Business & Economics Collected Works - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 92
Replacing Corporate Income Tax with a Cash Flow Tax
We design a parsimonious cash flow tax for Australia and estimate revenue effects. It allows immediate deduction of all capital expenditures, denies deductions of interest payments, and compensates negative cash flows at the same rate and time as it taxes positive cash flows. It allows taxpayer timing choice on implementation over 10 years. It has incentive effects comparable to lowering the corporate income tax rate to zero. It removes distortions that artificially favour debt over equity, short‐ over long‐term investments, rents over competitive returns, large, established over small and new businesses, and conventional over innovative investments. It closes international tax evasion loopholes. Its spur to investment and timing of revenue impacts favours implementation in recession.
Experiments and evaluation of public policies: Methods, implementation, and challenges
Evidence-based policymaking is all about developing and implementing better public policies. Although the logic underpinning this philosophy is simple, the practicalities of demonstrating causal effects of a public policy are much more complex. In recent years, there has been a wave of optimism about the usefulness of experimental approaches to public policy evaluation which mimics the clean, causal inferences observed in clinical trials. Although these methods, such as randomised controlled trials, have been widely advocated and implemented, they are not without their potential problems. In this paper, we consider the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges posed by the revolution in policy evaluation brought about by embracing experimental methods.
Assessing critical thinking in business education: Key issues and practical solutions
(Elsevier BV, 2021-11)
Developing critical thinking is an important goal in higher education and, more importantly, in business education. Yet, it is uncertain to what extent assessment influences students' critical thinking development and enhancement. This paper presents data from a study that applied a framework we developed to identify evidence of students’ ability to think critically and whether students face challenges at applying critical thinking. A sample of 100, 2000-word group reports from a masters business analysis subject were evaluated using a critical thinking assessment rubric. We followed this with a content analysis of 49 reports using our developed framework to identify the demonstration of critical thinking dispositions and abilities. The findings from both analyses indicate a difference between student reports on how critical thinking is demonstrated. Most importantly, our developed framework provides a novel way to analyse student reports that inform whether they demonstrate the specific components of critical thinking dispositions and abilities. The evaluation using our established framework enables us to offer practical suggestions that university instructors can use to address the issues and challenges raised that hinder critical thinking acquisition via assessment practice in business education.
The Web-Based Uprise Program for Mental Health in Australian University Students: Protocol for a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
(JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC, 2020-12-01)
BACKGROUND: University students are vulnerable to poor mental health, psychological distress, and loneliness relative to nonuniversity student peers. However, the rate of seeking mental health treatment among university students is low. Web-based psychological interventions may provide an opportunity for supporting vulnerable university students who are unlikely to otherwise seek support. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to examine the feasibility, acceptability, safety, and efficacy of an existing web-based transdiagnostic cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) mental health program for use among Australian university students. METHODS: This is a pilot randomized controlled trial comparing a self-directed web-based CBT mental health program with a waitlist control. The self-directed modules will be augmented with optional webchat or telephone coaching with a therapist. The recruitment target is 70 university students who do not present with a clinical mental health disorder. Allocation will be made in a 1:1 ratio and will occur after the initial baseline assessment. Assessments will be completed at baseline, upon completion of a 4-week waitlist (waitlist group only), upon completion of the program, and at 3 months after completion of the program. RESULTS: The trial was funded in June 2018, and the protocol was approved by the Swinburne University Human Research Ethics Committee in September 2018. Recruitment commenced in October 2018, with the first participant allocated in November 2018. A total of 70 participants were recruited to the trial. The trial recruitment ceased in June 2019, and data collection was finalized in December 2019. We expect the final data analysis to be completed by November 2020 and results to be published early in 2021. The primary outcomes are feasibility, acceptability, safety, and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. The secondary outcomes are psychological wellbeing, quality of life, loneliness, self-reported physical health status, emotion regulation, and cognitive and mindfulness processes. CONCLUSIONS: The acceptability, feasibility, safety, and efficacy of a web-based mental health program in university students will be evaluated. Web-based mental health programs offer the opportunity to engage university students who may be reluctant to seek support through traditional face-to-face mental health services, and the transdiagnostic approach of the program has the potential to address the breadth of mental health concerns of university students. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN12618001604291; https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?ACTRN=12618001604291. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/21307.
Partnerships for Learning and Belonging in Tertiary Education: A Social Capital Analysis
(Springer Nature Singapore, 2019)
This chapter provides an analysis of peer partnership activities in tertiary education using the framework of social capital. The concept of social capital, with links to sociology, politics, economics and education, is used to explore the benefits that arise from peer to peer interactions, including student peer mentoring and staff observation of teaching programs. Although the concept of social capital is not widely discussed in the literature in either of these areas, the value of peer networks is at the core of both processes and social capital offers a way to think about and into these practices. The chapter begins by describing the concept of social capital and its historical development. We define different types of social capital. Following this introduction, we examine the literature on student peer mentoring and staff peer observation of teaching, with a focus on how these two processes can build social capital for their participants and benefit tertiary institutions. A key driver for institutional growth in the tertiary education sector is the need to foster learning and professional environments that help people work more effectively together. Using these two common practices, we show how building social capital through positive and productive peer partnership relationships develops a sense of belonging and social cohesion in a range of settings and enhances learning. Findings from a range of studies summarised in this chapter, including our own research, show that students and staff, individuals and groups, were able to effectively build both trust, engagement and social cohesion, key variables that are often used to measure the benefits of building social capital.
Wellbeing Literacy: The Necessary Ingredient in Positive Education
(Juniper Publishers, 2017)
Wellbeing can be viewed as a resource for life, resulting in individual skills and community assets. It is not surprising therefore, to see developing research presenting the benefits of integrating learning about wellbeing within educational contexts, with the potential outcome of building sustainable wellbeing literacy. Developing wellbeing knowledge is key to building core wellbeing literacy skills. This in turn can significantly impact employability post education, and therefore, life trajectory. Building and sustaining wellbeing through learning about wellbeing within educational contexts can provide timely, personalised, system-wide opportunities to build capacity in initiating, developing, contributing to and sustaining decision-making toward achieving successful wellbeing and life outcomes.
Peer review of teaching in Australian higher education: a systematic review
(ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2020-11-19)
Over recent decades, peer review of teaching has become an important mechanism for improving the quality of teaching in higher education. While there is considerable international research on peer review of teaching outcomes, these are not widely reported within Australian universities. This paper reports on a systematic review of published studies examining peer review of teaching characteristics that contribute to teaching development in Australian higher education. Following a search of peer reviewed literature published over three decades, 19 studies were included in the qualitative synthesis. A thematic synthesis revealed teaching development outcomes gained through peer review of teaching span factors at organisational (N = 16), program (N = 13) and individual (N = 4) levels. Organisational factors included disciplinary context, program sustainability, collegiality and leadership. Program factors included framework, program design, basis of participation, observation, feedback and reflective practice. Factors at the individual level included prior experience and participants’ perceived development requirements. In addition to reporting on teaching development outcomes, some studies reported on enhanced student learning outcomes (N = 5). Improved reporting of program design in addition to validated tools to assess outcomes are required to better understand how peer review of teaching supports teaching development. The growth of peer review of teaching within Australian higher education presents an important opportunity to advance our understanding of practices influencing academic teaching development.
The human dimension of good economic policymaking
(Economic Society of Australia (Queensland) Inc., 2020-12)
Good economic policymaking requires the best possible economic advice. To be an effective adviser, a policy economist needs to remain credible, even under pressure. There is a gap between theory and reality; minding the gap can help policy economists determine which theories are more likely to work as a matter of practical policymaking. Adding the human dimension makes for better decisions by casting light on how people might respond to otherwise rational policy proposals. It is not sufficient for good policy outcomes that economists confer only with their professional peers. Citizens must be persuaded that the proposed policy reform is in the best interests of the community as a whole. Good economic policymaking should not underestimate the power of incentives to override moral and ethical restraint. Regulation is a poor substitute for culturally-embedded moral restraint. While it is possible to divorce the mechanical side of economics from its moral foundations, this is not the route to good economic policymaking.
Do economics academics recognise employability skills and incorporate them into their courses?
(The University of Queensland, School of Economics, 2020-11-01)
Although previous studies have investigated economics curriculum reform to ensure economics graduates ‘think like economists’, it is unclear to what extent and how university economics teachers (academics) respond to the expectation that employability skills development is included in teaching and assessment practice. This paper reports the findings of an exploratory pilot study that investigated economics academics’ views and experience of employability skills integration. Drawing on interview data, content analysis of curriculum documents and observations of teaching and assessment practice, the findings indicate that while a common understanding and opinion of employability skills is held, tensions in practice exist: the teaching and assessment of employability skills is an individual decision, influenced by academic position and experience, and tempered by traditional expectations of a focus on discipline content.
APOE and BDNF polymorphisms moderate amyloid beta-related cognitive decline in preclinical Alzheimer's disease
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2015-11-01)
Accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) in the brain is associated with memory decline in healthy individuals as a prelude to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Genetic factors may moderate this decline. We examined the role of apolipoprotein E (ɛ4 carrier[ɛ4(+)], ɛ4 non-carrier[ɛ4(-)]) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF(Val/Val), BDNF(Met)) in the extent to which they moderate Aβ-related memory decline. Healthy adults (n=333, Mage=70 years) enrolled in the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle study underwent Aβ neuroimaging. Neuropsychological assessments were conducted at baseline, 18-, 36- and 54-month follow-ups. Aβ positron emission tomography neuroimaging was used to classify participants as Aβ(-) or Aβ(+). Relative to Aβ(-)ɛ4(-), Aβ(+)ɛ4(+) individuals showed significantly faster rates of cognitive decline over 54 months across all domains (d=0.40-1.22), while Aβ(+)ɛ4(-) individuals showed significantly faster decline only on verbal episodic memory (EM). There were no differences in rates of cognitive change between Aβ(-)ɛ4(-) and Aβ(-)ɛ4(+) groups. Among Aβ(+) individuals, ɛ4(+)/BDNF(Met) participants showed a significantly faster rate of decline on verbal and visual EM, and language over 54 months compared with ɛ4(-)/BDNF(Val/Val) participants (d=0.90-1.02). At least two genetic loci affect the rate of Aβ-related cognitive decline. Aβ(+)ɛ4(+)/BDNF(Met) individuals can expect to show clinically significant memory impairment after 3 years, whereas Aβ(+)ɛ4(+)/BDNF(Val/Val) individuals can expect a similar degree of impairment after 10 years. Little decline over 54 months was observed in the Aβ(-) and Aβ(+) ɛ4(-) groups, irrespective of BDNF status. These data raise important prognostic issues in managing preclinical AD, and should be considered in designing secondary preventative clinical trials.
Transcribing accounting lectures: Enhancing the pedagogical practice by acknowledging student behaviour
(Elsevier BV, 2021-03)
This study investigated how students demonstrated their use and need for lecture capture transcripts. Lecturers and students from two accounting subjects (i.e., a large first-year introductory class and a smaller graduate seminar series) participated. Students’ stated how they used and needed the transcripts and these statements about behaviors were mapped to Blooms Taxonomy and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Findings focussed on how lecture transcripts influenced the learning process for students and suggested that the design of courses and student characteristics do not negatively influence how students use these transcripts. Implications for the value of transcripts to a students’ learning process is outlined with practical guides on how they can enhance pedagogical delivery while acknowledging the academic workload.