Economics and Econometrics

Contact: Prof Massimiliano Tani Bertuol,

Current research projects

  • the labour market for CEOs (Andrew Valentine, PhD candidate), specifically measuring whether appointing a CEO already known to members of the board of directors (e.g. via previous work experience) affects company's productivity;
  • the determinants of choosing a career as educator: what underpins the choice of becoming a teacher and what factors/features of the labour market have favoured the increased specialisation by gender in teaching-related occupations over the past 20 years (grant with former PhD student D Carroll and colleague at Monash)
  • the role of occupational licensing in causing education-occupation mismatching among new immigrants to Australia;
  • determinants of different pay received by native vs foreign-born individuals completing PhD studies in Australia, by field of education;
  • economic consequences of ageing immigrant population;
  • what explains the wage premium, by university, in Australia?
  • immigration reforms and effects in enrolments and outcomes of Master students (with colleague at Royal Holloway College London)
  • immigration and changes in skills endowments in the European Union following the introduction of the Single market (with colleague at University of Auckland)
  • how has the global financial crisis affected work quality in Australia (with colleague at Macquarie university).


Many individual and aggregate choices are driven by economic motives. As a result, economic incentives can be used to affect behaviours, promoting those that are desirable, like increased productivity, knowledge diffusion, etc. Studying specific changes of incentives (e.g. due to reform) and their related consequences on economic outcomes enables informed policymaking.

The key strength of the UNSW Canberra Business School is research on the public sector, which (in Australia) has long ago subscribed to the use of economic incentives and human capital formation. Economics and econometrics (quantitative analysis) form skills that are transferable across disciplines: it is an approach and use of techniques so a regression technique learnt at any university is the same, and draws on the same references.

As a result undertaking economic/quantitative studies within the school should not be a surprise. The School of Business at UNSW in particular, thanks its history, has always had a focus/interest on productivity and innovation. Hence we study incentives for the individual and the firm that has a bearing on national productivity with a view to drawing implications for policymaking.

Being a small school makes it easier to interact, especially for students who are never 'left' on their own because everyone is just 'too' busy. We are well connected to the Sydney campus and colleagues there (e.g. we are focal point for two of the university-wide grand challenges, interact/present/contribute to activities carried out at main campus, and adhere to same principles of accreditation) and care about substance: so if that is what you want....we want you!

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