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The Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP

Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities, Treasury and Employment
Evaluating Policy Impact: Working Out What Works

Tuesday, 29 August 2023

The National Press Club of Australia

The Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities, Treasury and Employment & Federal Member for Fenner will Address the National Press Club of Australia on "Evaluating Policy Impact: Working Out What Works".

The twentieth century saw the widespread adoption of randomised trials to evaluate new treatments. The transition from eminence-based medicine to evidence-based medicine saved millions of lives. In the twenty-first century, a similar revolution is afoot in policymaking, as analysts recognise the power of rigorous evaluation. Simple before-after comparisons often erroneously suggest that a policy works, when in fact a rigorous evaluation shows that it has no effect. The new Australian Centre for Evaluation will help identify which programs work, by testing new programs in the same way that we already test new medical treatments. Rigorous evaluation will allow government to move resources from ineffective programs to effective programs, boosting the impact of government and saving taxpayers money.

Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities, Treasury and Employment, and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. Prior to being elected in 2010, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Arts and Law. Andrew is a past recipient of the Economic Society of Australia's Young Economist Award and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

His books include Disconnected (2010), Battlers and Billionaires: The Story of Inequality in Australia (2013), The Economics of Just About Everything (2014), The Luck of Politics (2015), Choosing Openness: Why Global Engagement is Best for Australia (2017), Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World (2018), Innovation + Equality: How to Create a Future That Is More Star Trek Than Terminator (with Joshua Gans) (2019), Reconnected: A Community Builder's Handbook (with Nick Terrell) (2020), What's the Worst That Could Happen? Existential Risk and Extreme Politics (2021) and Fair Game: Lessons From Sport for a Fairer Society & a Stronger Economy (2022).

Andrew is a keen triathlete and marathon runner, and hosts a podcast called The Good Life: Andrew Leigh in Conversation, about living a happier, healthier and more ethical life. Andrew is the father of three sons - Sebastian, Theodore and Zachary, and lives with his wife Gweneth in Canberra. He has been a member of the Australian Labor Party since 1991.

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