This site belongs to Jason Murphy, Melbourne-based journalist and economist. I am  author of the book Incentivology, published in 2019 by Hardie Grant.

I have worked at the Australian Treasury, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Nauru, and the Australian Financial Review.

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I can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.


I am open to media invitations to discuss economic and business issues. My experience includes TV news, panel shows and ABC’s Lateline.


I have also been a frequent guest on ABC Radio, the BBC World Service, commercial radio and community radio. Please contact me via twitter or email: jasemurphy@gmail.com.



I have experience as a panel member at public events and am an acclaimed MC and compere.


I work as a freelance writer (commercial and journalism work). I have experience in news, opinion, features, major public reports for private and public sectors, press releases and blog posts. My rates are competitive and I am highly responsive. Please get in touch.


It began in 2009 as a project with James Cleaver. It went on hiatus from 2010 to 2013 while I worked at the AFR and is now back, much more focused on economics. I post intermittently these days.

It is not designed just for people with economics PhDs. It is for smart people of all stripes. I welcome your views on anything posted – please leave a comment!

36 thoughts on “About”

  1. Bravo. I expect to see some stinging and perceptive commentary comparing Melbourne and San Francisco. And you are truly Melbournian/San Franciscan, you’ll consider yourselves qualified to compare Sydney and Los Angeles as well!

    cheers, jarrett


  2. Little request. Are you able to add an RSS feed link to your site – I’d find this much better than email notifications. Have enjoyed your musings.


  3. So blogs come and go, but it seems really odd for a group blog to die without so much as a goodbye. So, goodbye to you.


    1. Good point. I’ve put up a post that provides some sort of explanation.

      Thanks for all your reading and comments.

      Instead of goodbye I’d like to say a bientot

      (You can now look out for me in the paper. (the smallest, most widely distributed one. ))



  4. Here are some good topics for you blog on:
    – what will be the ultimate outcome of continuous competitive devaluation of currencies?
    – when the AU dollar was high why didn’t all aussie property owners take out reverse mortgages in US dollars? Or did the banks effectively do that on their behalf? Or why didn’t the banks do that?
    – has the RBA got any of the $80b+ that Joe Hockey donated to them left?
    – is currency devaluation the only tool for a weak and uninspired government?
    – good apples have been selling for under $NZ1/kg in NZ. Why are similar aussie apples still selling for $7/kg or more?
    – is the lack of foreign bananas in australia simply protectionism (with bogus excuse of disease control)?
    – how can australia hope to have a robust economy when protectionism means that no aussie bananas are ever going to be exported because they will always be overpriced?
    – is the RBA too politicised and not independent enough?


  5. Hi
    I just read your article on News.com.au “Five reasons the only smart reaction to a housing crash is fear”. Interesting read, thanks for writing it.

    But, and there’s always a but, is there any chance that someone can write an article on what we could be doing, as a nation, state, business, family or individual to try to lessen the impact of a big, bad property crash. If not from a national or state level, but at least some handy tips to help families and individuals out there.

    Do we spend more? Do we save more? Do we jam our head in the sand and pretend that it isn’t going to happen?

    So many articles are written about how devastating it’s going to be, but none actually provide useful tips on what could be done to avoid or at least soften the blow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question. I think part of the problem is the policies that cushion a fall are the same ones that support a bubble – low interest rates, strong government spending. It’s something of a paradox.


  6. So, taking policies, government and other things that are out of our control from the picture, is it just as simple as reducing personal debt and increasing personal savings/safety nets to soften the blow on an individual basis?


    1. In a Macro sense, yes. Individually, people mifht consider investing in things that perform well in a recession, like discount stores; or taking a government job


  7. Re your article on news.com – 30 Dec 2015 – you should probably do a bit of research before you publish and take a look at Forever New and Cotton On … Two Australian brands that have more stores outside of Aussie than in … Great success stories. Australian retail is more than Myers, DJs, Coles & Woolies … Read up, mate.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. RE your article on petrol price competition (lack of). I believe a major problem in general is lack of openness on business ownership. In Garden City shopping Center (Perth) there are three places people can get their nails done – different names but ‘rumoured’ to be all owned by the same family. If so, why would they compete on price? Also ‘rumoured’, Garden City charge rents linked to shop turnover. If so, why would they want to see real competition. Unfortunately difficult for ordinary people to ascertain the facts of such ‘rumours’. Regards, Don.


  9. Hi Jason, Interested to read your article in news.com.au about the services industry and what a good substitute for manufacturing it is.

    I work in the mining industry as an engineer and over the past few years I’ve watched first IT, then human resources, then accounting all get outsourced to India.

    You specifically mentioned engineering in your article. Right now, I’m working on a site which is building one of the largest mine expansions in Australia at the moment.

    All the detailed engineering for that project is being done in India, with only a high-level project team in Australia.

    My question for you is: What services can’t ultimately be outsourced to India, and why don’t economists consider this issue in more detail when praising the service economy?

    I’ve love to see this perspective addressed in one of your articles in the future, as I think it is one of the major blind spots in the debate at the moment.




    1. Hi Richard

      I think the answer is many services can be outsourced. No doubt about it. They can be and will be.

      But if the economy is goods and services, goods are even easier to source from overseas. We import a HUGE amount of materials and merchandise.

      It is much easier to produce goods offshore to a high quality using machines, systems, and quality checking. Services tend to be produced using fallible people, and are often produced in real time meaning quality checking can’t happen before they are consumed. All this means we should be able to compete better on services than goods.

      Thanks a lot for your comment!


  10. Hi Jason, thanks for your article just posted on news.com.au regarding partisan support for politicians/ideas. I think you have missed a crucial point in the argument.

    For most people there is a massive shortage of available time to form a reasonable conclusion on any topic of public interest.

    Everyone, and I mean everyone, who has a full time job, or kids, or a sick parent or any other thing going on in their lives, simply does not have the time to read/absorb/digest/critique or form a rational/logical opinion on any topic. People just do not have the time. No one is taking about this. The capitalist “dream” of working in a job you hate to pay for a house you will never own, for a life you never wanted – is killing people’s ability to think critically.

    We are bombarded with volumes of incessant information (largely full of errors, misinformation, misguided opinion and downright lies) that leaves people’s heads spinning. It is impossible, and I mean impossible, to come to any educated conclusion without an investment of significant time to personally research a topic, pollie, expert, news story, or opinion. The only people who can dedicate the required amount of time are those that have others do it for them, and who get an abridged version of the facts that gets them to a point of reasonable conclusion; or they research for a living – for example.

    The internet has opened the information floodgates and people are drowning in misinformation overload. They take a snippet here, a headline there, a colloquial yarn there, or an “expert” blogger’s opinion, a distant’s aunt’s “word for it” and reach a misinformed and shortsighted conclusion.

    Most people have no real idea of what is going on in their own houses, let alone their town, country or the world. They get 15 minutes of mainstream news and that’s what they use for the basis of their beliefs. And while this continues to be the case, humanity is in deep trouble.


  11. I am disappointed to say that I believe you views on politics pervade your reporting. I came here to further examine the reasons behind your bias and I found them. You seem to embrace divisive ideas found in post modernism and cultural marxism. A better understanding of history would be a recommendation I would give, and trusting your inquisitive nature you may actually entertain this! good luck, and I hope to see future articles by yourself with a more professional tone.


  12. You are out there talking about debt and the ever-increasing risk leveraging poses to the world economy. This argument has been around a long time now and yet on balance rising debt is becoming ever more central to how most economies continue to expand. It seems to me that Australia, like most western economies, encourages the take up of debt by all levels of society. Moreover, there is evidence that saving is discouraged by many policy settings and that is before the impact of financial repression. Debt is king, debt is the future and goverments will do whatever it takes, negative interest rates, deficits, money printing and whatever else is considered helpful to power on the take up of debt.
    The minute Australian’s start to seriously save will be the moment this country will experience a deep and painful recession that nobody wants. Better to kick the can down the road, even if that risks a full-on depression, then start a recession to deal with the debt problem. Can you talk to that?


  13. Hi Jason,
    Great blog, worthwhile topics.

    Some thoughts on ‘Free’

    jay says:
    August 6, 2015 at 9:42 am

    – is the lack of foreign bananas in australia simply protectionism (with bogus excuse of disease control)?

    No doubt some ‘disease control’ measures are also a convenient barrier to competition from imported goods.
    However, I believe we are verging in insanity if we let the idealistic theory of ‘Free’ Trade be the dominant factor our decision making on international commerce.

    A fine example (of this idiocy?) was the decision to allow imports of uncooked prawns into Australia whilst relying on spot checks and the honesty of overseas exporters to keep out a myriad of costly exotic diseases of shrimp.

    As a result we’ve imported a viral disease (White Spot Disease) which we knew was a huge risk, and which we knew had cost the Asian shrimp industry US$20 billion over the last decade. It has implications in regard to ecosystems too; the Asian response (partially successful) was to switch to farming another prawn species, not native to these regions, with unknown long term impacts on ecosystems.

    Whether we can eradicate it remains to be seen, but it has already spread to wild populations.

    There are many other livestock and plant diseases this country has remained free of, yet there are those who would sacrifice all of it on the pyre of free trade.

    Australia appears particularly idealistic in this regard and succumbs to some questionable trade deals.

    It is important to note that there are no such things as Free Trade negotiations; they are all simply Trade Negotiations. If it was truly about free trade, there’d be no discussion, would there? It is a deal making meeting, and he who goes in there full of some strange ideal is going to get the bad end of the dealmaking.

    The trouble with it all is that it’s not ‘Free’ Trade which brings prosperity, it is simply commerce.

    The simplistic theory that two trading partners can each find something they are good at, and then concentrate on doing that while importing the other from the trading partner will obviously not always hold up: sometime one of them will ‘be better’ at both.

    Usually that ‘being better’ is a function of stage of development, population demographics, unemployment rates, currency exchange rates.

    The problem is that we do need commerce, but we need to negotiate very carefully with our own needs and our own advantages in mind. Not some unattainable, and obviously false, ideal endpoint.


  14. Hi Jason,

    I was referred to your site, after reading your article ‘property prices give clue to Australians’.

    Your article are just full of brilliant ideas. And the way you are telling story is just amzaing.

    Being a CPAA, though currently unemployed, I am still keen on reading interesting economic articles. I especially fond of articles written in an easy way. Not about a solemn topic, but just about things that inspire people’s interests and sometimes could cast lights on some unresolved issues.

    Thank very much for all your amazing wisdom.

    I definitely will follow you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Re: https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/wealth/australias-8billion-in-hidden-treasure/news-story/6f87e7f9985a2d1e594371bee1aa7623

    I keep an emergency stash of cash at home, you never know when you’ll need some in a hurry. It can take a day or two to move money between accounts otherwise (ie esaver to transaction). The reason some notes disappear from circulation is simply that you add and take the cash from the outside of the wad of notes, leaving the inner notes untouched and out of circulation for years.


  16. Hello Jason. I was just reading your piece on the revival of IGA. You might be interested to do a study of the progress of the popular WA fresh foods chain Spud Shed. It started with one enormous Bunnings-like discount fresh foods market and in a few years has grown to 14, most of them trading 24 hours, 7 days. The superficial similarity to Bunnings is illusory though. The difference is expressed in their motto, “We grow it, we sell it, you save.” A lot of their fruit, vegetable and meat offering is from their own farms. Apart from that many of their grocery offerings are priced competitively with the Big Three. Our local booming Spud Shed was set up in a failed large IGA which they gutted, doubled in size and opened opposite a long-established Coles which closed about a year later. We get most of our fresh fruit and vegetables from Spud Shed although we go to some other, smaller retailers for some specialised items.


  17. Dear Jason,
    I recently came across the 2016 ABC Lateline panel discussion which featured you, Professor AJ Brown and Robbie Katter discussing the the proposition of the creation of a Separate North Queensland State.

    I would like the opportunity to discuss some of the points you raised during the conversation and what can be done to improve the lot of the residents in regional Queensland especially in the light that SEQ is adding 17 to its population for every person added to regional Queensland.

    Kind Regards
    Bill Bates
    Boot Brisbane Inc
    0447 958 455


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