Research Programs

“In all of our research work, we remain proud of the fact that we are making a positive difference in our society.”

The Melbourne Institute engages in a wide range of research in six key areas. Our collaborative, interdisciplinary approach (overseen by the Director, Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark, and Deputy Director Professor Paul Jensen) ensures that the best resources are applied to each research project we undertake.

Economic and Social Disadvantage Program

We aim to address fundamental questions about economic and social disadvantage and inequality, in the fields of employment, education, family, and health. A specific focus is given to the understanding of the factors leading to various forms of disadvantage and their consequences, as well as the study of appropriate and efficient policies to reduce inequalities.

Director: Professor David C. Ribar

Economics of Education and Child Development Program

Funded by the Victorian government, this research program aims to address many fundamental questions about childhood development and education, the experience of schooling and transitions to further education and the labour market. Our goal is to improve outcomes for students from all social backgrounds.

Director: Associate Professor Chris Ryan

Health Economics Program

We conduct rigorous, relevant research across a number of areas of applied health economics. While based in the Melbourne Institute, this program includes researchers from the Department of Economics and School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne – ensuring that we have the necessary depth and breadth of skills to bring to this important research. The Health Economics research program team administers the MABEL longitudinal survey.

Director: Professor Anthony Scott

HILDA Survey Program

The HILDA Survey – the household-based panel study which began in 2001 – collects valuable information about economic and subjective wellbeing, labour market dynamics and family dynamics. It is an important tool that is relied upon by policy makers and other researchers to help shape a better future for all Australians. The HILDA Survey team also pursues its own independent research in areas such as income mobility and distribution, labour market dynamics and panel survey methods.

Director: Professor Mark Wooden

Labour Economics and Social Policy Program

With funding from a variety of government and non-government sources, this research program investigates a broad range of labour market and social policy issues, with a focus on income distribution and social inclusion. Disadvantaged groups in society, such as individuals on a low income or with low skills, are of particular interest with an aim to improve their circumstances through appropriate policies. Health and education are important factors in much of the research.

Director: Professor Guyonne Kalb

Macroeconomics Program

Our quantitative macroeconomics research explores a range of issues, taking an aggregate economy-wide perspective. This research is frequently used to influence public policy, and can be found in respected international and Australian journals. The Macroeconomics research program team also produces a range of reports about the Australian economy in collaboration with respected financial institutions such as Westpac and TD Securities.

Director: Professor Guay Lim