Developing evidence-informed economic and social policy

Hands cupping a stack of coins

We have a thriving network of research institutes, centres, clusters and researchers dedicated to producing high-impact research across the theme of Developing Evidence-Informed Economic and Social Policy. This research strength helps promote an understanding of major economic and social policy issues locally in Western Australia, nationally and on a global scale. Our commitment to this theme is represented through varies research entities including the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Centre for Research in Applied Economics (CRAE), Future of Work Institute (FOWI), John Curtin Institute of Public Policy (JCIPP) and Women in Social and Economic Research Cluster (WiSER).

Our researchers possess expertise in quantitative modelling, policy evaluation, forecasting, simulations, experiments and qualitative analysis, offering critical and wide-ranging skills for developing evidence-informed policy solutions to address economic and social challenges. This strength has helped shaped our reputation for contributing rigorous research, which has had a positive impact in influencing policy debates in both WA and nationally. In particular, our researchers continuously make major contributions in policy research areas relating to labour market performance, education, productivity, economic development, international trade, income and wealth inequality, gender equity, population ageing, health and indigenous wellbeing.
Our strengths in applied economic and social policy research facilitate close collaboration with policy focused organisations including the WA and Commonwealth Treasury, WA Department of Regional Development, Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Workplace Gender Equality Agency, WA Department of Communities and WA Council of Social Service.

Key projects

2019 Women’s Report Card Researchers: A/Prof. Rebecca Cassells, Dr Daniel Kiely, Dr Silvia Salazar, and Dr Richard Seymour

The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre partnered with the WA Department of Communities to develop the 2019 WA Women’s Report Card and Data Insights Platform. The Report Card presents fact-based information to raise awareness of the status of Western Australian women. It contributes to the evidence base that underpins actions to address the barriers to women’s progress and promote the benefits of greater gender equity. Public, private and community sector organisations use this information to develop policies and to take action to support women’s progress and achieve gender equality. The report fulfils the State Government’s continuing commitment to provide regular updates on the status and progress of WA women.

Traditional Owner and neighbouring community readiness assessment for mine closure: The case of argyle diamond mine Researchers: Prof. Helen Cabalu, Prof. Michael Dockery, Dr Amma Buckley (Humanities)

Argyle Diamond Mine pays benefits to Traditional Owners (TOs) and Aboriginal neighbouring communities. With mine closure, these benefits will cease. TOs and communities may not be adequately prepared for the direct and indirect impacts of the forthcoming mine closure. The degree of awareness and preparedness of TOs and neighbouring communities of the implications of the mine closure is variable and inconsistent. The overall aim of the study is to identify these knowledge gaps to enable Argyle and the Gelganyem Trust to develop more targeted intervention and mitigation strategies to be included into the closure planning process. This study is expected to identify potential economic drivers and opportunities that could provide pathways to communities’ and families’ sustainable future.

Inside the black box: Intra-household resource allocations of older couples Researchers: Prof. Siobhan Austen, A/Prof. Astghik Mavisakalyan, Prof. Helen Hodgson and Prof. Ross Taplin (along with researchers from other universities)

This Australian Research Council -funded project is producing new knowledge about the patterns of ownership of resources within older couple households, the methods by which household resources are managed, and the policy-relevant factors that link such resources with health and well-being. The policy context is one where defined contribution superannuation is the preferred approach for funding retirement, leaving individuals with the task of managing their financial and other resources in retirement. We study the decisions that are made about resources within older couple households because they affect both the outcomes of the people within retired households and a range of key economic outcomes.