Volume 29, Issue 1, 1999
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- Marginal Indirect Tax Reform in Australia (John Creedy)
- Government and Private Sector Joint Venturing in Natural Resource Development: The Queensland Plantation Forestry Joint Venture Scheme (S.R. Harrison, J. Miano and M.W. Anderson)
- Estimation of Community Values of Lakes: A Study of Lake Mokoan in Victoria, Australia (Gamini Herath)
- Assessing the Efficiency of the Australian Higher Education Export Sector (Amir Mahmood and Darren McKay)
- Optimal Australian Dugong Populations and Conservation Plans: An Economic Perspective (Clem Tisdell)
- The Asian Currency Crisis, the IMF, and the Role of Japan (Akira Kohsaka)
- The Asian Currency Crisis and the Australian Economy (Tony Makin)
- The Characteristics of the Asian Financial Crisis (Dr Jon Stanford)
Marginal Indirect Tax Reform in Australia
This paper examines indirect tax reform in Australia using the method developed by Ahmad and Stern (1984). It is usual, in calculating the changes in demand that would result from marginal tax reform, to use aggregate own-price and cross-price demand elasticities. However, the present paper uses an approach in which the demand elasticities are allowed to vary with the value of total expenditure of the household. The pattern of optimal directions of marginal tax changes is found to be influenced by the existence of inequality aversion, though the effect of increasing aversion depends on the commodity group. Both equity and efficiency considerations (arising from the distortion to consumer choice) play a role in determining the preferred direction of marginal reforms.
Government and Private Sector Joint Venturing in Natural Resource Development: The Queensland Plantation Forestry Joint Venture Scheme
S.R. Harrison, J. Miano and M.W. Anderson
This paper examines the role of joint ventures between government and resource owners to develop natural resources, with particular reference for forestry plantations. Findings of a survey of landholders participating or expressing interest in the Queensland Plantation Joint Venture Scheme are presented. Joint venture arrangements are found to overcome investment constraints, particularly with respect to capital, technical knowledge and resource security. Complementarities between resource supplies of joint venture partners lead to increased output relative to wholly owned investments. Participants expressed a high degree of satisfaction with this program, although making some suggestions for changes in arrangements. Plantation joint ventures can contribute towards timber self-sufficiency and to ecologically sustainable land-use. Opportunities exist for joint ventures between government and private firms with respect to other natural-resource-based enterprises where market failure is apparent.
Estimation of Community Values of Lakes: A Study of Lake Mokoan in Victoria, Australia
The recent values of Lake Mokoan in Victoria were estimated in this study using the travel cost method and the contingent valuation method. Data were collected for both methods by personal interviews and four different values were estimated using variants of TCM and CVM. The TCM gave smaller estimates of consumers’ surplus over the CVM. There were differences between the estimated values in the different variants of the same method. The lower values from the TCM may be due to the local origin of the users of the lake. The CVM gave a value of $61,100 and $82,900 for the open-ended and the dichotomous choice models. These values can be used as the upper and lower bounds for planning purposes. Conclusions were drawn on the maximum amount that could be spent in renovating the lake to make it fit for recreation by computing the present value of the estimated annual benefits. This study demonstrates that even if differences arise in estimates, they provide useful information and insight for lake management.
Assessing the Efficiency of the Australian Higher Education Export Sector
Amir Mahmood and Darren McKay
This paper examines the efficiency of the Australian higher education sector in exporting education services. Little attempt has been made to date to quantify this sector’s export efficiency, and therefore this paper attempts to contribute toward filling this void. Efficiency is measured by comparing export income generated by this sector with the domestic resource costs incurred in providing these services. As such this paper goes further than merely comparing university fees to costs by attempting to encapsulate wider net export revenues generated by overseas students expenditure in Australia. The approach taken is to apply the Domestic Resource Cost (DRC) methodology to higher education cost and overseas student expenditure data. Our results confirm that Australian universities are efficient in providing higher education to overseas students. The study also notes significant employment benefits from overseas student expenditure in Australia. Furthermore, sensitivity tests conducted imply that overall export efficiency could still be maintained in this industry even if universities were subsidising overseas student enrolments. This is a pertinent point that should provide some comfort to those with suspicion that Australian Universities may be under costing their degrees to overseas students. This study therefore recommends further efforts to promote the export of educational services on efficiency as well as on employment grounds.
Optimal Australian Dugong Populations and Conservation Plans: An Economic Perspective
Australia provides one of the last refuges globally for the sea mammal Dugong dugon, an inhabitant of the Queensland coast and other northern Australian waters. In response to declining dugong numbers, some ecologists have strongly advocated extensions of dugong protected areas in Queensland. In these areas, gill net fishing is banned. This raises the question of what is the optimal population of dugong (and similar species) and whether economic factors should play a role in its determination. Ecologists recommending extended dugong protected areas pay no attention to economic factors so their analysis is far from holistic. As discussed, economics is relevant to assessing the cost-effectiveness of alternative conservation strategies and social cost-benefit analysis can throw further light on the social dimensions of the problem, even though A.C. Pigou’s view that welfare economics only yields partial answers should be heeded. Furthermore, even application of precautionary principles and safe minimum standards requires account to be taken of economic considerations, as recognised by amendments to the Endangered Species Act of the US. The ecologists in this dugong protection case ignore all such considerations.
The Asian Currency Crisis, the IMF, and the Role of Japan
Ruth Stroppiana and Paul Riethmuller, Kohei Kobayashi
The Asian Currency Crisis and the Australian Economy