Keith Hancock Lectures

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The Keith Hancock Lecture is named in honour of Emeritus Professor Keith Hancock AO – a Fellow of the academy since 1968, academy President for the period 1981–1984 and one of two Australians who are Honorary Fellows of the London School of Economics. The annual lecture was inaugurated in 2009. The academy Fellows are invited each year to nominate distinguished social scientist to present the Keith Hancock Lecture.As part of the academy’s Outreach program the lecture is presented twice—first at the lecturer’s home university and then at another venue usually in a different city.

Retirement income design with an ageing demographic (at UNSW)

Date: Monday, 2 September 2013

Time: 5.30 PM to 6.30 PM

Venue: Tyree Room
John Niland Scientia Building
University of New South Wales
Kensington NSW

The Academy in conjunction with UNSW and CEPAR, is pleased to present the 2013 Keith Hancock Lecture by Scientia Professor John Piggott, a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

Population ageing has challenged the standard 20th century retirement income paradigm, which relies on ever-growing payrolls to finance retirees. These structures have become unsustainable in many countries, and public promises have not been kept.

In this lecture, the challenges of retirement income provision in an era of demographic ageing are explained, and alternative approaches to the financing and design of retirement incomes are explored. Research analysis will be combined with country experience to argue for a set of policies suitable for this new demographic environment.

Note: This lecture was also presented on Thursday, 5 September 2013 at The Australian National University in conjunction with Crawford School of Public Policy.

Link: Presentation from the Lecture at ANU

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Retirement income design with an ageing demographic (at ANU)

Date: Thursday, 5 September 2013

Time: 5.50 PM for a 6.00 PM start

Venue: Weston Theatre
J.G. Crawford Building
132 Lennox Crossing
The Australian National University

Link : Parking at venue

The Academy in conjunction with Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University, is pleased to present the 2013 Keith Hancock Lecture by Scientia Professor John Piggott, a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

Population ageing has challenged the standard 20th century retirement income paradigm, which relies on ever-growing payrolls to finance retirees. These structures have become unsustainable in many countries, and public promises have not been kept. 
In this lecture, the challenges of retirement income provision in an era of demographic ageing are explained, and alternative approaches to the financing and design of retirement incomes are explored. Research analysis will be combined with country experience to argue for a set of policies suitable for this new demographic environment. 

Note: This lecture was also presented on Monday, 2 September 2013 at the University of New South Wales.

 

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Wage inequality

Wage inequality has been increasing in most industrialized countries over the last three decades. There are, nonetheless, major differences across countries in terms of the timing and magnitude of the growth in inequality. A large number of explanations have been suggested for these observed changes, including technological progress and the computer revolution, labour market institutions and social norms, and changes in the relative supply of highly educated workers. This paper assesses the validity of these explanations in light of the large differences in inequality growth across countries, and the stunning growth in the concentration of income at the top end of the distribution.

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The poor relation

What are the social sciences? What do they do? How are they practised in Australia? This lecture considers the place of the social sciences in the teaching and research conducted by Australian universities.

The social sciences were constituted as academic disciplines to meet urgent needs as Australia fought the Second World War and prepared for post-war reconstruction. The lecture accordingly explores their contribution to public policy and appraises the arrangements made to support them.

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A Model of Confusion – Why economic modelling is ruining public policy and public debate and what can be done about it

RSVP for the Sydney Lecture

Bookings are essential. Please RSVP by 19 May 2016

Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 6.00pm
Law School Foyer Level 2, Sydney Law School Eastern Avenue The University of Sydney

Economic Modelling now plays a significant role in the development of public policy development and the conduct of public debate in Australia. Modelling has been central to the case for and against the carbon tax, the mining tax and industrial relations reform. But the widespread use of economic modelling is not matched with widespread understanding of its strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. When used well economic modelling can help policy makers understand the existence, and magnitude, of likely interrelationships; when used poorly it can conceal those same linkages; and when use dishonestly it can be used as a tool to dress up the self-interest of advocates as national interest.

In this address Richard Denniss will outline the use and abuse of economic modelling in Australia and argue the case for a Code of Conduct for economic modelling. 

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Resilience and fragility in the Asian Century

Behind every policy strategy, of government or business, lies a narrative that contextualises and justifies a course of action.  Restrictive immigration policies are necessary to prevent an oversupply of labour and a taxing of our natural resources… allegedly. Who develops these narratives and how well informed are they? Often they derive from the thinking of influential foreign and supranational organisations, or the conventional wisdom and philosophies of domestic political parties and powerful media organisations. In this lecture, Simon Ville argues that the design of narratives that best shape our future must draw deeply upon our national historical experience.

The newly-published Cambridge Economic History of Australia provides a modern statement of our past experience to guide our economic narratives for the Asian century, highlighting our sources of resilience and exposing our potential frailties. 

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A case for pluralism in economics

Economics is unique among the social sciences in having a single monolithic mainstream, which is either unaware of or actively hostile to alternative approaches.

In this lecture Professor John King of La Trobe University will present a case for pluralism in economics, derived from the complex and ceaselessly changing nature of the world in which we live. Professor King argues that ‘Economics is unique among the social sciences in having a single monolithic mainstream, which is either unaware of or actively hostile to alternative approaches.’

He will concentrate on two arguments. First, economic reality is very complicated, so that the questions that economists ask are therefore inherently difficult, and it is unlikely that they have simple answers. Since no theory can consider all relevant factors in any particular economic context, this establishes a strong prima facie case for theoretical pluralism. Second, economic reality is fluid and subject to continuous change, so that the quest for a single, ‘general’ theory applicable to human behaviour in all societies, at all points in time, is a delusion.

To illustrate the case for pluralism Professor King will draw on the recent history of the global economy, the problems encountered in understanding it solely in terms of mainstream macroeconomics, and the dangerous policy implications that have been drawn from mainstream theory.

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Resilience and fragility in the Asian Century

Behind every policy strategy, of government or business, lies a narrative that contextualises and justifies a course of action. Restrictive immigration policies are necessary to prevent an oversupply of labour and a taxing of our natural resources… allegedly. Who develops these narratives and how well informed are they? Often they derive from the thinking of influential foreign and supranational organisations, or the conventional wisdom and philosophies of domestic political parties and powerful media organisations. In this lecture, Simon Ville argues that the design of narratives that best shape our future must draw deeply upon our national historical experience. The newly-published Cambridge Economic History of Australia provides a modern statement of our past experience to guide our economic narratives for the Asian century, highlighting our sources of resilience and exposing our potential frailties.

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Contact Information

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

  • Location: 26 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601
  • Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
  • +61 .2 62491788
  • +61 .2 62474335
  • secretariat@assa.edu.au

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