Macroeconomic Policy and Employment Growth in Australia

A. J. Phipps*, J. R. Sheen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract This article, which explores various aspects of macroeconomic policy and employment growth, is prompted by the relative lack of attention given to these issues in the Green and White Papers on unemployment. The problem of hysteresis reinforces the generally recognised need to reduce the excessive volatility of output and employment growth in Australia. International comparisons presented in the article suggest that Australian output and employment growth have been more volatile than those of the three major OECD countries. Reduction in macroeconomic volatility requires more effective short‐term demand management than we have had in the recent past, and in turn, means that we must know more about the strength and timing of the effects of major macroeconomic policy instruments on employment growth and unemployment. This article presents employment growth equations for Australia over the period 1979–93 which incorporate domestic macroeconomic policy effects as well as the influences of the international business cycle. We show that monetary and fiscal policy have had a significant impact on the evolution of employment in Australia and, in particular, that tight monetary and fiscal policy contributed substantially to the recession of 1990–92.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-104
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Economic Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


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