Professor David Byrne wins Young Economist of the Year 2023

Professor David Byrne from the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne is the Economic Society of Australia’s Young Economist of the Year for 2023.

He was awarded the prize at the Australian Conference of Economists on July 11 in Brisbane.

Professor David Byrne
Professor David Byrne

The award is given to “an Australian economist under the age of forty who is deemed to have made a significant contribution to economic thought, economic knowledge, and the application of economics to public policy and public debate.

Professor Byrne’s career achievements contributing to his award included:

  • Research published in leading international journals, such as the American Economic Review and Quarterly Journal of Economics, with a focus on Australian-based petroleum and electricity industries and data.
  • Research breakthroughs in the economics field of industrial organisation, particularly with collusion, price discrimination, and the informational barriers consumers face in navigating complex markets.
  • Leadership with the Centre for Market Design and as a co-founder of the Asia Pacific Industrial Organisation Society.
  • Policy engagement with state and Commonwealth governments on issues related to competition policy and energy market design.
  • A strong track record of undergraduate teaching and PhD student advising.

Professor Byrne said he was thankful for working in a supportive environment with great people when accepting the award.

“In my acceptance speech, I said I was grateful to work at an institution with amazing students and where it’s about ideas, ideas, ideas, particularly the ones that matter,” he said.

“I also made a point of highlighting the Faculty of Business and Economics’ support for young parents because it’s one of many ways our faculty supports staff and is a big part of what allows me and many others to be successful,” he said.

After accepting the award, he gave a guest lecture in which he made a paternalistic argument for market design for efficiency and equity.

Professor Byrne presenting a lecture at the ESA event.
Professor Byrne gave a lecture at the Australian Conference of Economists on July 12 2023, in Brisbane. (photo credit: Peter Martin, @1petermartin on Twitter)

Learn more about ESA’s Young Economist of the Year award.