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Assessing the Importance of National Economic Reform - Australian Productivity Commission experience

Conference paper

This paper was presented by Paul Gretton to the Conference on the Micro Foundations of Economic Policy Performance in Asia, New Delhi, 3-4 April 2008. The paper draws on inquiry and research material prepared by the Productivity Commission to share Australia’s experience in assessing the importance of national economic reform and the role of the Productivity Commission in this process.

An important part of the Commission’s work has been to report on the potential economic benefits of national reform programs in Australia. The Commission’s investigations are supported by economic modelling of reforms.

The Commission’s modelling of the economic impacts and potential benefits of reform adopts an economy-wide approach and demonstrates that well structured reform can deliver substantial economic benefits, including higher incomes to regions and across household groups. To achieve the productivity potential, the market needs to be flexible so that labour and capital can choose to move to areas of greatest opportunity.

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Contents

Introduction

About the Australian Productivity Commission

Main elements of the Commission's inquiry process

National Competition Policy reform

Modelling the impacts of reform

Assessing regional effects

Assessing the distributional effects reform

A new Australian National Reform Agenda

Summing up

References

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