Encouraging Policynomics

Matthew Taylor, one of our entrepreneurial research assistants, has set up scholarships for ANU economics honours students to write policy-relevant theses. In an interview with the ANU magazine, he describes the genesis of the idea:

“I received a scholarship from the Ronald Henderson Research Foundation, and one of the requirements was that the research project be conducted within a community organisation,” said Mr Taylor, who will take up a position in the research unit of DEWR this month.

“It was really my first opportunity to apply the theory I’d learned as an undergrad to a policy issue, and all that textbook stuff suddenly took on some relevance. It showed an area of economics I wasn’t really exposed to when I was studying.”

The scholarships will target high-achieving students who wish to focus on an applied research opportunity, rather than a more theoretical project.

“Being an economist, of course I think the best way to encourage people into this area is to provide an incentive,” Mr Taylor said.

The RSSS scholarship will be named the R. G. Gregory Scholarship for ANU labour economist Professor Emeritus Bob Gregory. The other scholarship will be named the DEWR Labour Economics Scholarship.

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