Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ken Henry Tells Economists to Get Behind Policy Proposals

And stop arguing in public reports Peter Martin. Would we argue that medical doctors who believe there are problems with some treatment should not speak out because it is better than no treatment at all and the medical profession should form a united front to the public? What is the proper role of academic economists in policy debates? Do you agree with Henry?


  1. I am with Henry on this one. I think resource tax(on super profits) makes sense, although one might argue whether 40% is high or is it about right. Nevertheless, economist who disagree with his proposal should be encouraged to express their point of view and if they have good alternate proposals Labor govt must be willing to make amendments to the current proposal.

  2. From this, you mean you are with Henry on the RSPT rather than on his views that economists should all adopt a consensus on policy proposals? He was particularly referring to the debate over the ETS vs. carbon taxes and other hybrids.

    So the question really is, should Warwick McKibbin and others have just gotten behind the government's proposal on the ETS and stopped promoting alternative approaches?

  3. That is a difficult question to answer. Cap and trade would result in price uncertainty whereas McKibbin and others proposal would have resulted in price/or quantity uncertainty. The major culprit in this issue is uncertainty.

    But, in the end some sort of compromise would have been better than business as usual.