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Dynamics Downunder: Australian Economic Strategy and Performance from the Palaeolithic to the Twenty-first Century

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  • Graeme Donald Snooks

Abstract

This essay attempts to quantify and explain the economic performance of the Great South Land – later called Australia – from the first migrations some 60,000 years ago to the present, and beyond. A general dynamic theory – the ‘dynamic-strategy’ theory – has been employed to provide a new interpretation of ‘dynamics Downunder’. It is shown, among other things, that the bold attempt from the 1910s to the 1960s to turn aside from the traditional development policy of exogenously driven natural-resource exploitation in order to embark on an endogenously determined dynamic process, has broken down during the course of the present generation. This was mainly due to a failure of ‘strategic leadership’ on the part of recent Australian governments that have, quite rightly, dismantled the framework of protection, but have failed to replace it with the infrastructure of strategically relevant technological ideas. Once again Australia’s economic prosperity depends heavily on the fluctuating fortunes of the global economy. While in the nineteenth century this took the form of reliance on the prosperity of Britain, today it centres on the continuing growth of Japan and China. This critical problem has been exacerbated by misconceived monetary policies that are damaging the central endogenous dynamic mechanism. What then of the future? It all depends on whether strategic leadership can ever be rediscovered.

Suggested Citation

  • Graeme Donald Snooks, 2006. "Dynamics Downunder: Australian Economic Strategy and Performance from the Palaeolithic to the Twenty-first Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 539, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:539
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    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP539.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
    2. McLean, Ian W. & Pincus, Jonathan J., 1983. "Did Australian Living Standards Stagnate between 1890 and 1940?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 193-202, March.
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    Keywords

    long-run dynamics; dynamic-strategy theory; inflation targeting; strategic leadership; strategic demand.;

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