Western Australia

Economic Society Workshop: Measurement and Policy

The Economic Society organized a workshop on measurement and policy with Mary S. Morgan as the key note speaker.

Presentation's agenda: Measurements good for scientific purposes are not necessarily those good for policy purposes. There are trade-offs or tensions between precise measurement and accurate measurement, and between different forms of statistics usable for different purposes. Issues of aggregation and valuation are key for any possibilities of policy intervention. * Case materials: first poverty measurements of late 19thC (Booth poverty maps and Jevons’s maps of Australia) compared to recent and current poverty measurements ($-a-day vs indicators in Millennium Development Goals’ and Sustainable Development Goals’). Different forms of measurement provide different possibilities of intervention by different communities.

Biography: Mary S. Morgan is in Australia in April 2016 as a guest of the Economic Society of Australia to present the Society’s Eminent Speaker Series for 2016. She is professor of history and philosophy of economics and econometrics at the London School of Economics and Vice President (Publications) at the British Academy. She also holds a part time professorial appointment at the University of Amsterdam and is a visiting fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Her major area of scholarship is the history of economic and econometric ideas.

On this occasion Mary was also joined by a number of highly respected Western Australian economists:

  • Professor Ken Clements (UWA) (abstract and bio)
  • Mr Peter Kolf (Chairman, Independent Market Operator; and Director, KPK Specialist Advisory Services) (abstract and bio)
  • Emeritus Professor Margaret Nowak (Curtin University) (bio)

The Workshop will also feature a “Young Economists Session”, with presentations by:


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