Host Michael Pascoe in the podcast recording studio with Paul Raschky
Host Michael Pascoe in the podcast recording studio with Paul Raschky.

Thought Capital

The Monash Business School podcast Thought Capital has featured a number of staff and their research in conversation with host Michael Pascoe.

The very first episode featured Lata Gangadharan’s research on opting out. Yves Zenou discussed crime and networks in episode six and Paul Raschky talked about his work on economic behaviour and very large data sets. You can find Thought Capital wherever you listen to podcasts or on the website if you want to catch up on any of the episodes.

Financial Express

Asad Islam’s research was featured in an article in the Financial Express “Helping poor children through free private tutoring”.

Household Behaviour, Prices, and Welfare book cover His research on “Tackling the issue of parental gender bias” was reported on in Impact.


Ranjan Raj has recently published his book “Household Behaviour, Prices, and Welfare A Collection of Essays Including Selected Empirical Studies” published by Springer. It is the first book in the new Springer series, Themes in Economics: Theory, Empirics and Policy.

There was an Impact piece written on the book.

We finished off the year with the Christmas lunch on 5 December at Riva in St Kilda. Seems like everyone had a great time!

Staff sitting at round table enjoying lunch

Left to right: Solmaz Moslehi, Ayushi Bajaj, Claudio Labanca, Isaac Gross , Arthur Campbell, Lisa Kahn, Michelle Petersen Rendall and Yves Zenou.

The politics of coal - cheap, dirty and difficult to replace?

Event attendees
Left to right: Shreejan Pandey, General Manager of MEMSI, Emma Lucia,
Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise), Mark Thurber, Associate
Director at the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at
Stanford University, and Gordon Leslie, Lecturer, Department of Economics.

Dr Mark Thurber, the Associate Director at the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University, discussed policy barriers to major shifts away from coal in a public lecture at the Monash Business School on 21 November, organised by Gordon Leslie. The talk (that was also supported by the Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute) generated a lot of discussion from the 70+ attendees and Dr Thurber was subsequently asked to join ABC 774 Drive’s Raf Epstein to discuss the significance of coal today and going forward in Australia.

Dr Thurber began by demonstrating that as it stands, coal is cheap, abundant and polluting. Coal is still the dominant energy source around the world, and any path forward that uses less coal must establish the correct set of incentives to decrease the attractiveness of coal or raise the attractiveness of other energy sources. Dr Thurber outlined the major political and technological barriers faced by numerous potential policy paths that transition to a cleaner energy supply.

Visit to Sunway campus in Malaysia

Monash staff
Left to right: Vinod Mishra, Gennadi Kazakevitch, Grace Lee Hooi Yean (HoD
Economics, Monash Sunway), Habibur Rahman (Senior Lecturer, Economics).

Vinod Mishra and Gennadi Kazakevitch visited Monash Sunway campus in Malaysia for a week in October. During their visit, they had meetings with the department of economics staff members on education-related matters. The attached picture was taken on the roof of the newly renovated library in Sunway campus (with a garden on the roof).

Research retreat

The 2018 department research retreat was held on Friday 16 November at the Pavilion, Building H, Caulfield campus, organised by Zhijun Chen. More than 40 academic staff attended the event which is a platform for department staff to discuss research related issues and topics. Based on the feedback from last year, we proposed the self-organising parallel sessions for presentations with flexibility in formats. The session organisers could choose four different types of formats: presentation with discussion, presentation without discussion, brainstorm discussion, and a mix of any of the above. This flexibility helped meet the diversified requests from participants. Besides, it also encouraged participants to communicate and coordinate to form joint research programs with common interests.

We offered two plenary sessions. The first session in the morning was focused on the research impact, and the second one in the afternoon was focused on the strategic reviews on research and HDR programs. These plenary sessions provided a very good platform for further debate and discussion.

Indigenous wellbeing workshop

xxxThe Workshop on Indigenous Wellbeing was hosted by the Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability in mid-October. It featured a number of researchers from around Australia in economics, health, law and indigenous studies. The aim of the inter disciplinary workshop was to exchange ideas and explore the scope for formulating a research program aimed at contributing new insights to the conversation on Indigenous welfare in Australia.

Some of the participants included Mr Ian Trust (Executive Director, Wunan Foundation), Professor Leonie Segal (University of South Australia), Associate Professor Stefanie Schurer (University of Sydney), Dr Ankita Mishra and Dr Leonora Risse (RMIT), Professor Ranjan Ray (Monash University) and Dr Stephen Gray from the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law (Monash University).


Ranjan Ray represented the Economics Department as an invited discussant at the PhD conference this year held at UNSW in Sydney. 31 October to 2 November 2018.

Yves Zenou presented the paper “Social norms in networks” at the University of Adelaide on 5 November and the paper “Social media and networks” to the Asian-Pacific Industrial Organisation Society Annual Conference in Melbourne on 14 December.

Congratulations to Giovanni Caggiano for his ARC Discovery Projects grant of $348,500 for his project “Uncertainty, financial frictions, and the Australian business cycle”, with Professor Efrem Castelnuovo and Dr Michele Modugno. The project aims to investigate the macroeconomic consequences of disruptions in financial markets and heightened uncertainty about the future. It expects to provide policymakers with tools to design effective policies to counteract the effects of heightened uncertainty and financial disruptions.

Erte Xiao has also been named as Chief Investigator on a successful ARC Discovery project of $220,000 on “Governing the knowledge of commons” at Monash university Faculty of Arts. Congratulations!

Other successful grant recipients from Monash Business School were Dr Sonja Kassenboehmer from the Centre for Health economics for her project on “Economic stress, non-cognitive skill development and life outcomes”. Dr Silvio Contessi from the Department of Finance for a project concerning “Gross credit flows, credit reallocation and the macroeconomy”. Carolyn Southerland’s team of researchers from Business, Law and Taxation for their project on the regulation of labour disputes in Southeast Asia.

Finally, Dr Tatushi Oka from the Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics for a project on “Econometric methods for distributional effects.” A very successful outcome for the Business school. Well done everybody!

Sau-Him Paul LauSau-Him Paul Lau (University of Hong Kong) visited the Department from 11 October to 20 October. Paul is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Hong Kong. His main research fields are the Economics of Population Aging, Economic Growth and Macroeconomics, Experimental Economics and Applied Game Theory. During his visit, he worked with Vai-Lam Mui on their joint research and gave a Macro/Trade seminar on 15 October.

Tim CasonTim Cason (Purdue University) visited the Department from 29 October to 10 November. Tim is currently Distinguished Professor and Robert and Susan Gadomski Chair in Economics at Purdue University. His main research interests are in Experimental Economics, Industrial Organisation, Environmental Economics and Public Economics. During his visit, he worked with Lata Gangadharan, Phil Grossman and Vai-Lam Mui on various joint projects, and gave a BET seminar on 9 November.

Huanren (Warren) ZhangHuanren (Warren) Zhang (University of Southern Denmark) visited the Department from 14 November to 28 November. Warren is currently Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Southern Denmark. His main research fields are in Behavioural/Experimental Economics, Game Theory and Computational Economics. During his visit, he worked with Vai-Lam Mui on their joint research and gave a BET seminar on 26 November.

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