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In a recent discussion convened by Treasury, Associate Professor Chung Tran from The Australian National University (ANU) was among an elite panel of 12 macroeconomic specialists advising the Australian government on its economic models.
“My recent research aims to better understand the role and effects of fiscal policy and taxation. Treasury took note of my research and invited me to present my work at their seminars,” said Tran, who is from the University’s Research School of Economics.
As a central policy agency for Australia, Treasury is required to anticipate and analyse policy issues with a whole-of-economy perspective, and has a mandate to respond rapidly to changing events and directions of the Australian economy. For this reason, in 2015 the department launched a review into its macroeconomic forecasting methodology. The panel was later set up to help the development of alternative modelling techniques that would contribute to enhancing Treasury’s capacities for macroeconomic modelling and policy analysis.
Tran said he offered his expertise to advise Treasury’s modelling teams about contemporary macroeconomic models for examining central policy issues that Australia face, namely economic slowdown, rising inequality, fiscal imbalance, and welfare and distributional consequences of fiscal policy reforms.
“I advised the model development teams on the frontier of macroeconomic theories and best practices currently prevalent in this field. I emphasised that a new modelling capacity should be designed to better understand the dynamic effects of economic policy in Australia,” Tran shared.
ANU currently has two representatives on the elite panel: Tran and Professor Warwick McKibbin, Director of the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis at the University.
“I provided support for my global economic modelling and gave feedback on research and policy documents that use the models. Topics of discussion have included macroeconomics, trade, climate change and demographics,” McKibbin said.
The elite panel of experts also includes representatives from the Bank of Canada and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the US Congressional Budget Office.