John Piggott is Professor and Head of the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales. After graduating with a BA from the University of Sydney, he obtained his MSc and PhD degrees from the University of London. Following research and teaching appointments at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and at the Australian National University, Canberra, he was appointed to UNSW in 1988. He also holds an adjunct chair in the Economics Program, Research School of Social Sciences, at the Australian National University.
Professor Piggott’s interests lie in public policy, particularly taxation and the economics of retirement and pensions. He has published more than 60 journal articles and chapters in books; these have appeared in the leading international academic journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, and the Review of Economics and Statistics, as well as in highly cited conference volumes. In addition, he has co-edited a number of volumes placed with prestigious academic publishers, including a special issue of Empirical Economics, and is co-author of two books, both published by Cambridge University Press. The second of these, on mandatory pension saving, is to appear later this year.
His current research interests include economic policy towards retirement income provision; research in this field has been supported by Australian Research Council grants since 1991. In that year he established the Retirement Economics Group at UNSW, which has grown to comprise half a dozen academic faculty and a number of graduate research students. The Group now hosts Australia’s annual Superannuation Colloquium, which brings together industry experts with bureaucrats and academics specialising in pension economics and pension reform. In 1998, he was instrumental in establishing an Actuarial Studies program at UNSW: this is now one of the most successful in the country, and will begin to teach international graduate students from 2001.
Dr Piggott has served on a number of committees related to pension reform, including the Taxation and Statistics Committees of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia. Until 1997, when it was disbanded, he was the external member of the Steering Committee of the Retirement Income Modelling Task Force, located in the Australian Treasury. In 1998, he addressed Committee members of the US Congress and Senate on Australian pension policy.
Consultancy work has included contracts for research papers with both the OECD and the World Bank, and participation in capacity building workshops for the Asian Development Bank. He has recently completed a World Bank mission on pension reform in Mauritius, and is currently associated with the Economic and Social Research Institute of the Japanese Government, on research projects focussed on pension reform and ageing.