The Policy Pitch

A discussion series presented by the State Library and the Grattan Institute, in which experts and thinkers tackle some of the most important problems facing Australia.

bookings required

Date
03 October 2017, 6:00pm7:30pm
Cost
Free
Bookings
Bookings through the Grattan Institute
LocationVillage Roadshow Theatrette
Accessibility Has wheelchair access

In this ongoing panel discussion series presented by the State Library and the Grattan Institute, experts and thinkers tackle some of the most important problems facing Australia, from cultural hot-button topics to pressing social concerns.

Competition in the Australian economy: too little of a good thing?

Tuesday 3 October, 6–7.30pm
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Around the world, concerns are rising about market power.

In Australia, sectors like supermarkets, banking, and telecommunications are mostly served by a handful of large firms.

Some argue that the power of large firms in Australia has grown, hurting consumers and other firms or even pushing down wages. Others are concerned that while online platforms disrupt incumbents, they also exercise market power in their own right.

In this Policy Pitch event, an expert panel will discuss the role of competition and competition policy in the Australian economy and explore questions including:

  • How valid are concerns about competition and market power in Australia?
  • Where is competition working less well than it could, and what are its limits as a policy tool?
  • What else should policymakers do to ensure competition benefits the community?  

Speakers

  • Caron Beaton-Wells is a Professor specialising in competition law at the Melbourne Law School and Director of the University's Competition Law & Economics Network. Her research and teaching in this field extends beyond the law and economics to institutional, political and sociological dimensions of competition regulation, and her recent research projects have focussed on cartel enforcement, supermarket power, petrol pricing, and the interface between competition and consumer law. Caron is a member of several national and international editorial and advisory boards and is also a member of the Law Council of Australia's competition and consumer committee and a member of the Victorian Bar.
  • Dr Stephen King is a Commissioner at the Productivity Commission. He was recently a Professor of Economics at Monash University in Melbourne where he also held the position of Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics from 2009-2011. Prior to joining Monash, Stephen was a Member of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), where he chaired the Mergers Review Committee. Stephen's main areas of expertise are in microeconomic theory, competition economics, regulation and industrial organization. His research has been published widely, including articles in major international economics journals. Stephen is an adjunct professor at Monash University, a member of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Lay Member of the High Court of New Zealand. Dr King is currently working on the Human Services inquiry and the inquiry into Competition in the Australian Financial System.

Moderator

  • Jim Minifie directs the Productivity Growth Program at the Grattan Institute. His research focuses on developing policy to raise Australians’ living standards by improving productivity and accelerating the spread of innovations. The program has produced reports on economic impacts and responses to the mining boom, on boosting net returns from superannuation, on the peer-to-peer economy, and on investment in the Australian economy. Prior to joining Grattan in 2012, Jim spent 12 years with the Boston Consulting Group, including seven years as BCG’s Chief Economist for Australia and New Zealand. Jim has honours and master’s degrees from Melbourne University and a PhD from Stanford University.

About the Policy Pitch

In this engaging seminar series a panel of experts and thinkers tackle some of the most important problems facing Australia, from cultural hot-button topics to pressing social concerns. Join us each month for lively, intelligent and thoughtful debate on subjects that impact us all.

The Policy Pitch is a joint initiative of State Library Victoria and Grattan Institute, an independent think tank dedicated to developing high-quality public policy for Australia’s future.