Australian Economic History

Subject ECON20008 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two hours of lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Both of:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Please refer to Prerequisites and Corequisites.
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements for this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Jeff Borland


Subject Overview:

This subject provides an historical overview of the development of the Australian economy. A major theme of the subject is to understand the role of factors such as geography, political and legal institutions, international influences such as immigration and foreign investment, and economic policy, in the development of the Australian economy. The subject will emphasise how an understanding of the economic history of Australia can be used to analyse current developments in the Australian and international economies. The evolution of the Australian economy and of material well-being, and the role of major episodes such as agricultural development, gold rushes and mining booms, world wars, and major economic fluctuations, are examined.

  • Explain the main phases in the economic development of Australia.
  • Explain the role of factors such as geography, political and legal institutions, international events and influences, immigration and foreign investment, and economic policy, in the development of the Australian economy.
  • Apply economic theory and available data to evaluate alternative explanations for, and to explain major historical events in Australia (for example, major financial crises, and macroeconomic fluctuations).
  • Use knowledge of the history of the development of the Australian economy to inform analysis of current developments in microeconomics and macroeconomics in Australia.
  • Compare and contrast the Australian experience of economic development with selected experience in other international regions of recent settlement.

One 2-hour end-of-semester exam (40%) and written work totalling 4000 words (60%).

Prescribed Texts: You will be advised of prescribed texts by your lecturer.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • High level of development: written communication; application of theory to practice; interpretation and analysis; critical thinking; synthesis of data and other information; evaluation of data and other information; accessing data and other information from a range of sources; receptiveness to alternative ideas.

  • Moderate level of development: oral communication; collaborative learning; problem solving; team work; statistical reasoning.

  • Some level of development: use of computer software.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Economics Major
Related Breadth Track(s): A Long-Run Economic Perspective

Download PDF version.