Analyse issues relating to the sustainable management of the Murray Darling-Basin and other major environmental assets

Program 1: The Murray-Darling Basin

Undertake fundamental research on preferences and production under risk and uncertainty.

Projects in this program will develop tools for the modelling of uncertainty in the absence of probabilities and with imperfect knowledge about possible events.  It will also formalise and assess the precautionary principle for the sustainable management of complex systems.

Key Projects
  1. Unforeseen Contingencies
  2. State-Contingent Production
1) Unforeseen Contingencies

Develop models of choice incorporating unforeseen contingencies
Progress so far

Substantial progress has been made in relation to the general representation of unforeseen contingencies. More significantly, a general formulation of the precautionary principle has been put forward, based on the idea that, in situations involving incomplete understanding of a problem, formal decision-making procedures tend to be biased in favour of options where the risks are least well understood. 

2) State-Contingent Production

Analyze uncertainty using state-contingent models of choice and production
Progress so far

Areas of application have included drought policy, agency theory and finance theory. The current focus is on empirical estimation and on the integration of production and finance theory.   

Undertake research on economic and social policy issues facing Australia in the 21st century.

New developments in the theory of risk and uncertainty will be applied to the central economic policy choices facing Australia; those connected with globalisation and microeconomic reform.  Projects in this program will show how the latest advances in economic theory can help to illuminate the major issues in the Australian public debate, from the role of government and the market to the assessment of standards of living.  The research program will also help to bridge the gap between economics and other social science.

Key Projects
  1. Privatisation and Public-Private Partnerships
  2. Microeconomic Reform in Australia
1) Privatisation and Public-Private Partnerships

Analyze economic and social impacts of privatisation and public-private partnerships

2) Microeconomic Reform in Australia

Analyze the benefits and costs of microeconomic reform in Australia 

Promote adaptation to, and mitigation of, climate change in Australia.

Projects in this program will examine adaptation to, and mitigation of, climate change.