Emeritus Professor Bruce Chapman


Research School of Economics


Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies & Statistics

Sir Roland Wilson Chair of Economics
Phone number
+61 2 612 54050
Room 2098, Copland Bld (24)
Research areas
  • Labour Economics
  • The Economics of Education (higher education student financing)
  • Economics Policy
  • Applied Econometrics
  • The Economics of Crime
  • The Economics of Sport

Bruce Chapman is an Emeritus Professor of economics and has worked at The Australian National University since 1984. He has extensive experience in public policy, including: the motivation and design of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (the first national income contingent loan scheme using the income tax system for collection) in 1989; engagement with the empirical and conceptual basis related to long-term unemployment leading to the Working Nation program in 1994; as a senior economic advisor to Prime Minister Paul Keating, 1994-96; as a higher education financing consultant to the World Bank and the governments of Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Canada, the UK, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malaysia, Colombia, the US, Chile and China, 1996-2013; as a consultant to the Bradley Review of Australian Higher Education on student income support, 2008; and as a consultant to the Australian Government’s Base Funding Review, 2011.

He has published over 200 papers on a range of issues, including income contingent loans, long-term unemployment, the meaning of job flows data, the economics of crime, the economics of cricket, fertility, marital separation and government as risk manager. Over the last several years he has convened conferences, and written extensively, on the application of income contingent loans to a host of social and economic reform issues, such as for the financing of drought relief, low level criminal fines, elite athlete training, paid parental leave, white collar crime, community based investment projects, Indigenous business investment, and for taxing the brain drain.

He was elected to the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia in 1993, received an Order of Australia in 2003 for contributions to economic policy, and was elected President of the Australian Society of Labour Economics (2004-07) and President of the Economics Society of Australia (2007-13). He was made Distinguished Fellow of the Economics Society of Australia in 2015. He is quite friendly, excessively modest and is a tenacious, fanatical and mediocre bridge player.


Research publications

  • “Reforming the German Student Loans System” (with Mathias Sinning) (forthcoming 2013), Education Economics.
  • “Revenue Forgone from Unpaid HECS When Graduates go Overseas to Work” (with Tim Higgins), (forthcoming 2013), Australian Economic Review.
  • “What’s love got to do with it? Homogenous preferences and dyadic approaches to understanding marital instability” (with Rebecca Kippen, Peng Yu and Kiatanantha Lounkaew, (forthcoming, 2013), Journal of Population Research).
  • “How many Jobs is 23,510, really?” (with Kiatanantha Lounkaew) (forthcoming, 2013), Australian Journal of Labour Economics.
  • “Introduction” (with Kiatanantha Lounkaew) (forthcoming, 2013), Economics of Education Review (Special Issue on Education Policy).
  • “Repayment burdens with Vietnamese student loan policy” (with Amy Liu) (forthcoming, 2013), Economics of Education Review (Special Issue on Education Policy).


Case Studies in Economic Policy (2009 - ); PhD seminar convenor (2012 - ); Case Studies in Applied Econometrics (2007); Labour Economics (1990-2000); Economics 1 and 3 (University of Adelaide (1980-84).