34th History of Economic Thought Society of Australia Conference

The 34th History of Economic Thought Society of Australia Conference will be held at Ramada Encore Hotel, 110 Benjamin Way, Belconnen ACT. The conference opens with a reception on the evening of Wednesday 20th September and runs until Friday 22nd September.


The conference venue will be the Ramada Encore Belconnen, 110 Benjamin Way, Belconnen. It is close to the University of Canberra. Its phone number is (61-2) 6253 3633.
The hotel is about 7 km west of the Canberra CBD (known as ‘Civic’) and about 17 kms west of the Canberra Airport. It is about a 20-30 minute drive from the airport, depending on traffic conditions. For those driving, there is free parking at the hotel.
The R3 bus goes from Canberra Airport (also stopping near the coach terminal) to Belconnen. The nearest stop to the hotel is Belconnen Interchange. After alighting from the bus, go straight ahead, and take the first turn to the left along Benjamin Way. The hotel is on your right after about 500 metres.

conference map

The conference dinner on Thursday evening 21 September will be held nearby at the Bella Vista Restaurant, 84 Emu Bank Rd, Belconnen, which overlooks Lake Ginninderra, starting at 6.30pm. There will be an after-dinner address by Dr David Gruen, the Australian Statistician.
The Conference dinner will cost $85. If you wish to come, you can pay this on Thursday when we will take bookings. If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise the conference convenor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Wednesday morning.
The restaurant is about a 20 minute walk from the conference venue. Go north (i.e. turn left coming out of the hotel) along Benjamin Way until you reach the edge of Lake Gininderra. (You will pass the Westfield shopping mall on your left.) Then turn right and follow the lakeside footpath until you reach a footbridge. The restaurant is then on your right.

Restaurant Map


Wednesday 20 September 2023

6.00-7.00 pm Reception – Ramada Hotel


Thursday 21 September 2023

8.30-8.50 am Tea and coffee
8.50-9.00 am Welcome and acknowledgement of country
9.00-10.30 am Session 1: Three British-based economists
Chair: Harry Bloch
  Keynes’s work on ancient currencies: a centenary commemoration
(Dr John Hawkins, University of Canberra)
  Bernard Mandeville: the roads not taken
(Paul Jenkins, University of Canberra)
  Pigou on speculation: institutions and economic welfare
(Riko Stevens, University of Notre Dame)
10.30-11.00am Morning tea break
11.00am-12.00pm Session 2: First Keynote Address
Chair: Selwyn Cornish
  The Australian approach to macroeconomic analysis: from its origins in the 1920s to its relevance today
             (Prof David Vines, University of Oxford)
12.00-1.30pm Lunch
(Meeting of the editorial board of History of Economics Review)
1.30-3.30pm Session 3: Adam Smith Tercentenary
Chair: Paul Oslington
  Adam Smith on growth and economic development
(Matthew Smith, University of Sydney)
  Putting the ‘political’ back into Adam Smith’s political economy
(David Hart, University of Western Australia)
  Maximising revenue versus maximising profits: a note on Adam Smith’s invisible hand
            (Tony Aspromourgos, University of Sydney)
3.30-4.00pm Afternoon tea break
4.00-5.00pm Session 4: Influence of economic thought on Australian economic policy
Chair: Peter Kreisler
  Menzies and the creation of the Reserve Bank
(Selwyn Cornish, Australian National University)
  Crawford and the Vernon Report
(Prof Nick Brown, Australian National University)
5.00-6.00pm HETSA annual general meeting
6.30-8.30pm Conference Dinner: Bella Vista, Emu Bank, Belconnen
Dinner speaker: Dr David Gruen, Australian Statistician: “Statistical insights from the ABS”


Friday 22 September 2023

8.30-9.00am Tea and coffee
9.00-10.30 am Session 5: Miscellany I
Chair: Lauren Song
  Economic theodicy
(Prof Paul Oslington, Alphacrucis University College)
  Academics and the Economic Society of Australia
(Alex Millmow, Federation University)
  Normal prices, then and now
(Dr Harry Bloch, Curtin University)
10.30-11.00am Morning tea break
11.00am-12.00pm Session 6: Second Keynote Address
Chair: Judy Butlin
  Economists in the cold war
(Alan Bollard, Victoria University of Wellington)
12.00-1.30pm Lunch
1.30-3.00pm Session 7: Miscellany II
Chair: Alex Millmow
  Japanese Marxian studies of joint-stock capital                                                                     
   (Prof Kei Ehara, Tokyo Institute of Technology and Prof Shinya Shibaski, Tokyo Keizai University)
  ‘The schism between microeconomics and macroeconomics and its detrimental impact on trade theory and policy’
(Ass. Prof. Craig Applegate, University of Canberra)
  Towards a typology of macroeconomic schools - a discussion
(Pat Hassall, University of Canberra)
3.00-3.30pm Afternoon tea break
  Session 8: Robinson & Keynes
Chair: John Hawkins
3.30-4.30pm 17. ‘The Robinson-Keynes model of monopsony’
(Emeritus Prof Ian McDonald, University of Melbourne)
4.30pm Close of conference


Speakers, chairs and abstracts

John Hawkins: Keynes’s work on ancient currencies: a centenary celebration

Keynes’s unpublished monograph on ancient currencies was generally neglected among his vast legacy. But there are some interesting aspects to it.
John is senior lecturer in, and deputy head of, the Canberra School of Politics, Economics & Society at the University of Canberra. He is joint editor of the History of Economics Review. He holds an MSc from LSE and a PhD from ANU.

Paul Jenkins: Bernard Mandeville: the roads not taken

While Mandeville’s 1714 Fable of the Bees inspired such greats as Adam Smith and David Hume, his contributions also represent a road not taken. Three centuries before the advent of behavioural economics Mandeville was laying the basis for studying economic systems based on how people actually behaved rather than how they ought to (either morally or rationally) behave.
Paul is a research affiliate at the University of Canberra. He holds an Economics (Hons I) degree from UC. He also founded Med tech start-up Vibe Dynamics.

Riko Stevens: Pigou on speculation: institutions and economic welfare

This paper examines how Pigou’s microeconomic analysis of speculation, mostly in The Economics of Welfare, fits within his economic welfare framework. It also highlights that his assessment of the welfare consequences of speculation depends crucially upon the nature of the institutional context.
Riko is Lecturer in Economics at the University of Notre Dame Australia (Fremantle) and Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. He holds a PhD in Economics from UWA and B.Com (Hons I) and M.Com degrees in Economics from the University of Auckland. Riko's main research interest is the history of economic thought with a particular focus on the intersection of economics and finance. His PhD thesis on the treatment of speculation in the Marshallian tradition of economic thought was awarded the 2022 HETSA Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis. He is currently Treasurer of the Economic Society of Australia’s WA Branch.

David Vines: The Australian approach to macroeconomic analysis: from its origins in the 1920s to its relevance today

The ‘Australian Approach’ to macroeconomic analysis was assembled in the 1920s/1930s with the Brigden Report on Protection and Giblin and Copland’s open-economy multiplier analysis, providing the basis on which Trevor Swan built his econometric model of the Australian Economy in the early 1940s, in turn equipping Australian economists (Coombs, Wilson, Melville) to play a significant role in the run-up to the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference. The three key models -- the ‘Swan Diagram’, the Solow-Swan growth model and Corden’s analysis of protection -- encompass shorter-run macroeconomic equilibrium; longer-term economic growth; and the allocation of resources between different sectors of the economy. They provided the essential underpinning for the reforms of the Hawke-Keating era and remain relevant today.
David Vines is Emeritus Professor of Economics, and Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, at Oxford University. He is also the Director of the Ethics and Economics Programme at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. David obtained a BA in Economics and Mathematics from Melbourne University, and an MA and PhD in Economics from Cambridge University. Together with James Meade, he wrote some of the earliest research on inflation-targeting regimes. His books include The Leaderless Economy and Keynes: Useful Economics for the World Economy, both written jointly with Peter Temin.

Matthew Smith: Adam Smith on growth and economic development

The paper provides a concise account of Smith’s analysis of growth and economic development in the Wealth of Nations. Whilst the driving force of growth in Smith’s analysis is saving-cum-investment out of the net income of society, critical to achieving his policy objective of ‘universal opulence’, requiring higher wages for ‘common labour’, is technical progress and higher labour productivity stemming from the division of labour. From the perspective of the demand-led theory of growth, the most important insight from Smith’s analysis for understanding economic development in modern history is his notion that the division of labour is ‘limited by the extent of the market’.
Matthew is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney. His main research interests are in the modern revival and development of classical economics and Keynesian demand-led growth theory by reference to the history of economic development. He wrote Thomas Tooke and the Monetary Thought of Classical Economics and numerous articles.

David Hart: Putting the ‘political’ back into Adam Smith’s political economy

David is an adjunct research fellow with the University of Western Australia Business School. He describes himself as ‘an historian and a libertarian with interests in the history of the classical liberal tradition’. He was director of the Online Library of Liberty. He holds a BA (Hons) from Macquarie University and a PhD from King’s College, Cambridge.

Tony Aspromourgos: Maximising profits versus maximising revenue: a not on Adam Smith’s invisible hand

This note interrogates Adam Smith’s one invisible-hand narrative in the Wealth of Nations, with a view to clarifying an analytical error – or at least, an analytical problem – in his reasoning.
Tony is Emeritus Professor of Economics in the University of Sydney and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He has published extensively in international economic journals. He wrote The Science of Wealth: Adam Smith and the Framing of Political Economy and the forthcoming Nature and Economic Society: a Classical-Keynesian Synthesis. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of EJHT and JHET.

Peter Kriesler (session chair)

Peter is an honorary associate professor at the University of NSW. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He was co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Post-Keynesian Economics and co-author of Post-Keynesian Essays From Down Under.

Selwyn Cornish AM: Menzies and the creation of the Reserve Bank

In 1960 the Menzies Government established the Reserve Bank of Australia, separating central banking from where it had evolved within the government-owned Commonwealth Bank. Menzies was initially reluctant about separation but was pressed strongly by the private banks and some coalition backbenchers.
Selwyn is an honorary associate professor in the Research School of Economics at the Australian National University. He is the official historian of the Reserve Bank of Australia. His publications include The Evolution of Central Banking in Australia and Full Employment in Australia: the Genesis of a White Paper.

Nick Brown: ‘A risky enterprise’: Crawford and the Vernon Report

In 1962 R.G. Menzies was advised by his senior officials that establishing an enquiry into the Australian economy could be ‘a risky enterprise’. Most public commentary urged that Sir John Crawford, former Secretary of the Department of Trade but then at the ANU, was the obvious choice to lead the venture. Within government there was no such consensus. The fate of the 1965 Vernon Report is familiar enough. This paper summaries some of the internal dynamics, informed by a biographical perspective on the place of the enquiry in Crawford’s work and career, and by an assessment of how its report might now be seen in relation to themes in Australian economic and policy history.
Nick is a professor in the School of History, Australian National University, and he has been part of a team working on a biography of J.G. Crawford for several years. His teaching includes Australian economic history and his research deals with the intersections of biography, policy and advocacy in Australia. He is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

David Gruen: Statistical Insights from the ABS

David is the Australian Statistician. He previously held senior positions at the Reserve Bank of Australia and the department of the Treasury. He holds PhDs in both science and economics.

Lauren Song (session chair)

Lauren is an analyst in the Monetary and Macroprudential Policy team at the Australian Department of the Treasury. Previously, she worked in the Treasury's Budget Policy Division and was involved in delivering two Federal Budgets. She studied Economics and History at the University of Melbourne.

Paul Oslington: Economic Theodicy

The search for Adam Smith’s theodicy is largely misguided. The paper begins with a brief history of approaches to evil, emphasising the context in which they arose and the questions authors were addressing. The paper then turns to Smith’s writings, which emphasise the wisdom and beneficence of God, and that evils we observe are part of a larger providential plan. There is no attempt to justify the God in the face of evil. By contrast, theodicy was important for early 19th century English political economy, from Malthus onwards. While the theodicist’s project of justifying an all-powerful and good God in the face of evil may not matter any more, we still struggle to make sense of economic evils.
Paul is Professor of Economics and Theology at Alphacrucis University College. His MEc(hons) and PhD in economics were completed at University of Sydney, and DTheol at University of Divinity in Melbourne. He works on international trade, labour markets, the history and philosophy of economics, and the emerging interdisciplinary field of economics and religion. His books include The Theory of International Trade and Unemployment and Economics and Religion.

Alex Millmow: Academics and the Economic Society of Australia

As it nears its 1925 centenary, the Society is not as comfortably ensconced as its overseas counterparts. Established as a platform to promote economics education, while initially largely run by university economists it appealed to economists from all walks of life until the 1990s. Some of the challenges facing it were the readability of the Economic Record and whether it took a proportionate share of the large numbers studying economics. Recent changes to higher education and the internationalisation of the economics profession pose a significant challenge.
Alex is an honorary research fellow with Federation University Australia. He is the president of the History of Economic Thought Society of Australia. His books include A History of Australasian Economic Thought and The Gypsy Economist: The Life and Times of Colin Clark.

Harry Bloch: Normal prices, then and now

The concept of normal price has a long history in economics. Marshall prominently uses the concept in his analysis of price determination in the long period. He also claims equivalence between his concept of normal price and the classical economists’ concept of natural price. Schumpeter equates Marshall’s normal price to his own concept of a theoretical norm for price. While the concept evolved, continuity in the use of the language of normal price hides substantive differences in the way it is defined and applied. Yet, it is suggested that the common elements in the concept of normal price and its use in the various approaches to the theory of price determination considered here distinguish those approaches collectively from mainstream price theory based on competitive intertemporal general equilibrium.
Harry is John Curtin Distinguished Emeritus Professor at Curtin University in Perth. He has a BA degree from University of Michigan and PhD from University of Chicago. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and an Honorary Fellow of the Economic Society of Australia. His research interests cover industrial economics, economic development, productivity growth, history of economic thought, evolutionary economics and price theory. He has published over 100 academic journal articles, and wrote Schumpeter’s Price Theory. He is joint editor of the History of Economics Review.

Judy Butlin (session chair)

Judy worked at the RBA for 35 years, in the Research Department, Securities Markets (as the Bank's first female dealer), Bank Supervision, deputy chief representative in the New York office (the first woman posted to an overseas RBA office) and 14 years as deputy secretary.

Alan Bollard: Economists in the cold war

This paper presents a picture of the intellectual struggles of economists during the early Cold War period. A set of profiles illustrates how the economics discipline evolved and contributed to the hostile battles of ideas.

Alan holds the Chair for Pacific Region Business at Victoria university of Wellington. He was formerly governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and secretary of the New Zealand Treasury. His books include Crisis, Economists in the Cold War and Economists at War.

Kei Ehara and Sinya Shibaski

This paper identifies three main trends within Japanese Marxian studies of the joint-stock company conducted since WWII. First, Kozo Uno established a systematic approach. Second, Ichiro Kawai attempted an explanation based on the credit system. Third, Katsuzo Baba conducted a study based on individual capitalists. In the 1980s Shigekatsu Yamaguchi produced a synthesis. More recent debates provide the foundation for critical analysis of today’s financial market. Marx’s description of the joint-stock company as “the abolition of capital as private property” can hold only insofar as we continually challenge the way value in the stock market is capitalistically determined.
Kei is Associate Professor in Institute for Liberal Arts at Tokyo Institute of Technology. His recent publications include Japanese Discourses on the Marxian Theory of Finance and “Reconstructing Marxian Theory of Ground Rent: Based on Japanese Development of Marxian Political Economy”.
Shinya is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Economics at Tokyo Keizai University. His recent publications include “What is commercial capital? Japanese contributions to Marxian market theory” (co-authored with Kei).

Craig Applegate: The schism between microeconomics and macroeconomics: its detrimental impact on trade theory and policy

Many advocates of trade protection do so as a way of keeping or creating employment in a world of involuntary unemployment. Trade policy analysts often counterargue that any jobs created by protection simply come at the expense of jobs elsewhere in the economy, resulting in no net employment gain. However, this outcome is merely an assumption. All trade theory is microeconomic in origin. Lessons from the Keynesian Macroeconomic revolution should be incorporated and the possibility of involuntary unemployment introduced into trade models, such as by assuming sticky real wages. Short-term trade protection may be a second best policy response to temporary terms of trade fluctuations in a small country like Australia.
Craig is an assistant professor in the Canberra School of Politics, Economics & Society at the University of Canberra. He previously worked as a Treasury official. He holds a PhD from the ANU where he wrote a thesis on Australia’s foreign debt.

Pat Hassall: Towards a typology of macroeconomic schools -a discussion

In assessing the eclipse and revival of support for various economic schools of macroeconomic theory in Australia it is necessary to distinguish them more clearly than is generally the case in the media. What is actually new in ‘neo-Keynesianism’ and ‘neo-classical’ thought? And is ‘neoliberalism’ an economic or political concept?
Pat is a PhD student in economic history at the University of Canberra, supervised by John Hawkins and Craig Applegate. His doctoral thesis is titled “Australian Macroeconomic Policy (2008-2022): The Return of Keynesianism.” He has a first-class honours degree in political theology from the Australian Catholic University and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in philosophy and minoring in Mandarin from the Australian National University.

Ian McDonald: the Robinson-Keynes model of monopsony

Placing the classic analysis of Joan Robinson and more recent analysis of Falch and Strøm in a macroeconomic setting shows how monopsony power by firms in purchasing labour can be a microeconomic foundation that supports Keynesian aggregate demand theory . Monopsony power becomes exploitable at low levels of aggregate demand. High levels of aggregate demand, by improving the position of workers, reduces the ability of firms to exploit them. Furthermore, the well-known partial equilibrium result that an increase in the wage forced on monopsonistic firms by a trade union or by a wage setting board or by a minimum wage law can increase both wages and employment does not carry over to general equilibrium without an accompanying increase in aggregate demand.

Ian is emeritus professor at the University of Melbourne. He holds a PhD from Simon Fraser University. He has written five books and over 100 chapters and journal articles. He is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a distinguished fellow of the Economic Society of Australia.

Free Books

Judy Butlin has copies of two of the key works in Australian monetary history, free to a good home:

free books

Please contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like one.