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CSES Seminar Series 2011

1 December 2011
TITLE: Tax System Reform in China
PRESENTER: Professor MA Haitao, Dean, School of Public Finance, Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE), Beijing, P.R. China

Abstract: Professor Ma will introduce and discuss the history of China’s taxation reform, taxation reform challenges during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010), the future of taxation reform: the domestic and international context, and taxation reform trends during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015) in China.

Jointly presented by Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) and Victoria University. Chaired by Linda Rosenman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Victoria University.

7 November 2011
TITLE: Recent Trends in the Chinese Economy
PRESENTER: Dr Fanghong Sun, Chief Economist, Research Department, Pingan Securities, China

Dr Sun was previously Research Fellow at the CSES from 1995. Fiona is a research associate with the Centre for Chinese Political Economy at Macquarie University. Her research interests include international trade and finance, regional economic co-operation, and the Chinese economy.

Dr Sun completed a Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Economics in Peking University. She then worked as Researcher for the International Trade Research Institute in China. Following this she came to Australia and obtained a PhD at Macquarie University. She has strong links with policy makers, government officials and academics in China and has been a key person in facilitating the Centre’s activities in China. She has published extensively on related issues concerning China.

27 October 2011
TITLE: Understanding Japan’s Quality Control System: Implications for Australia
PRESENTER:
Professor Sang-Chul Park, Korea Polytechnic University
Sang-Chul

He is currently Full Professor at the Graduate School of Knowledge based Technology and Energy, Korea Polytechnic University and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Science-based Entrepreneurship, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea. He is also a Private Dozent at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany and Visiting Professor at Gothenburg University, Sweden. He served as Associate Professor at Gothenburg University, Sweden from 2001 to 2003 and as Associate Professor at Okayama University, Japan from 2003 to 2006.

His research interests concern industrial policy and regional development and studies on innovation systems and on science parks and innovative clusters in particular. Currently his research areas are expanded toward energy policy, sustainable development strategy, high technology ventures and international business and trade. In addition, he is a member of the editorial advisory board for Korea Observer (SSCI Journal) as well as a member of the editorial review board for Journal of Small Business Management (JSBM) (SSCI Journal).

23 September 2011
TITLE: Anti-Corruption Efforts in Thailand
PRESENTERS: Prof Dr Medhi Krongkaew, Commissioner, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), Thailand
Prof Dr Sirilaksana Khoman, Advisor to Commissioner, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), Thailand

Abstract: Dr Medhi Krongkaew and Dr Sirilaksana Khoman presented an informal seminar that discussed government efforts to tackle corruption and the outcomes of recent NACC initiatives in Thailand.

7 April 2011
TITLE: Reflections on Higher Education Financing: Theory, HECS, International reforms and latest empirical testing of policy effects.
PRESENTER: Professor Bruce Chapman, Professor of Economics at the Crawford School of Economics and Government at ANU

Abstract: Among his many achievements, Bruce advised the Wran Committee that recommended HECS in 1988. The talk will consider the role of economic theory and econometric research in the development of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme. Discussion will cover the extension of the scheme to many other countries, and recent developments in econometric analysis of student loan schemes.

Bruce Chapman is one of Australia’s leading experts on higher education. He is currently Director Policy Impact, at the Crawford School of Economics and Government at ANU. He was Senior Economic Advisor (full-time) to Prime Minister Paul Keating from Oct 1994 to March 1996. He was also Consultant (full-time) to Federal Minister for Employment, Education and Training, John Dawkins. More recently he was Professor and Head, Economics Program, Research School of Social Sciences, ANU (2005-2007.

Download presentation. For a list of some of Bruce's research interests and publications, please go to: http://www.crawford.anu.edu.au/staff/bchapman.php

30 March 2011
TITLE: Cultural Influence on China’s Household Saving and its Role in Sustainable Development: A Conceptual Framework
PRESENTER: Professor Frank Lichtenberg,
Courtney C. Brown, Colombia University Graduate School of Business and Adjunct Professor CSES

Abstract: This study reexamines whether patients using newer drugs at time t0 were less likely to die between time t0 and time t1, controlling for a much more extensive set of patient characteristics than has been used in previous studies. The study is based on a nationally representative sample of elderly Americans, and I am able to track the patient’s vital status for up to 10 years after the period of prescription drug use. I also investigate whether use of newer drugs has reduced activity limitations of elderly community and nursing-home residents.

Frank R. Lichtenberg is Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University. He received a BA with Honors in History from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lichtenberg previously taught at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as serving as an expert for the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Dept. of Justice, and state Attorneys General. He has worked for several U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Census Bureau. Professor Lichtenberg’s research has examined how the introduction of new technology arising from research and development affects the productivity of companies, industries and nations. His recent studies have focused on the impact of medical innovation on longevity.

Download presentation. For a list of some of Frank's many publications and achievements go to: http://www0.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/flichtenberg/cv.html

2010 SEMINARS
 

10 December 2010
TITLE: Public Finance Management Innovations to Support Growth and Development
PRESENTER: Jim Brumby

Jim Brumby is Sector Manager in Public Sector & Governance at the World Bank. He has been engaged on public management reform at state, national and international levels for about twenty-seven years. Prior to joining the Bank, he spent three years as head of the IMF’s internal Budget Reform Division, and five years in IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department working on public expenditure management, providing technical assistance to countries, including China, Indonesia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Malawi, Ghana and Nigeria. He has also contributed to fiscal transparency reports on Italy, Malawi and the USA, and played a leading role in assessing PEM systems in HIPCs. Prior to joining the Fund, he was in charge of the OECD’s program on budgeting and management run by the Public Management Service (PUMA).

17 November 2010
TITLE: Cultural Influence on China’s Household Saving and its Role in Sustainable Development: A Conceptual Framework
PRESENTER: Christabel Zhang

Abstract: China’s national saving rates of over 35 percent for most of the period 1992-2007 was significantly high by international comparison, with corresponding high household saving rates and increasing corporate saving rates. This paper examines the cultural influences on China’s household saving. In the 2007-2009 global economic downturn set off by the Global Financial Crisis, there is claim of global imbalance in savings – led by China - that underpinned the liquidity of the financial system. Subsequently there have been calls for China to stimulate its domestic consumption and to reduce its savings. This, however, raises the issue of whether a higher consumption pattern can be ecologically sustainable. As, savings and consumption are two interdependent components of current income, there is the need for a conceptual framework in order to systematically examine the issue of cultural influence on China’s household saving in the context of the rapidly increasing economic growth. The questions this framework can be used to address are the following: In China’s transition to developed economy status is a consumption driven Western development model applicable? How can a transition to more consumption be achieved consistent with sustainable development? What is culture’s role in China’s household saving and sustainable development? This paper draws inspiration from both the Chinese and Western intellectual traditions. It conceptualises the framework with Institutional Economics which takes culture into account in the analysis, and Keynes’s General Theory on saving. Using Xiyue Lu’s analytical framework of Chinese culture, a complete conceptual framework is presented at the end of the paper. The paper argues for an appreciation of the cultural influence on China’s household saving, and its role in balancing consumption and saving. The framework aims to provide basis for strategic guidance to nurture the invisible cultural capital and its role for sustainable development for China in the twenty-first century.

20 October 2010
TITLE: Ethnicity, Diversity and Achievement in Tertiary Education: Some Australian Evidence
PRESENTER: Dr. George Messinis, CSES, Victoria University

Abstract: This article documents the pervasive impact of ethnic diversity on the student outcomes of immigrants, the second-generation and the native-born in higher education and vocational education and training (VET) in Australia. Robust evidence from quantile regressions reveals a disadvantage for persons of non-English-speaking background (NESB) but this is less severe for females and VET students. The disadvantage can be largely attributed to the ethnic homogeneity of parents, linguistic diversity in the family and fractionalisation at the study place. Gender and especially age diversity mitigate some of the disadvantage. Finally, quantile decompositions of achievement gaps point to non-linear gender-ethnicity effects.

Dr. George Messinis is Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies. Details.

6 October 2010
TITLE: Seasonal Variation Versus Climate Variation for Australian Tourism
PRESENTER: Dr. Nada Kulendran, Victoria University, School of Economics and Finance

Abstract: Climate variables such as maximum temperature, humidity percentage and hours of sunshine influence holiday destination choice. So also, changes in the mean value of these climate variables in different seasons may be expected to influences the seasonal variation in holiday tourism within and between destinations. The purpose of this paper is to measure the influence of changes in these climate related variables on the seasonal variation in Australian inbound holiday tourism. The study uses data on arrivals from USA, UK, Japan and New Zealand to Australia from September 1975 to September 2009. Seasonal variation which is the respective and predictable movement around the trend line for tourism growth was first extracted from the quarterly holiday visitor arrivals time-series using the Basic Structural Model (BSM) approach. Subsequently, the influence of these climate variables on seasonal variation in different seasons was identified using the Euclidean minimum distance approach. The study findings are that maximum temperature, relative humidity and hours of sunshine variations shape the characteristic of seasonal variation of tourism flows but the effect tends to vary between seasons and countries. A time-series model was employed to measure the impact of climate variables on the seasonal variation of inbound tourism flows to Australia. The humidity percentage impacts upon seasonal variation from USA and UK whereas the hours of sunshine impacts upon seasonal variation from New Zealand. The impact of Australian temperature on seasonal variation cannot be generalised to all Australian inbound tourism markets. The impact varies between Northern Hemisphere tourism markets and Australia’s most important Southern Hemisphere market.

Dr. Nada Kulendran is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance at Victoria University.

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22 September 2010
TITLE:  Developing a Competitive ARC Research Plan and Proposal
PRESENTERS:  Dr Sally Weller, Senior Research Fellow, CSES, Victoria University

Abstract: In this seminar Sally Weller will use the example of her ARC Linkage Project on the restructuring of farms and farming to discuss the elements that might be considered in developing a competitive research plan and proposal.

Dr Sally Weller is a Senior Research Fellow (Regional Economies) in the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies. She is an economic geographer with a proven track record of publishing in A and A+ international journals. Last year she secured ARC Linkage funding of $470,000 over six years for the project, 'Rural adjustment or structural transformation? Discovering the destinations of exiting farm families'. This research project will be carried out in collaboration with Associate Professor W N Pritchard (University of Sydney); Professor M Alston (Monash University); and Professor M J Webber (University of Melbourne). The project is administered by VU in partnership with the Victorian Government, Department of Treasury and Finance. Dr. Weller has previously received and completed an ARC APD-ECR Fellowship to study the restructuring of Australia’s aviation industry and labour market after the collapse of Ansett Airlines.

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8 September 2010
TITLE:  Geographical Localization of Knowledge Flows
PRESENTERS:  Dr. Yashar Gedik, Lecturer Business and Law, Victoria University

Abstract: This paper investigates the geographical localisation of knowledge spillovers using patent citation analyses of Australian patents registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Even though advances in communications technologies have reduced the cost of information transmission, tacit knowledge is still costly to transmit over distance. Because face-to-face communication is required for effective and efficient transmission of tacit knowledge, those individuals that are close to the source of the invention benefit more than distant ones. Australia is an ideal testing ground for geographical localisation of knowledge spillovers as it is one of the most isolated countries in the world and there are large distances between its states and capital cities, yet it has large number of patents registered with the USPTO, which makes empirical investigation possible. The results show that there is evidence for geographical localisation of knowledge flows at the country, state, statistical division and statistical subdivision levels of aggregation, and the localisation effects diminish over time and the more general patents are less localised.

Dr. Yashar Gedik is a lecturer in Business and Law at Victoria University. Yashar has held a range of positions within government and the tertiary sector and his main research interests lie in the area of innovation and technological change.

25 August 2010
TITLE:  Diasporas in Australia: Exploring Current and Potential Transnational Linkages
PRESENTERS:  Associate Professor Danny Ben-Moshe and Dr Joanne Pyke

Abstract: The long standing debate on whether or not migration represents ‘brain drain’ and a net loss to national human capital and capacity for development, or a ‘brain circulation’ enhancing opportunity that augments investment and cross-border relations continues throughout the migration literature. In the Australian context, however, there is little exploration about the effects of ‘brain circulation’ and most Australian migration research is concerned with the post-WWII patterns of one-way settlement of emigration and settlement. But migration no longer means a severing of ties with a place of birth, but rather a reshaping of that relationship by the diaspora with its homeland. Indeed, migrants today often have transnational identities where they live in and engage with their places of birth and their new homeland, and indeed with expatriate communities in third countries The key aim of the Australian Diasporas ARC Funded project is to address some of these issues and gaps in the literature through an investigation of the transnational connections of four Australian Diasporas: Tongan, Italian, Vietnamese and Macedonian. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the study considers the political, cultural, economic and social and welfare links maintained between key Australian Diasporas and their homelands. This seminar will provide a background to the project and how the key research questions are explored.

Project Lead Investigator: Associate Professor Danny Ben-Moshe:
Danny has worked extensively on issues of cultural diversity, both in the public policy sphere for NGOs, and also as the former director of the Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives at Victoria University. Danny has published extensively on the archetypal Diaspora, the Jewish Diaspora, and Israel-Diaspora relations. He is the editor of the book Israel, the Diaspora and Jewish Identity. He writes a column on Israel-Diaspora relations in the fortnightly magazine The Jerusalem Report. Danny is the chairman of the global diaspora based organisation The Litvak (Lithuanian) Studies Institute. Danny currently holds a joint appointment between the CSES and the Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives (ICEPA).

Senior Research Fellow: Dr Joanne Pyke
Joanne has a background in social policy research with a focus on gender equity, cultural diversity, refugee settlement and access and equity in employment, education and training. She has published two books and is the author or co-author of more than twenty research reports commissioned by various government agencies and industry bodies. Joanne currently holds a joint appointment between the CSES and the Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives (ICEPA).

18 August 2010
TITLE:  Investigating the Energy, Economic Growth, Urbanization Nexus in Developed and Developing Countries via a Production Function with Urbanization as a Shift Factor and Panel Cointegration
PRESENTERS:  Dr Brantley Liddle, CSES

Abstract: In order to investigate the macro-level interrelationships among urbanization, energy consumption, and economic growth, this paper combined two production function models—one with urbanization as a shift factor and one that included energy consumption along with physical capital. In concordance with the stock-based, time series/cross sectional database employed, panel cointegration, panel DOLS, and panel Granger-causality methods are used to analyze three panels of developed and developing countries. Because regressions involving nonlinear transformations (e.g., including a GDP per capita squared term) of nonstationary variables can be spurious, panels comprising rich, middle, and poor countries are used here to determine whether any relationships depend on level of development. For all three panels the variables—GDP per capita, total final energy consumption per capita, gross fixed (physical) capital formation per capita, and urbanization—were found to be cointegrated; and thus, there exists a long-run equilibrium relationship among them. In addition, the causality tests indicated a high degree of mutual causality in the long-run for the middle and poor panels and a high degree of mutual causality in the short-run for the rich. The long-run elasticity estimates, coupled with those cointegration and causality results, suggest (i) that urbanization is important to and associated with economic growth, and (ii) that poor countries are over-urbanized (their elasticities being negative). Yet, there was no evidence that urbanization directly caused economic growth. Furthermore, the urbanization-development relationship varies considerably across countries—even across the most developed, rich countries. Similarly, substantial country differences in the energy-development relationship were discovered for all countries. By contrast, the importance of physical capital to economic growth, in terms of both magnitude and causal link, was highly robust both across panels and across countries within the panels. Lastly, the importance of energy consumption to economic growth declines with development; whereas, physical capital is more important for economic growth than energy consumption in rich countries, but energy consumption is more important for economic growth than physical capital for middle and poor countries.

Dr. Brantley Liddle is a Senior Research Fellow in the CSES. He completed his PhD in economics at MIT and has 16 years experience in economic research and lecturing. He has published widely in the field of energy economics on issues of urban sustainability, demographics and transport policy. For a selection of his publications click here.

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28 July 2010
TITLE:  Democracy and Growth
PRESENTER:  Professor Tran Van Hoa

Abstract: Democracy or political freedom and its positive impact on economic growth or well-being are the central theme in political economy and the foundation for wars and peace, regional security, colonisation and globalisation. There is still no consensus on this nexus in rigorous empirical studies. The paper introduces a new enquiry approach, and using global data, to provide more definitive findings on this nexus for effective policy uses in a growing globalised world where disparity in Schumpeterian developmental stages, living standards, poverty incidence, income inequality, openness, geo-economic influences, and political regimes is ever present.

Tran Van Hoa is Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (Victoria University, Melbourne) and Director, Vietnam and ASEAN+3 Research Program (CSES). He is also Honorary Professor, National Advanced Training Institute (NATI), Vietnam Ministry of Trade; and Honorary Professor, National Economics University, Hanoi, Vietnam. Tran Van Hoa has wide experience and extensive record in research, teaching, training, consulting and publications.  His current interests cover Asian economic development and growth, Asian economic and financial crisis and management, trade and investment in Asian economies, international business development and promotion in Asia, Asian transition economies, competition policy and e-commerce in Asia, modelling and forecasting Asian economies, Vietnam, ASEAN, ASEAN+3, ASEAN+6, APEC and WTO.

14 July 2010
TITLE:  Regional Systems of Innovation in Australia and How to Measure Them
PRESENTER:  Dr Dana Nicolau

Abstract: Since the early literature on national systems of innovation in the late 1980s and early 1990s the idea of applying similar conceptual approaches to regions has been very appealing and it led to the proliferation of similar analyses on regional systems of innovation (RIS). Generally the rationale for a RIS stems from the existence of technological trajectories that are based on sticky knowledge and localised learning.  For a while economists have focused on comparative advantage ignoring more or less the role of policies.  In the past decade or so the idea of constructed advantage gained in importance and regional development is seen as the result of interfacing developments in various directions. This seminar presents a picture of the dynamic environment in which innovation appears and spreads and introduces a framework for quantitative analysis of RIS in Western Australia.

Dana Nicolau has worked in CSES for 8 years. She is a specialist in S&T policy and she has participated in projects about technological development with a focus on high technologies such as Nanotechnology, Biotechnology and Spatial Information.  She is presently working on a project about measurement of RIS in Australia.

28 April 2010
TITLE:  Has Medical Innovation Reduced Cancer Mortality?
PRESENTER:  Professor Frank R. Lichtenberg, Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business, Columbia University, New York

Abstract: Cancer mortality rates have declined significantly in both the US and Australia in the last 15 years. Professor Lichtenberg’s econometric analysis, which is based on extensive data on treatments given to large numbers of patients with different types of cancer since the early 1990s, indicates that two important types of medical innovation—diagnostic imaging innovation and pharmaceutical innovation—account for much of the decline in cancer mortality rates. His estimates indicate that life expectancy at birth of the entire US population was increased by almost three months between 1996 and 2006 by the combined effects of cancer imaging and cancer drug innovation. This evidence contradicts the widely-held view that “the effect of new treatments for cancer on mortality has been largely disappointing.

Frank R. Lichtenberg is Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University. He received a BA with Honors in History from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lichtenberg previously taught at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as serving as an expert for the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Dept. of Justice, and state Attorneys General. He has worked for several U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Census Bureau. Professor Lichtenberg’s research has examined how the introduction of new technology arising from research and development affects the productivity of companies, industries and nations. His recent studies have focused on the impact of medical innovation on longevity.

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