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Annual Lionel Murphy Lecture: Competition policy and inequality: Building o...

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John Curtin School of Medical Research

Finkel Theatre

131 Garran Road

Acton, ACT 2600

Australia

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A key foundation of our competition regime is Lionel Murphy’s Trade Practices Act 1974, establishing the Australian Trade Practices Commission. Today, competition law faces new challenges. From beer to banking, insurance to ISPs, many Australian markets are highly concentrated. In technology, many are concerned about the rapid rise of the FAANGs: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. Mergers and market dominance have led some to suggest that monopoly power may be lowering wages and dampening innovation.

How should Australian progressives respond to these trends? What role does competition policy have in reducing inequality? And how can we ensure that the Australian economy encourages more dynamic start-ups, rather than just protecting lazy monopolists?

Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. Prior to being elected in 2010, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Law and Arts. Andrew is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and a past recipient of the 'Young Economist Award', a prize given every two years by the Economics Society of Australia to the best Australian economist under 40.

His books include Disconnected (2010), Battlers and Billionaires (2013), The Economics of Just About Everything (2014), The Luck of Politics (2015), Choosing Openness: Why Global Engagement is Best for Australia (2017) and Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World (2018). Andrew is a keen marathon runner, and hosts a podcast titled "The Good Life", which is available on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes).

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John Curtin School of Medical Research

Finkel Theatre

131 Garran Road

Acton, ACT 2600

Australia

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