Research

Per Capita undertakes research and develops policy recommendations in a number of focus areas, including ageing and longevity, progressive economics, employment and the future of work, social democracy, energy policy, social innovation and trust in democratic institutions. Our overarching focus is fighting inequality in Australia.

Once our ideas are developed, they are subjected to rigorous peer review, and then communicated widely, both in the public domain through mainstream and social media, and through our own extensive network of senior decision makers in government, industry and the public service.

Our track record in developing new policy approaches that have been subsequently adopted by government demonstrates our influence.

The Entitlement of Age

Australia’s retirement income system is becoming unsustainable. This is not because too much money is spent on the age pension. Australia spends an average of 3.5 per cent of its GDP on age-related spending against an OECD average of 7.8 per cent. Per Capita’s detailed analysis shows that unsustainability and inequality are the two emergent trends in Australia’s retirement income system. The changes being proposed by the federal government will make both of these problems worse because they ignore the role of private wealth in shaping people’s chances later in life.

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Ageing and Longevity

In 2014, Per Capita launched the Blueprint for an Ageing Australia. It sets out the steps that must be taken to ensure that ageing is an asset, not a liability. Longer lives present Australia with an enormous opportunity: longevity is a gift, but only good if you can live well. We could be doing more to ensure longevity isn’t just enjoyed by the well-educated, the well-healed, and the well-housed. We have to remake our social structures to make the most of the great gift of longer lives.

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Blueprint for an Ageing Australia

The Blueprint is the report of the Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing. The Advisory Panel was constituted in 2011 with a three-year mandate to produce a comprehensive policy review on the opportunities and challenges associated with an ageing Australia. In November 2013, the funding of the Panel was discontinued, and Per Capita entered into a partnership with four members of the Panel to re-establish the Panel and complete the Blueprint. The Blueprint was published in 2013 and outlines seventeen practical and important policy recommendations across seven policy areas that can make ageing a positive experience for all. The Blueprint is built around the idea that living longer is a good thing, that the rising average age of our population is a vindication of advances in science and health policy, and that the best way to approach it is to look for ways that older Australians can participate more effectively in our society and our economy to the best of their abilities.

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