The housing boom propelled inequality, but a coronavirus housing bust will skyrocket it



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Ilan Wiesel, University of Melbourne; Liss Ralston, Swinburne University of Technology, and Wendy Stone, Swinburne University of Technology

A housing boom that lasted from the mid-1980s with only minor interruptions has added to rising income inequality in Australia. Yet an impending housing market bust, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting spike in unemployment, will not restore greater equality. On the contrary, recent history shows housing busts can worsen inequality.

Those who benefit most from a boom are not those who pay the price when it busts. And those harmed by the boom often become even more vulnerable during the bust.

Our analysis highlights the risks for people who bought their first home at the peak of the boom. We estimate 24,000 households are at very high risk because they took out large loans that might soon exceed their home value and also work in sectors with high job losses. Another 135,200 are at high risk and 121,000 are at moderate risk.




Read more:
How the housing boom has driven rising inequality


Coronavirus has set up a housing bust

Experts have long cited an upsurge in unemployment as the main threat to house price growth. This risk became reality with the coronavirus pandemic. Over the seven weeks from mid-March to early May, jobs fell by 7.3%.

Unless employment rapidly recovers, the housing market is facing a major downturn. In one worst-case scenario released by the Commonwealth Bank, house prices could fall by up to 32% over the next two years.

Recent first-time buyers are most vulnerable

Households that can hold on to their homes and weather the storm until the market recovers are not substantially harmed. Established owners, who bought their homes before or early in the boom years, have enjoyed the largest increase in their home values, and the largest reductions in their debt. This puts them in a position of relative resilience to a housing market bust.




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In contrast, evidence from the 2008 housing crisis in the United States shows which households are most at risk. These were households that bought their first home with no deposit, or a very low one, in the period leading up to the 2008 crash. The crash left these households “underwater”, trapped with an asset worth less than their mortgage debt. Many defaulted on their mortgages, fuelling the housing market’s downward spiral.

The Australian housing market and financial institutions differ from those in the United States in 2008 in fundamental ways. Still, Australian households that bought their houses at the peak of the boom and have now lost their jobs in the coronavirus pandemic are facing the highest risk.

These include 24,000 recent (2014-5 to 2017-18) first home buyers who borrowed over 80% of the value of their home and were employed in industries where jobs have now collapsed. Another 135,200 recent first home buyers with high loan-to-valuation ratios are also at risk of going “underwater”, with homes worth less than their debt. Many of them are also in precarious employment, irrespective of the pandemic. (These figures do not include first home buyers in 2018-19, for which data are not yet available.)

Recent first home buyers at risk in a COVID-19 housing bust.
Source: Liss Ralston; data from ABS Survey of Income and Housing 2014-5 to 2017-8



Read more:
Build social and affordable housing to get us off the boom-and-bust roller coaster


Renters’ relief could be short-lived

Many private renters hope a housing downturn will translate into lower rents and perhaps give them a chance to buy their first home in a more affordable market. However, this is not always the case in a downturn. In the US from 2007 to 2009, despite declining house prices, rental affordability stress has only increased.

In Australia, the sudden decline in international students and short-term rentals has increased long-term rental vacancies in some areas. Reports suggest rents are going down, especially at the upper end of some rental markets.




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However, in the longer run, the slowdown in housing construction will create supply shortages, leaving rental vacancies low and rents high. Many landlords, mostly “mum and dad” investors, have taken large loans to finance their property investment. They will need to keep rents high to hold on to their investment properties.

Lower house prices will enable some households to become home owners for the first time, after being locked out of the market during the boom years. These households could benefit from a coronavirus housing bust if the market then recovers. Even so, their gains will do little to change the overall trend of rising inequality made worse by the housing downturn.

We need to flatten out booms and busts

Improved housing affordability is necessary to reduce social and economic inequality. A housing downturn will reduce house prices. But this downturn, when coupled with rising unemployment, will not deliver greater equality, especially if it’s followed by yet another boom.

Australia has flattened the curve of COVID-19 infections. To be successful in reducing inequality, we need to flatten the curve of both booms and busts in the housing market cycle. And only a thorough overhaul of national housing policy will achieve that.




Read more:
Coronavirus lays bare 5 big housing system flaws to be fixed


The Conversation


Ilan Wiesel, Senior Lecturer in Urban Geography, University of Melbourne; Liss Ralston, Urban Statistician, Centre for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University of Technology, and Wendy Stone, Associate Professor, Centre for Urban Transitions and Director, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Swinburne Research Centre, Swinburne University of Technology

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The coronavirus pandemic is boosting the big tech transformation to warp speed


Zac Rogers, Flinders University

The coronavirus pandemic has sped up changes that were already happening across society, from remote learning and work to e-health, supply chains and logistics, policing, welfare and beyond. Big tech companies have not hesitated to make the most of the crisis.

In New York for example, former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt is leading a panel tasked with transforming the city after the pandemic, “focused on telehealth, remote learning, and broadband”. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has also been called in, to help create “a smarter education system”.

The government, health, education and defence sectors have long been prime targets for “digital disruption”. The American business expert Scott Galloway and others have argued they are irresistible pools of demand for the big tech firms.

As author and activist Naomi Klein writes, changes in these and other areas of our lives are about to see “a warp-speed acceleration”.

All these transformations will follow a similar model: using automated platforms to gather and analyse data via online surveillance, then using it to predict and intervene in human behaviour.




Read more:
Explainer: what is surveillance capitalism and how does it shape our economy?


The control revolution

The changes now under way are the latest phase of a socio-technical transformation that sociologist James Beniger, writing in the 1980s, called a “control revolution”. This revolution began with the use of electronic systems for information gathering and communication to facilitate mass production and distribution of goods in the 19th century.

After World War II the revolution accelerated as governments and industry began to embrace cybernetics, the scientific study of control and communication. Even before COVID-19, we were already in the “reflexive phase” of the control revolution, in which big data and predictive technologies have been turned to the goal of automating human behaviour.

The next phase is what we might call the “uberisation of everything”: replacing existing institutions and processes of government with computational code, in the same way Uber replaced government-regulated taxi systems with a smartphone app.




Read more:
The ‘Uberisation’ of work is driving people to co-operatives


Information economics

Beginning in the 1940s, the work of information theory pioneer Claude Shannon had a deep effect on economists, who saw analogies between signals in electrical circuits and many systems in society. Chief among these new information economists was Leonid Hurwicz, winner of a 2007 Nobel Prize for his work on “mechanism design theory”.

Information theorist Claude Shannon also conducted early experiments in artificial intelligence, including the creation of a maze-solving mechanical mouse.
Bell Labs

Economists have pursued analogies between human and mechanical systems ever since, in part because they lend themselves to modelling, calculation and prediction.

These analogies helped usher in a new economic orthodoxy formed around the ideas of F.A. Hayek, who believed the problem of allocating resources in society was best understood in terms of information processing.

By the 1960s, Hayek had come to view thinking individuals as almost superfluous to the operation of the economy. A better way to allocate resources was to leave decisions to “the market”, which he saw as an omniscient information processor.

Putting information-processing first turned economics on its head. The economic historians Philip Mirowski and Edward Nik-Khah argue economists moved from “ensuring markets give people what they want” to insisting they can make markets produce “any desired outcome regardless of what people want”.

By the 1990s this orthodoxy was triumphant across much of the world. By the late 2000s it was so deeply enmeshed that even the global financial crisis – a market failure of catastrophic proportions – could not dislodge it.




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We should all beware a resurgent financial sector


Market society

This orthodoxy holds that if information markets make for efficient resource allocation, it makes sense to put them in charge. We’ve seen many kinds of decisions turned over to automated data-driven markets, designed as auctions.

Online advertising illustrates how this works. First, the data generated by each visitor to a page is gathered, analysed and categorised, with each category acquiring a predictive probability of a given behaviour: buying a given product or service.

Then an automated auction occurs at speed as a web page is loading, matching these behavioural probabilities with clients’ products and services. The goal is to “nudge” the user’s behaviour. As Douglas Rushkoff explains, someone in a category that is 80% likely to do a certain thing might be manipulated up to 85% or 90% if they are shown the right ad.




Read more:
Is it time to regulate targeted ads and the web giants that profit from them?


This model is being scaled up to treat society as a whole as a vast signalling device. All human behaviour can be taken as a bid in an invisible auction that aims to optimise resource allocation.

To gather the bids, however, the market needs ever greater awareness of human behaviour. That means total surveillance is here to stay, and will get more intense and pervasive.

Growing surveillance combined with algorithmic interventions in human behaviour constrain our choices to an ever greater extent. Being nudged from an 80% to an 85% chance of doing something might seem innocuous, but that diminishing 20% of unpredictability is the site of human creativity, learning, discovery and choice. Becoming more predictable also means becoming more fragile.

In praise of obscurity

The pandemic has pushed many of us into doing even more by digital means, hitting fast-forward on the growth of surveillance and algorithmic influence, bringing more and more human behaviour into the realm of statistical probability and manipulation.

Concerns about total surveillance are often couched as discussions of privacy, but now is the time to think about the importance of obscurity. Obscurity moves beyond questions of privacy and anonymity to the issue, as Matthew Crawford identifies, of our “qualitative experience of institutional authority”. Obscurity is a buffer zone – a space to be an unobserved, uncategorised, unoptimised human – from which a citizen can enact her democratic rights.

The onrush of digitisation caused by the pandemic may have a positive effect, if the body politic senses the urgency of coming to terms with the widening gap between fast-moving technology and its institutions.

The algorithmic market, left to its optimisation function, may well eventually come to see obscurity an act of economic terrorism. Such an approach cannot form the basis of institutional authority in a democracy. It’s time to address the real implications of digital technology.




Read more:
A ‘coup des gens’ is underway – and we’re increasingly living under the regime of the algorithm


The Conversation


Zac Rogers, Research Lead, Jeff Bleich Centre for the US Alliance in Digital Technology, Security, and Governance, Flinders University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Coronavirus quarantine could spark an online learning boom


Carlo Perrotta, Monash University

The spread of the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 is a public health emergency with economic and social ramifications in China and across the world. While the impacts on business are well documented, education is also facing the largest disruption in recent memory.

Institutions around the world are responding to travel bans and quarantines with a shift to online learning. The crisis may trigger an online boom for education – or at least make us more ready to cope with the next emergency.

Education disrupted

As many as 180 million Chinese students – primary, secondary and tertiary – are homebound or unable to travel. In China, the spring semester was originally scheduled to begin on February 17 but has now been postponed indefinitely. In response, Chinese institutions are attempting to switch to online education on a massive scale.

Effects of the epidemic are also being felt closer to home. Australian higher education is increasingly dependent on a steady flow of Chinese students, but the Australian government has restricted travel from China until at least 29 February. At the time of writing, thousands of students are still in limbo.




Read more:
Australian unis may need to cut staff and research if government extends coronavirus travel ban


As a result, Australian higher education institutions are trying to boost their online capacity to deliver courses to stranded concerned students. Some universities – and some parts of universities – are better prepared than others. While all universities use online learning management systems and videoconferencing technology to some degree, there are no mandatory standards for online education.

This makes for a huge variety among institutions and even between individual courses in how digitised they are. To make this worse, not all staff are familiar with (or feel positive about) distance or blended learning.

Will ed-tech ever take off?

Educational technology has historically struggled with large-scale adoption and much has been written about the cycles of boom and bust of the ed-tech industry. It may even be legitimate to ask whether adoption is a goal any longer for many in the industry.

Nowadays, a critical observer could be forgiven for thinking that the most successful ed-tech companies only pay lip service to mass adoption. Instead, their energies are firmly directed at the more remunerative game of (overinflated) start-up funding and selling.

Yet visions of mass adoption are still what drives the volatile dynamics of ed-tech financing. Investors ultimately hope that an innovation will, at some point in the near future, be used by large numbers of students and teachers.

Is the coronavirus a ‘black swan’ for online learning?

In 2014 Michael Trucano, a World Bank specialist on education and technology policy, described the importance of “tipping points” to push educational technology into the mainstream. Trucano suggested that epidemics (he talked about the 2003 SARS epidemic, but the argument applies to COVID-19) could be “black swans”. The term is borrowed from the American thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who uses it to describe unanticipated events with profound consequences.

During the SARS outbreak, according to Trucano, China was forced into boosting alternative forms of distance education. This led to pockets of deeper, more transformational uses of online tools, at least temporarily. The long-term effects are still unclear.




Read more:
The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest crisis ever to hit international education


The current landscape of global digital education suggests COVID-19 may result in more robust capabilities in regions with enough resources, connectivity and infrastructure. However, it is also likely to expose chronic deficiencies in less prepared communities, exacerbating pre-existing divides.

Investors appear to see this as a moment that could transform all kinds of online activity across the region. The stocks of Hong Kong-listed companies linked to online games, digital medical services, remote working and distance education have soared in recent days.

Online drawback

Adding to the complexity, students do not always welcome digital education, and research shows they are less likely to drop out when taught using “traditional” face-to-face methods.

Indeed, studies on the effectiveness of “virtual schools” have yielded mixed results. A recent study focusing on the US recommended virtual schools be restricted until the reasons for their poor performance are better understood.

Students may also oppose online learning because they perceive it as a sneaky attempt at forcing education down their throats. This may be what happened recently when DingTalk, a large Chinese messaging app, launched e-classes for schools affected by the coronavirus emergency. Unhappy students saw their forced vacation threatened and gave the app a bad rating on online stores in an attempt to drive it out of search results.

Perhaps this last story shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but it does highlight the importance of emotional responses in attempts to scale up an educational technology.

A permanent solution or a crisis response tool?

The importance of distance education in an increasingly uncertain world of global epidemics and other dramatic disruptions (such as wars and climate-related crises) is without doubt. So-called “developing countries” (including large rural regions in the booming Indian and Chinese economies) can benefit greatly from it, as it can help overcome emergencies and address chronic teacher shortages.

Once the current crisis passes, however, will things go “back to normal”? Or will we see a sustained increase in the mainstream adoption of online learning?

The answer is not at all obvious. Take Australia, for example. Even if we assume the COVID-19 emergency will lead to some permanent change in how more digitally-prepared Australian universities relate to Chinese students, it’s unclear what the change will look like.

Will we see more online courses and a growing market for Western-style distance education in Asia? Is this what the Chinese students (even the tech-savvy ones) really want? Is this what the Chinese economy needs?

Alternatively, perhaps, the crisis might lead to a more robust response system. Universities might develop the ability to move online quickly when they need to and go back to normal once things “blow over”, in a world where global emergencies look increasingly like the norm.The Conversation

Carlo Perrotta, Senior lecturer, Monash University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Remember Turnbull’s 2015 ‘ideas boom’? We’re still only part way there


File 20180531 69517 i1g2ba.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Freelancing and hot-desking are already common in work places – and will continue to rise.
from http://www.shutterstock.com

Sean Gallagher, Swinburne University of Technology; Beth Webster, Swinburne University of Technology, and Sarah Maddison, Swinburne University of Technology

In 2015, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull welcomed us to the “ideas boom”, launching a National Innovation and Science Agenda to

drive smart ideas that create business growth, local jobs and global success.

In January 2018 the specially-created independent statutory board Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) released its report Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation. It’s a document that has been described not as a roadmap for action, but “more of a sketch with detours, dead ends, and red lights which should be green.”

The federal government’s May 2018 response to this report adds further disappointment. The response fails to seize the opportunity to deliver a properly funded and connected education, research and innovation system.

Australia is left with a series of well-meaning but disparate programs that only get us part way to ensuing that Australia thrives in the global innovation race.




Read more:
No clear target in Australia’s 2030 national innovation report


Action is required

Today, we sit at the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution where virtual, physical and biological worlds are merging. Sophisticated cognitive and automation technologies will transform our world in ways difficult to imagine. These technologies are increasingly able to perform human tasks better, faster, and more cheaply.

A snapshot of Australia’s STEM workforce CLICK ON IMAGE TO ZOOM
Office of the Chief Scientist

But it is the emergence of vast, expanding digital platforms and the ecosystems they support that will have a more profound impact on the future of work. Their ever-increasing complexity and accelerating change means constant disruption is the new business as usual.

If we are to respond to the changing nature of future work, we need to build a world-beating national innovation ecosystem, especially by equipping Australians with skills and experience relevant to 2030. As we transition into the digital economy, that means technical, digital and STEM skills are vital. (STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and maths.)

Growth in STEM jobs is 1.5 times that of non-STEM since 2005, yet we continue to produce non-STEM graduates at higher rates than those in STEM. The performance of our kids at school – particularly in maths and science – has declined against international benchmarks.

Clearly, strategic intervention is needed: this is where ISA should come in.




Read more:
PISA results don’t look good, but before we panic let’s look at what we can learn from the latest test


Nothing new on education

The ISA report recommendations on education cover:

  • better training for teachers, particularly STEM teachers
  • preparing students for STEM degrees and jobs
  • improving student achievement in literacy and numeracy
  • interventions to reduce educational inequality
  • improving our vocational education and training (VET) system.

Yet none of these education recommendations were directly supported by the government: only “in principle” or “noted” support was offered in the response document.

While school education in Australia is the constitutional responsibility of the states and territories, the Australian government never shies away from using the funding carrot to leverage school policy outcomes for the betterment of the country.

For instance, full marks go to the federal government supporting STEM education through the Education Council’s National STEM School Education Strategy 2016-2026, and for funding several excellent STEM education projects and initiatives. So why not fund increased numbers and quality of STEM teachers?

Likewise, the urgent need to support the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector to help it drive innovation, automation and new technologies, and provide businesses with requisite skills training is absent. The Skilling Australians Fund – the government’s main VET policy instrument and a welcome apprenticeship initiative – does little to transition the existing workforce through VET.

Funding for R&D is unclear

Turning to research and development (R&D), the government supports the ISA recommendation to enhance AI and machine learning capabilities – absolutely essential in the digital economy. However, there was no additional funding in the 2018 federal budget beyond existing digital technologies program.

At face value, the raft of funding commitments in the budget for R&D looks promising. But are the funds in addition to existing commitments, or a re-labelling of existing funds?

A persistent criticism from industry of government support is the continual chopping and changing of policies and programs, both in name and content.

ISA recommended extending export support programs, which is sensible given the solid evidence that they work. However, in its response the government merely said they are supported in principle, with no further funds forthcoming.




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What was missing in Australia’s $1.9 billion infrastructure announcement


What about the future of work?

Agile approaches, exponential organisations, freelance economy, and Industry 4.0 are rewriting the rules of how economic value is created.

The ISA report aims to provide comfort about how to create employment opportunities towards 2030, but it speaks more to the past than to the future. Knowledge work – a main focus of the report – will increasingly be performed less by people and more by machines, creating vast workforce transformation challenges for industry.

The closer we get to 2030, the less the ISA view of the future will be true. Emerging evidence already contraindicates this view.

For work done by people, data from the United States and Australia already show enormous growth of freelancers, including operating from co-working spaces. Modelling suggests this trend will continue.

In parallel, business are becoming more agile. ANZ is completely restructuring itself to look more like 150 start-ups, and downsizing in the process. NAB is sacking 6,000 staff – including many knowledge workers – and replacing them with 2,000 technology specialists and digital workers. All large companies are expected to follow.

Dissociating ‘work’ from ‘jobs’

In the emerging freelance economy, work is increasingly being dissociated from jobs on digital platforms like Upwork. And as more companies go agile, they will have fewer employees but have a larger workforce, leveraging the freelance economy through these platforms.

The upshot? People will increasingly need to create their own work opportunities rather than expect to get a traditional job.

Developing digital skills is essential, and the ISA report rightly focuses on them. But in the highly disruptive and dynamic environment of digital platforms, the core worker skill set will be competent risk taking. Diversity of experience combined with continuous learning are essential ingredients.

Alongside investments in teaching, we should be investing in opportunities where students – from secondary to tertiary education – can “learn-by-doing” in emerging futures of work.

It is for others to discuss the merits of whether these disruptive changes to the economy and employment should be allowed happen or not. But New York Times columnist Tom Friedman sums up the certainty of the approaching tech disruption perfectly:

Whatever can be done, will be done. The only question is, “Will it be done by you or to you?” but it will be done.

The inexorable and exponential rise of sophisticated technologies in the digital economy – the Australian economy – will impact all work and change all jobs. We need to be investing in this future for our children.

The ConversationAnd we need the government to support and fund a well-integrated innovation ecosystem to incorporates education, research, industry and government.

Sean Gallagher, Director, Centre for the New Workforce, Swinburne University of Technology; Beth Webster, Director, Centre for Transformative Innovation, Swinburne University of Technology, and Sarah Maddison, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Innovation & Change), Professor of Astrophysics, Swinburne University of Technology

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Vital Signs: Australia’s mining boom transition is on shaky ground


Richard Holden, UNSW

Vital Signs is a weekly economic wrap from UNSW economics professor and Harvard PhD Richard Holden (@profholden). Vital Signs aims to contextualise weekly economic events and cut through the noise of the data affecting global economies.

This week: Australia continues to grow jobs, but wages aren’t keeping up and policymakers are running out of options.


Let’s begin with an economy that is doing relatively well.

In the US, the data were both predictable and moderately positive.

Consumer prices (as measured by the CPI) were up only 0.1% in October, but this was in line with expectations. Recall that two major hurricanes drove up gasoline prices in September, and those increases rolled off (they were up 13.1% in September and fell 2.4% in October). The year-on-year CPI increase was 2.0% – again, in line with expectations.


Read more: Trump’s ‘America first’ trade policy ignores key lesson from Great Depression


The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose by a healthy 2.6% on a year-on-year basis – despite a drop in gasoline prices for producers of 4.6% (note the difference between wholesale and retail price changes). Perhaps most importantly, there were relatively strong increases in elements of the index that the US Federal Reserve cares most about (as they are less cyclical than, say, energy prices), like healthcare costs.

Less expected, but happy news, was the 0.2% rise in retail sales. That puts retail sales up 4.6% on an annual basis. This is further evidence of the solid rebound in the US economy.

And now to Australia.

On the plus side, a fair number of jobs are being created. As Treasurer Scott Morrison was eager to point out on Thursday, 296,400 jobs have been created this year; 236,000 of them full-time.

But the continued depressing news is about wages. The wage-price index was up 0.5% for the third quarter, below market expectations of 0.7%. That puts annual wages growth at 2.0%. With inflation running at 1.8%, that means real wages growth is effectively zero. And it has been like that for a long time.

This is causing enormous problems for Australian households and policymakers.

Recall that Australian households are among the most highly leveraged in the world – with debts at around 190% of GDP. So what is going to reduce that debt?

There are two possibilities: more inflation or more income. Inflation helps reduce the debt in real terms, and income helps for obvious reasons. Right now, both avenues look shaky.

On the former, the Melbourne Institute reported on Thursday that inflation expectations fell this month, providing further evidence that future inflation is likely to be low.

On the latter, there has been a continued run of low wages growth. This is an experience being felt in advanced economies around the world. That suggests it is something to do with technology, or global economic conditions, and therefore not all that amenable to policy.


Read more: Is faster profit growth essential for a pick-up in wages growth?


That leaves us with heavily indebted households, with no obvious way out. This, of course, puts a strain on consumer spending, which in turn affects business investment and employment, and the whole (vicious) cycle loops back on itself.

What is the cut-through for policymakers?

The RBA could drop interest rates from their current 1.50% level – and increasingly some economists are suggesting that. The worry is that a rate cut might further fuel housing prices, making the problem worse, not better.

Federal income tax cuts would be another avenue, but with the budget in structural deficit, and with an economically illiterate crossbench, that looks unlikely.

The government could embark on a major infrastructure spending plan, which could rejuvenate regional employment in areas hit by the forces of globalisation. With interest rates at very low levels, for very long maturities, this seems like a good idea, as long as the projects are assessed on a rational basis.

The concern in this regard is politics. Both major parties have their predilections and bases to pander to. A bad outcome would be, for example, a big coal mine investment by the Coalition, and some uneconomic green-energy boondoggle by the opposition.

The ConversationAs I have said before in this column, the US seems to be navigating the post-2008 economic world relatively well, although caution is certainly warranted. Australia is doing much less well. And the narrative that we have “successfully transitioned from the mining boom” seems a lot more like wishful thinking than hard evidence.

Richard Holden, Professor of Economics and PLuS Alliance Fellow, UNSW

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.