The economics of bushfires

Prof John Quiggin

Professor John Quiggin

The Centre for Global Food and Resources hosts regular seminars throughout the year on a broad range of relevant issues. We feature presenters from a wide range of disciplines who share their knowledge and experience in easily-accessible one-hour seminars.


Topic: The economic of bushfires

The bushfires which have ravaged much of Australia since late 2019 represent one of the worst catastrophes we have experienced.

Yet estimates of the economic impact have been trivial, as low as 0.1 per cent of GDP. This discrepancy reflects both the inadequacy of GDP as a welfare measure and the failure of short-term analysis to recognise the longterm costs of this disaster.


John Quiggin is a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Fellow in Economics at the University of Queensland. He is a prominent research economist and commentator on Australian and international economic policy. He has produced over 2000 publications, including seven books and over 250 refereed journal articles, in fields including decision theory, environmental economics and industrial organization. He is an active contributor to Australian public debate in a wide range of traditional and social media. His new book, Economics in Two Lessons: Why Markets Work and Why they can Fail so Badly, was released in April 2019 by Princeton University Press.

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