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How economics can help solve policy problems

18 February 2021

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Paul Burke is a Professor in the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, Crawford School of Public Policy. His research interests include energy economics, environmental economics, and Asia-Pacific economies. His courses include IDEC8029 Issues in Applied Microeconomics.

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From climate change to COVID-19, policymakers around the globe are facing ever-complex issues. Giving them the basic economic policy tools they need to tackle these issues is the mission of Crawford’s upcoming short course on microeconomics.

Economics plays a central role in contemporary policy issues, be they small or big.

Crawford’s upcoming course ‘Beginner’s guide to microeconomics for the public sector’ gives policymakers the skills to ensure that their decisions are informed by an understanding of the behaviour of individual consumers, households and firms.

“Economics is all around us, from how we manage the airwaves to the best use of fishery resources. This microeconomic reform agenda has stalled in Australia, but many potential reforms that could help to improve living standards are still sitting on the table,” course presenter Associate Professor Paul Burke said.

“The course will introduce basic concepts in cost-benefit analysis, which is how economists weigh up pros and cons to come to decisions. This method is suitable for guiding everything from small decisions to ones on whether to build a new dam or buy new defence aircraft.”

Sessions will involve interaction and problem solving, with participants from a wide range of backgrounds bringing their own perspectives along.

Geared towards non-economists, participants won’t need any prior knowledge of economics.

“The course will involve practical case studies ranging from reducing emissions to the National Broadband Network,” Associate Professor Burke said.

“Participants will gain a basic grounding in microeconomics that is useful for careers in the public services, in NGOs, and for the private sector.”

Register now for ‘Beginner’s guide to microeconomics for the public sector’ and save $300 using the code: SAVE300.

This course is part of the ‘Beginner’s guide to economics series’ commencing in March.

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