An Economic Theory Perspective on Optimal Design of Government of Regional Infrastructure in Australia: The Case of National Transport

Cameron GORDON

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contribution

    Abstract

    Australia is facing a potentially huge need for investment in infrastructure investment in the coming decades to deal with growing population, shifting economic and demographic patterns, and adaptation to sea level rise and other effects of climate change. There is, however, an institutional challenge that is making the necessary financing and investment difficult to come by. The basic problem is that the government institutions responsible for raising revenue and expending it do not match up well with the regions that infrastructure systems serve, regions that typically cross governmental decision-making boundaries. This paper applies an economic theory approach to this problem. The relevant literature in public choice, public economic and fiscal federalism is reviewed to uncover economic thinking about ‘optimal’ government institutional design. Then more specific thinking about infrastructure governance is discussed. A consideration of the economic meaning of regions follows. Then the specifics of the Australian constitution as it pertains to regional infrastructure, with a focus on transport, are presented. And the theory and practice are tied together to formulate an economics-based framework for optimal design for Australian infrastructure governance. The paper closes with some policy conclusions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe 42nd Australian Conference of Economists Conference Proceedings : Beyond the Frontiers: New Directions in Economics
    EditorsDavid Butler, Maria Mangand
    Place of PublicationPerth, Australia
    PublisherEconomic Society of Australia
    Pages1-18
    Number of pages18
    Volume42
    ISBN (Print)9781921877124
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventBeyond the Frontiers: New Directions in Economics - Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
    Duration: 7 Jul 201310 Jul 2013

    Conference

    ConferenceBeyond the Frontiers: New Directions in Economics
    CountryAustralia
    CityPerth
    Period7/07/1310/07/13

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  • Cite this

    GORDON, C. (2013). An Economic Theory Perspective on Optimal Design of Government of Regional Infrastructure in Australia: The Case of National Transport. In D. Butler, & M. Mangand (Eds.), The 42nd Australian Conference of Economists Conference Proceedings : Beyond the Frontiers: New Directions in Economics (Vol. 42, pp. 1-18). Economic Society of Australia. http://www.murdoch.edu.au/School-of-Management-and-Governance/_document/Australian-Conference-of-Economists/An-economic-theory-perspective-on-optimal-design-of-government.pdf