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Full Employment and Free Trade: An Historical Episode of Australian Intellectual Leadership

Listed author(s):
  • Sean Turnell


    (Department of Economics, Macquarie University)

In the 1940s Australian economists sought an international agreement that would bind countries to the pursuit of full employment. Seen by them as a necessary prerequisite to agreements on monetary and commercial policy, this 'employment approach' was advanced with a 'crusading zeal' before the great international conferences concerned with postwar reconstruction. Sometimes regarded as Australian posturing, the employment approach was based on a sound understanding of contemporary economic theory. The purpose of this paper is to reappraise the employment approach in terms of this theory. It concludes that the Australian economists were correct in their advocacy, and their actions a timely reminder of a period when Australia sought to positively engage the international community.

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File Function: First Version, 2001
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Paper provided by Macquarie University, Department of Economics in its series Research Papers with number 0102.

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Length: 23 pages.
Date of creation: Mar 2001
Handle: RePEc:mac:wpaper:0102
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