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Microeconomic Reform and Productivity Growth

Workshop proceedings

These proceedings were released on 4 August 1998. The workshop, organised by the Australian National University and the Industry Commission, was held in February 1998. The focus of the workshop was on the nexus between microeconomic reform and productivity performance.

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  • Contents

Preliminaries
Cover, Copyright, Foreword, Contents, Abbreviations, Definition of productivity measures

PART A INTRODUCTION

1 Introduction
Gary Banks

PART B CONCEPTS AND MEASUREMENT ISSUES

2 Construction and use of measures to guide microeconomic reform
Catherine Morrison

3 The effects of microeconomic reforms on product and factor markets
John Freebairn

4 A growth theory perspective on the effects of microeconomic reform
John Quiggin

PART C INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS AND EXPERIENCE

5 Explaining the pick-up in Australian productivity performance
Steve Dowrick

6 Microeconomic reform: the New Zealand experience
Brian Easton

PART D THE AUSTRALIAN PERSPECTIVE

7 A general review of productivity analyses in Australia
Peter Dawkins and Mark Rogers

8 Trade liberalisation and manufacturing industry productivity growth
Satish Chand, Paulene McCalman and Paul Gretton

9 Economic policy issues of reform in the utilities and services industries
Peter Forsyth

10 The effects of microeconomic reform in telecommunications
Robert Albon

11 Effects of the labour market on microeconomic reform in Australia
Judith Sloan

12 Microeconomic reform and displaced workers — an introduction
Jeff Borland

PART E SUMMING UP

13 A summing up
R. G. Gregory

PART F APPENDIX

A Workshop Participants

Productivity growth plays a central role in improving living standards. Microeconomic reform is intended to stimulate productivity growth, but there are important unresolved questions. How effective have different Australians reforms actually been? What lessons can be learnt from overseas?

These questions are examined by leading analysts of the micro-reform process in the Productivity Commission/Australian National University Workshop Proceedings, released today.

The Proceedings cover concepts and measurement issues, analyse the recent growth performance of Australia and New Zealand, and include case studies of microeconomic reform in Australia.

The Workshop was held in February 1998. It examined important questions concerning the link between microeconomic reform and the process of growth, including:

  • How well can productivity be measured?
  • How does microeconomic reform improve productivity and growth?
  • How important is microeconomic reform relative to the other drivers of productivity improvement?
  • What microeconomic policies provide the greatest leverage for growth?
  • How should we assess the costs of improving productivity, and how can adjustment issues best be handled?

While microeconomic reform is intended to improve living standards, it is clear that it remains under challenge in the community generally and even in some sections of the economics profession itself. The dialogue stimulated by the Workshop is part of a wider process to address these concerns and, ultimately, to enable governments to improve the management of ongoing reform.

Further information

Leonora Nicol (Media and Publications) 02 6240 3239 / 0417 665 443