distinguished Research Scholar, DPU University, Thailand (awarded)
  • 2008 Invited participant, 2020 Summit (March)
  • 2006 Edward Shann Memorial Lecture, University of Western Australia
  • 2004 Australian National University Economics Hall of Fame (appointed)
  • 2003 “Who’s Who in Australia”
  • 2003-2006 President, Australian Society of Labour Economists (elected)
  • 2001 Order of Australia (General Division) for contributions to the development of Australian economic, labour market and social policy
  • 1993 Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia (elected)
  • 1978-79 Brookings Institution Research Fellowship
  • 1975-78 Yale University Graduate School Fellowships
  • 1975 Fulbright Travel Award
  • 1972 United Commercial Travellers’ Association of Australia Award, for finishing First in Economics III, ANU

Research interests

  • Labour Economics
  • The Economics of Education (higher education student financing)
  • Economics Policy
  • Applied Econometrics
  • The Economics of Crime
  • The Economics of Sport


Case Studies in Economic Policy (2009 - ); PhD seminar convenor (2012 - ); Case Studies in Applied Econometrics (2007); Labour Economics (1990-2000); Economics 1 and 3 (University of Adelaide (1980-84).

Updated:  24 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team