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*Strategic Economic Studies
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About us

Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies (VISES): Mission and objectives

For many decades, economic models have involved homogeneous individuals and firms using known technologies and interacting in free markets. By contrast, much recent work emphasises the substantive characteristics of those agents (such as the capabilities of individuals and communities) and of the institutions and countries or regions in which they operate, in the context of the rapid emergence of new technologies. This latter ‘substantive’ approach highlights a different set of factors as shaping true economic growth (that is, the increase in the welfare of the people). These include health, education and human capital, the dynamics of cities and regions and the quality of the environment, as well of the level of equality in the distribution of resources and endowments. These factors inter-relate in complex ways and often need to be studied in a multi-disciplinary context.

Our vision is to become a research institute of international scale and quality for the study of these substantive factors as they shape the evolution of human welfare, and to provide the knowledge base for the development of effective policy responses to key issues. We have three areas of focus, reflected in three programs:

  • Quantitative assessment of large-scale interventions to improve health and wellbeing;
  • Climate change, energy use and sustainability; and
  • Technology, inequality and regional diversity in contemporary growth.

In doing so, we seek to work in a multi-disciplinary context but from a broad economic perspective, and to collaborate with major national and international agencies.

VISES contributes directly to the University’s vision through the postgraduate students we train and the translational nature and strong policy focus of the research program. We aim to train a body of HDR students who make significant contribution to government, industry and academia, and to conduct an active knowledge exchange program.

VISES incorporates the Centre for Policy Studies (CoPS). CoPS operates in a semi-autonomous manner, led by Professor James Giesecke.

The Institute's current director is Prof. Bruce Rasmussen. He joined VISES in 1999 and was Deputy Director. He has had a career spanning the senior levels of both the public and private sectors. He previously was Assistant Director General, Finance in the Department of Management and Budget of the State of Victoria. Before that he spent seven years at the ANZ Bank, where he held various senior business strategy roles.

The Institute's founding director was Prof. Peter Sheehan. He has held various positions including senior researcher at the Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at Melbourne University and Director General of the former management and budget department in the Victorian Government. He has also held a wide range of board positions with Australian companies, particularly in high-technology areas. He is currently Research Director at VISES.
 

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