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Professor Phil Lewis

School of Government & Policy 
Highest Qualification - PhD
HDR Completions -12

Contact Details 
Room No. : 11C37
Phone No.: +61 (0) 2 6201 2705, 0400479147


I am Emeritus Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Labour Market Research (CLMR) at the University of Canberra. I among the best-known economists in the area of the economics of employment, education and training in Australia.  My over 100 publications include journal articles, book chapters and books including the best-selling Essentials of Economics published by Pearson.

Apart from a distinguished academic career I have worked in government with the Bureau of Labour Market Research and the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics. I have produced a number of major reports for the private and public sectors including recently, DEEWR, NCVER, Australian Fair Pay Commission, CEDA, CPA Australia and Australian Business and Industry Ltd.

I am the editor of the Australian Journal of Labour Economics, the official journal of the Australian Society of Labour Economists. Past appointments include National President of the Economic Society of Australia and President of the Western Australian and Canberra branches of the Society. In 2008 I was awarded the Honorary Fellow Award by the Economic Society for exceptional contribution to the economics profession.

I am a regular commentator on economic issues in the media with over 1000 media appearances to date including for The Conversation, Australian Financial Review, The Australian, The Canberra Times, ABC radio, SBS and WIN Television. I'm a great believer in the synergy between research, teaching, public policy and the media. It's about getting fairly complex ideas across and showing how economics can benefit people and show greater understanding of policy problems.


  • 2016-2019 - Australia Research Council Discovery Grant $260,000 (with J Webb and S Brook), 'The Labour Market for Creative Artists'.
  • 2012-2015 - MDB CRN grant $225,561– 'Modelling Community Adjustment to Water Trading in the Murray-Darling Basin' (with B Freyens and A. Daly).


  • Chonvihampan, B. and Lewis, P. (2015), 'The Effects of Taxation on Tobacco Consumption in Thailand', Singapore Economic Review, Vol 60 No 4.
  • Daly, A., Lewis, P., Corliss, M. and Heaslip, T. (2015) 'The Private Returns to University Degree', Australian Journal of Education, Vol 59, pp 97-112.
  • Corliss, M., Lewis, P. and Daly, A.(2015), 'What's Happened to the Rate of Return to Business Masters?', Economic Papers, Vol 34, No1-2, pp 48-59.
  • Lewis, P. (2014), 'Paying the Penalty? The High Price of Penalty Rates in Australian Restaurants', Agenda, Vol 21 no 1, pp 5-23.

Google Scholar Profile

Areas of Research Interest

  • Employment/Unemployment
  • Education and Training
  • Regional and International Migration--
  • Distribution of Income, Taxation and Government Expenditure

Research Theories / Models of Interest

  • Labour Economics

Research Methods of Interest

  • Large Data Sets
  • Econometrics