The secret to understanding Italian labour economics might be in Melbourne

By Seth Robinson

Alberto Mazzon travelled from Italy to work with the experts at the Melbourne Institute. On the eve of his return to Italy, he shared a few of the experiences and insights that defined his time in Melbourne.

When Alberto Mazzon, an Italian PhD candidate from the University of Siena, was ready to take the next step in his labour economics and casual employment research he chose Melbourne.

“I picked the University of Melbourne because of the quality of the research and its connections to my work. Casual employment has been the object of a lot of research from the Melbourne Institute. The people here are experts in the field, I’ve gotten some very, very important and precious advice. It couldn’t have been better.”

Alberto Mazzon

Labour economics, particularly the casualisation of labour, has come to the forefront of discussion in Australia over the last few years, however, it is far from a localised issue. Italy has experienced high levels of unemployment in recent years, and while unemployment levels in Italy have been decreasing, the quality of jobs is also in decline, with job permanency, social security and an array of rights that were taken for granted ten years ago now unattainable for most employees. Coming to Australia gave Alberto an opportunity to explore Australia’s economy, and to chart the similarities between the Italian and Australian labour markets, with a focus on the similarities in casual employment across both countries.

Alberto’s time at the Melbourne Institute also gave him the opportunity to share his research with an actively engaged audience, who were eager to offer a fresh take on the issues.

“I’ve had many highlights, but one of them has definitely been presenting the Italian case to people who are not from Italy,  who have a fresh mind on my topic. Australia and Italy are very different, it’s physically the other side of the world, and the labour market is incredibly different. People were always very curious, and they gave me great advice on how to continue my thesis.”

At the end of his trip, Alberto has some advice for other international students thinking of bringing their studies to Melbourne.

  • Come with a plan, settling in a new place can be hard, and there’s lots to be distracted by.
  • Have an idea what you want to get from your time in Australia, whether it be an experience you want to have, a sight you want to see or a class you want to take.
  • Take advantage of your time here and get involved with the University community.

Alberto Mazzon studied as a PhD Candidate at The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.  He is returning to the University of Siena to continue his research in labour economics and the casualisation of employment.

Learn how you can work with our research team.