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John C. Quiggin

  • Federation Fellow, U of Queensland 2003
  • Australian Professorial Fellow, Australian National U, 2000-02
  • Australian Professorial Fellow 1998-99, Prof and Chair 1996-98, James Cook U
  • Prof, Australian National U, 1991-95
  • Associate Prof, U of Maryland, College Park, 1989-90
  • Senior Lecturer, U of Sydney 1987-88 o Research Officer, 1978-83; Chief Research Economist 1983-1986, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Australia
  • PhD 1987, U of New England; MEc 1983, BEc 1980, BA 1978 Australian National Uo Member, nominating panel for the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
  • Board Member, Queensland Competition Authority, 1998-present
  • Fellow, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Editorial Boards Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty
  • 1981 and 2001 Editors' Prize, best article Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics
  • 1993 Australian Social Science Academy Medal
  • 1997 American Agricultural Economics Association, Quality of Research Discovery Prize Honorable Mention
  • 1997 and 2000 Institute of Public Administration, Australia, Sam Richardson Prize, Best Journal Article
  • 2001 American Agricultural Economics Association, Quality of Research Discovery Prize Honorable Mention

John Quiggin has made fundamental contributions to both theoretical economics and practical policy debates on economic issues in Australia. He is also an influential economic and political commentator, who has helped frame the economic debate on a wide variety of issues within the last decade.

His most important theoretical contributions have been to the economics of risk and uncertainty, with a focus on choice under uncertainty and on agricultural production under uncertainty. The rank-dependent expected utility model, which he first developed under the name 'anticipated utility theory', is now the most popular alternative to the expected-utility model of choice under uncertainty and the most widely-accepted resolution of the famous Allais paradox.

Quiggin's original article on this topic (published in Journal of Economics and Behavioral Organization in 1982) is one of the best-known works in the literature on the representation of choice under uncertainty. This article, which formed the core of the Ph.D. thesis that he submitted to the University of New England under the supervision of Jock Anderson, is one of the most highly-cited research articles ever published by an agricultural economist.

Quiggin has also worked extensively in the field of environmental economics. Important areas in which he has made contributions include: the analysis of property rights systems, with a focus on common property; irrigation-related and dryland salinity; valuation of public goods; and self-protection against environmental hazards. Quiggin's widely-cited work on the valuation of public goods has included both technical contributions aimed at refining the contingent-valuation model and critical assessments of the theoretical underpinnings of the model, focusing on such issues as altruism and interactions within households. His analysis of property rights contributed to a fundamental reassessment of the concept of 'common property'.

More recently, in collaboration with Robert G Chambers, Quiggin has developed and extended the Arrow-Debreu state-contingent model of production under uncertainty, using modern methods of convex analysis and duality theory. This work has led to generalizations of existing models of production under uncertainty and has been recognized twice since 1997 by the American Agricultural Economics Association for its research quality. Particular applications have included nonpoint-source pollution control, hedging behavior for agricultural producers through futures and financial markets, moral hazard, agricultural insurance, and agricultural price stabilization.

Although he has lived and worked in his native Australia for most of his career, Quiggin forged close links with the University of Maryland in the early 1990s and has since published more than 20 journal articles and book chapters in collaboration with Maryland agricultural economists including Robert G. Chambers, John Horowitz and Richard Just.

In an era when leading agricultural economists rarely play a major role in framing policy debates, Quiggin has been a leading force in extending the profession's research expertise into practical Australian policy debates. Since 1992, he has been a fortnightly columnist in the Australian Financial Review, the Australian equivalent of the Wall Street Journal, covering topics ranging from global warming to labeling of genetically modified food.

Quiggin has also been an active participant in the Australian public policy debate, publishing reports and submissions to public inquiries on topics including ecological tax reform, the implications of competition policy for regional communities and the agricultural sector, the sustainability of environmental funding, and tariff policy.

Quiggin has received many research grants from the Australian Research Council (roughly the Australian equivalent to the National Science Foundation) and was recently honored with a Federation Fellowship, the most prestigious appointment currently available to Australian researchers.

Quiggin has contributed to the profession as an associate editor of numerous journals, including the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and Journal of Risk and Uncertainty and as a member of the nominating panel for the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.