Delve into danger
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Inequality of wealth and income is seen as a complex problem that is driving societies apart. But what if inequality has a productive value that is a legitimate counterweight to what looks like its fundamental unfairness? Looking at how economies grow in practice, and how incentives and risk matter in this process might shed a different light on the positives of inequality. If we want to grow working and middle-class incomes in advanced economies, it’s time to look at these important questions from both sides.
Nick Cater is Executive Director of The Menzies Research Centre. He writes regularly in The Australian, Spectator Australia and The Sunday Times and is a frequent contributor to public policy debate on television and radio. Cater began his career with the BBC in London before moving to Australia in 1989 to work for News Corp Australia including senior positions as Hong Kong correspondent and Editor of The Weekend Australian. He is author of The Lucky Culture, editor of The Howard Factor, advisor on the ABC documentary, Howard on Menzies and series editor for the R.G. Menzies Essays, published by the Menzies Research Centre and Connor Court.
Rosalind Dixon has been described as “the leading comparative constitutional scholar of her generation” worldwide. Her research focuses on comparative constitutional law and constitutional design, theories of constitutional dialogue and amendment, socio-economic rights and constitutional law and gender. As Professor of Law at UNSW, Dixon’s current focus is on fragile democracies, or the threat posed by democratic backsliding, and what law and legal institutions may be able to do about it. Dixon is a member of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, deputy director of the Herbert Smith Freehills Initiative on Law and Economics, and co-lead of the UNSW Grand Challenge on Inequality.
Richard Holden is Professor of Economics at UNSW Business School and academic co-lead of the UNSW Grand Challenge on Inequality. Holden's research focuses on contract theory, organisational economics, law and economics, and political economy. He appears regularly as a media commentator, and has published pieces in The New York Times, The Australian Financial Review and The Australian.
Judith Sloan is an economist and company director. She is currently the Contributing Economics Editor of The Australian newspaper and a member of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council. She holds degrees from the University of Melbourne and the London School of Economics. She has held a number of government appointments, including Commissioner of the Productivity Commission; Commissioner of the Australian Fair Pay Commission; and Deputy Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She has sat on the boards of a number of companies including: Mayne Nickless; SGIO Insurance; Santos; Westfield Group and Primelife, where she was also Chairman. She is also an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne.