Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2012 (Revised January 2014)

Australia: Commodities and Competitiveness

by Laura Alfaro, Richard H.K. Vietor, Bill Russell and Hilary White


For the past few decades, Australia has dealt with the benefits and costs of repeated mining booms—inflation, a housing bubble, a current account deficit and growing dependence on China. Between 1996 and 2007, however, Australia had most of these issues under control and grew at impressive rates, becoming one of the richest of developed countries. Yet competitiveness in its non-mining sectors declined. Since the financial crisis, additional challenges associated with climate change, minerals taxes, migration and an overvalued currency have complicated the issues facing Julia Gillard and her Labor Party, with a very thin majority.

Keywords: commodities; competitiveness; carbon tax; environment; capital flows; current account; mining; Goods and Commodities; Australia;


Alfaro, Laura, Richard H.K. Vietor, Bill Russell, and Hilary White. "Australia: Commodities and Competitiveness." Harvard Business School Case 713-015, August 2012. (Revised January 2014.)