CoPS/IMPACT Working Paper Number G-125

Title: When Modellers Behave Like Lawyers: Have we Lost The Plot?

Author: Alan A. Powell


Australia has made outstanding contributions to the use of quantitative economic models in public policy discussions. That leading role is now threatened by the increasing use of econometric modellers in an advocacy, lawyer-like role, rather than as impartial sources of the best available technical advice. This development became inevitable once it became fashionable in Canberra during the mid 1980s to deny the existence of public goods and to force the funding of economic intelligence garnering increasingly into the private sector. This paper argues that we are all the losers.

JEL Classification: D58, D72

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