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Professor Robert Tanton has a PhD in Economics from the University of Canberra, and has been at NATSEM since June 2005.

Robert’s main interest is spatial disadvantage, and he is a recognised Australian and international expert on spatial disadvantage. The research conducted by him covers areas such as spatial housing disadvantage, economic disadvantage (poverty), income inequality and wellbeing. His principal areas of research are spatial disadvantage and wellbeing; spatial statistics and small area estimation; and community wellbeing.

Robert also leads work using a spatial microsimulation technique to derive small area estimates of many indicators of disadvantage and wellbeing. So far, this technique has been used to derive small area estimates of poverty and housing stress; and small area estimates of subjective wellbeing and indigenous disadvantage.

Robert has published extensively in the academic literature on spatial disadvantage and social exclusion, and has presented results of his work to a number of national and international conferences. He has also presented results from his research on spatial housing stress to the Senate Select Committee on Housing Affordability. He has been a Chief Investigator on a number of Australian Research Council grants, and has conducted commissioned work for a number of agencies including the Tasmanian Social Inclusion Unit; the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; the AMP; Commonwealth Bank; and Veda.

Robert is involved in the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN), and is on the academic sub-committee of this group.


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Education/Academic qualification


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Microsimulation Mathematics
Taxes Medicine & Life Sciences
Economics Medicine & Life Sciences
census Social Sciences
Costs and Cost Analysis Medicine & Life Sciences
Gross Domestic Product Medicine & Life Sciences
poverty Social Sciences
Caregivers Medicine & Life Sciences

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Projects 2006 2026

Research Output 2006 2018

Economic costs of informal care for people with chronic diseases in the community: Lost income, extra welfare payments, and reduced taxes in Australia in 2015–2030

Schofield, D., Shrestha, R. N., Zeppel, M. J. B., Cunich, M. M., Tanton, R., Veerman, J. L., Kelly, S. J. & Passey, M. E. 2018 In : Health and Social Care in the Community. p. 1-9 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Patient Care
Chronic Disease

The long-term economic impacts of arthritis through lost productive life years: results from an Australian microsimulation model

Schofield, D., Cunich, M., Shrestha, R. N., TANTON, R., Veerman, L., KELLY, S. & Passey, M. E. 24 May 2018 In : BMC Public Health. 18, 1, p. 1-10 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Costs and Cost Analysis
Income Tax
1 Citations

An institutional perspective on programme integration

PEARSON, L., NORMAN, B., O'Brien, P. & TANTON, R. 2017 In : Policy Studies.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations

An online platform for conducting spatial statistical analyses of national census data across Australia

Pettit, C., TANTON, R. & Hunter, J. May 2017 In : Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 63, p. 68-79 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

urban research
statistical analysis
statistical data
1 Citations

An unconstrained statistical matching algorithm for combining individual and household level geo-specific census and survey data

Namazi-Rad, M-R., TANTON, R., Steel, D. & Das, S. May 2017 In : Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 63, p. 3-14 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

population characteristics
social economics
demographic survey