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Agenda - Volume 19, Number 2, 2012


Policy Modelling by Government Agencies in Australia

Modelling is an integral part of contemporary policy analysis. Properly done, it serves to structure the analysis of cause–effect relationships; highlight the likely impact of policy interventions; and provide a basis for assessing the sensitivity of outcomes to assumptions. By defining a quantitative framework within which those questions can be explored, it can and should impose a discipline on policy analysis that helps make the evidentiary basis for claims about policy more transparent and amenable to testing.

It is with those potential benefits in mind that the articles of this symposium examine recent experience with economic modelling in Australian public policy. Unfortunately, the symposium highlights serious issues as to modelling’s role, quality and integrity. Their findings suggest an urgent need for action by policymakers to set new rules of the game for the use of modelling in and by the public sector.

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