Robert Breunig's picture

Robert Breunig



Ph. D. (Economics), University of California Riverside, 1998

Bachelor of International Studies, School for International Training, 1987

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Robert Breunig conducts research in three main areas: economics of the household; empirical industrial organization; and statistical and econometric theory. In recent work, he has studied the inter-generational transmission of dependence on government assistance; he has examined the relationship between women’s labour supply and child care policy and studied optimal child care subsidy policies; he has examined the complex relationship between outsourcing and innovation; and he has evaluated new econometric techniques for analyzing panel data models of binary outcomes.

He publishes regularly in respected, international journals. His research is motivated by important social policy issues and debates. His work is characterized by careful empirical study and appropriate use of statistical technique.

Robert Breunig’s research agenda have led to many partnerships with government organizations in Australia and overseas. He works regularly with the Australian Treasury, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Innovation as well as many other agencies. He has been a consultant to private sector on marketing, mergers, bank competition and customer loyalty programs.
Robert Breunig particularly enjoys interaction outside of typical academic circles and takes pleasure in helping those who don’t usually use economics or statistical analysis to better understand and make use of these tools in their work. He has an extensive track record of helping the public service to build research capacity which he views as a particularly important activity.

He has received grant support from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Australian Research Council.

Research interests

Robert Breunig has a wide variety of research interests in applied topics in labour economics, economics of the household, empirical industrial organization and econometric theory.

Recent publications and working papers have included work on:

  • Women’s labour supply
  • Optimal child care policy
  • The wage gap between immigrants and non-immigrants in Australia
  • The effect of immigration on wages and labour market outcomes of native Australians
  • Innovation and outsourcing
  • Research and Development spillovers
  • Wage inequality
  • Probit panel data models (theoretical econometrics)
  • Firm-level productivity
  • Sovereign ratings and resources
  • Elasticity estimation in transport economics
  • Merger policy
  • Household financial difficulty

Robert Breunig is one of the instigators of the Youth in Focus. project. This is a major new data gathering initiative and research project which will lead to a better understanding of how disadvantage and advantage are transmitted from one generation to another.


Professor Breunig teaches POGO8081: Economics for Government and IDEC8023: Case Studies in Applied Econometrics.

Professor Breunig offers a wide variety of courses designed to improve research capacity of government public servants and fellow academics. See the “advisory work” tab on this web page.

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