Melbourne Institute Leadership Team

Abigail Payne

Professor A. Abigail Payne

Professor Payne is the Director of the leading Australian institute of applied economic and social research. The Melbourne Institute has a team of more than 50 academic researchers that are engaged in research on various microeconomic and macroeconomic topics including health, labour, education, housing, social disadvantage, macro, and public economics. Professor Payne holds a PhD from Princeton University, a J.D. from Cornell Law School, and a Bachelor’s Degree (with honours) from Denison University. Professor Payne moved to Australia from North America where she previously held positions in Canada and the US. Professor Payne has a longstanding research interest in empirical public economics issues with a focus on how government policy affects spending and performance. She also studies charitable giving, the role of government funding on service provision, and how tax policy affects giving and the delivery of public services. Her scholarship demonstrates how best to use big data for economic research, she has initiated several key projects in Australia that relate to entrenched disadvantage, charitable giving, and educational performance. Professor Payne is actively involved in Australian economic and social policy as a member on multiple State and Commonwealth Government and University of Melbourne committees. Internationally she is a member of the Ifo Institute’s Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) and a number of boards and co-editorships. She continues to collaborate with researchers around the world on economic and social issues.