Classical liberalism, the tradition of free markets and individual liberty, has an outsider status in the Australian economics profession. This paper surveys the origin of Australian classical liberal economics in the nineteenth century, its sharp decline in the first half of the twentieth century, and its revival and growth in recent decades. Despite a period of successful market-oriented economic reform in the 1980s and 1990s, surveys suggest that classical liberalism is a minority viewpoint among Australian economists.
Currently the only critical mass of classical liberal academic economists in Australia is at RMIT University in Melbourne. A major difference between the RMIT school and the ANU school of the previous generation is that RMIT is less formally neoclassical in orientation and more explicitly Hayekian and institutional in orientation. Rather than aspiring to be a ‘Chicago of the South,’ the preferred model is George Mason University. The leaders of this school are Sinclair Davidson, professor of institutional economics, and Jason Potts, an evolutionary economist. Both have interests outside mainstream economics, although both are highly involved in contemporary policy debate.
There could have been a bit more about the Australian school of economics, Catallaxy and the synergy of Karl Popper and the other Austrians (a distinctive contribution of the Australian school) and I am in the IPA today so we can have a talk about that:)