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Professor Gary Banks

Professorial Fellow

Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

Faculty: Expert contributors

Melbourne, Australia

Areas of expertise

  • Economics and finance
  • Public leadership
  • Public policy
  • Regulation
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Professor Gary Banks AO was Chief Executive and Dean of ANZSOG until January 2017. He holds degrees in economics from Monash University and the Australian National University.

Prof Banks was Chairman of the Productivity Commission from its inception in 1998 until 2013. He has headed national inquiries on a variety of significant public policy and regulatory topics. For many years, he chaired the COAG Steering Committee for the Review of Government Services, and was the Convenor for the Review’s Working Group on Indigenous Disadvantage. For several years, he also had responsibility for overseeing the Commonwealth’s regulation-making processes through the Office of Regulation Review. In 1997-98 he was a member of the Commonwealth’s Committee of Review of Higher Education Financing and Policy. In 2006, he headed the ‘Regulation Taskforce’ for the Prime Minister and Treasurer, and in 2013 he was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.

Gary is a Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research within Melbourne University, where he is also a member of the Advisory Board. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University (ANU), where he is a Public Policy Fellow.

Gary has chaired the Regulatory Policy Committee of the OECD since early 2012. In earlier years, he worked at the Centre for International Economics, Canberra, and has been a consultant to the OECD, World Bank and WTO. He was previously a Senior Economist with the GATT Secretariat in Geneva, and Visiting Fellow at the Trade Policy Research Centre, London.

Gary became a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia in 2001 and a National Fellow in 2008. He was elected to the ANU Economics Department’s ‘Hall of Fame’ in 2002 and received the Chancellor’s Medal in 2004. In 2010 he was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He was also awarded an inaugural Monash University Fellowship. In 2013 he was made an Alan McGregor Fellow of the Centre for Independent Studies. In 2012, his last year at the Productivity Commission, he was included by the Australian Financial Review as one of 25 ‘true leaders’ and in The Australian newspaper’s top 50 politically influential Australians. In July 2014 he was awarded the Economic Society’s inaugural Distinguished Public Policy Fellow Award. Gary received the Centenary Medal in 2003, and in 2007 was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for ‘services to the development of public policy in microeconomic reform and regulation’.

Selected publications

Banks, G. (2016) Could academic research be more policy influential? Public Administration Review, 76(1): 33-34.
Banks, G. (2015) Institutions to promote pro-productivity policies: Logic and lessons. OECD Productivity Working Papers, No. 01, OECD Publishing. Access here.
Banks, G. (2014) The Governance of Public Policy: Lectures in Honour of Eminent Australians. ANZSOG, Melbourne. Available for download and in hard copy on request.
Banks, G. (2014) Public Inquiries, Public Policy and the Public Interest. In H. Tracey and S. Prasser (eds), Royal Commissions and Public Inquiries: Practice and Potential. Melbourne: Connor Court Publications.
Banks. G. (2014) Restoring Trust in Public Policy: What Role for the Public Service. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 73(1): 1-13.
Banks, G. (2013) Return of the Rent-Seeking Society? Economic Papers 32(4): 405-416.
Banks, G. (2013) Innovation in the Public Sector: Challenges, Opportunities and Risks. Public Sector Journal, The Institute of Public Administration New Zealand, 36(2): 6-8.
Banks, G. (2012) Advancing the Reform Agenda: Selected Speeches. Canberra: Productivity Commission.
Banks, G. (2012) Competition Policy’s Regulatory Innovations: quo vadis? Canberra: Productivity Commission.
Banks, G. (2012) Independent Policy Advice and the Productivity Commission, Australian Institute of Administrative Law (AIAL) Forum No 69, July.
Banks, G. (2011) Economics, Economists and Public Policy in Australia. Agenda, 18(3): 21-29.
Banks, G. (2011) Successful Reform: Past Lessons, Future Challenges. Canberra: Productivity Commission.
Banks, G. (2011) Editorial. International Gambling Studies, 11(1): 3-6.
Banks, G. (2010) Advancing Australia’s ‘Human Capital Agenda’. Public Administration Today, 23: 12-22.
Banks, G. (2010) An Economy-wide view: Speeches on structural reform. Melbourne: Productivity Commission.
Banks, G. and Wonder, B. (2010) The policy determinants of structural reform in Australia. In P. Dee (ed.), Institutions for Economic Reform in Asia. Oxon: Routledge.

New stories
1. Alf Rattigan Lecture – Whatever happened to evidence-based policy making?

26 November 2018

In this, the third Alf Rattigan Lecture, Professor Gary Banks will consider why that has been so and what might be done, at the political and bureaucratic levels, to moderate the increasing tendency for policy to be made ‘on the run’.

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2. Driving dollars: Congestion changes under the microscope in new road pricing book

12 September 2018

Should drivers pay for how much they use the road? Economists and transport policy experts think so – but their advice is largely ignored by politicians wary of a backlash from voters.

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3. Alf Rattigan Lecture 2017: Restarting micro economic reform with Fred Hilmer

8 December 2017

Emeritus Professor Fred Hilmer AO highlighted the urgent need for Australia to embrace micro-economic reform in the annual Alf Rattigan Lecture in Canberra on Wednesday.

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4. Alf Rattigan lecture 2017: Restarting micro economic reform full transcript

8 December 2017

Emeritus Professor Fred Hilmer AO delivered the Alf Rattigan Lecture on Restarting Micro Economic Reform on Wednesday, 6 December.

Read the full transcript

5. Professor John Alford farewelled

30 August 2017

Retiring ANZSOG Professor of Public Sector Management John Alford has been farewelled at a function in Melbourne on August 22 that recognised his unique contribution to ANZSOG, the field of public management scholarship and to the thousands of students he has taught over his career.

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6. Public Institutions and the productivity imperative

24 February 2017

An independent public institution is crucial to identify, analyse and communicate the reforms necessary to improve national productivity, writes former ANZSOG Dean Gary Banks in Ethos journal. Prof Banks is Chair of the OECD’s Regulatory Policy Committee.

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7. ANZSOG’s new CEO and Dean Ken Smith announced

10 January 2017

The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) has appointed Ken Smith as its new Chief Executive Officer and Dean.

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8. Dean’s message December 2016

12 December 2016

I am sure that I am not the only one to marvel at how fast 2016 came and went! It has been another busy, productive year for ANZSOG, and no doubt an equally busy one for our members, stakeholders and alumni.

Read the full speech

9. Inaugural Alf Rattigan lecture 2016

12 December 2016

The inaugural Alf Rattigan lecture, the first in a series in honour of G.A Rattigan, renowned Chairman of the Tariff Board and Industries Assistance Commission, was held last night at the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, Canberra.

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10. India Advanced Leadership Program 2016

12 October 2016

The 2016 India Advanced Leadership Program (IALP) commenced in late August 2016 for a delegation of twenty-one Secretary, Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary level officers from the Indian Government in Sydney and Melbourne.

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11. Bridging the gap between academia and policymaking

6 January 2016

Research interactions between scholars and practitioners should be understood as a continuum, ranging from one where the ‘two communities’ have been distant from each other to one where a closer relationship prevails. This is a key finding of articles in Public Administration Review this month, including one from our Dean Professor Gary Banks.

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12. Frank and fearless? Public trust in the public service

31 January 2013

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