Australia has emerged from the Global Finance Crisis (GFC) as "the strongest economy in the developed world" (Editorial, The Australian, 11 December 2009). The economic editor of The Australian, however, sounded a cautionary note, drawing our attention to the challenges facing the Australian economy in the short to medium term. With the help of appropriate economic models critically analyse the 2011 federal budget, and discuss the extent to which the Labor government has successfully tackled these challenges. What would be your policy recommendations to the government and RBA if the Australian economy is to maintain steady economic growth with low unemployment and inflation?
There are three aspects to the question: theory, application and policy. Firstly, you must show that you understand the theory, so a thorough reading of chapters 24, 25, 27 & 28 of the 6th edition textbook (or chapters 22, 24, 26 & 27 of the 5th edition) is required. Then you must do some research. This will entail reference to government publications (e.g. RBA, Treasury), journals and newspapers (e.g. AFR, The Australian) on more detailed analysis of the current issues identified in the Editorial. Regarding policy implications, there is no right or wrong answer. As a starting point, read an article by Michael Stutchbury: "Policy fails to keep up with boom" (The Australian February 22, 2011). This article and the editorial are both available on the Blackboard unit site.