Roland Rajah

Lead Economist and Director, International Economics Program
Areas of expertise

International economic policy; Asia Pacific economies; macroeconomics; economic development; aid and development finance; globalisation; geo-economics.  

Roland Rajah
Biography
Publications
News and media

Roland Rajah is Lead Economist and Director of the International Economics Program at the Lowy Institute. A development economist by background, his work focuses on international economic policy, particularly in the Asia Pacific, including matters of macroeconomics, economic development, aid and development finance, debt sustainability, globalisation, and geo-economics, among others.  

Roland was previously an economist with the Asian Development Bank where he worked on macro-fiscal policy, economic growth, and infrastructure development in the Pacific. Earlier he was based in Indonesia with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade managing its flagship economic reform advisory program to the Indonesian government. Roland has also served in the Economics Advisory Group of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid) and the International Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia. He also currently serves as an international member on the board of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute. 

He holds a master’s degree in economics from the Australian National University, where he was awarded the Helen Hughes prize in international and development economics.

Assessing Australia’s role in global vaccine equity
Assessing Australia’s role in global vaccine equity
Australia has been more generous than most but as geopolitical as China.
The scope to negotiate with China on the CPTPP
The scope to negotiate with China on the CPTPP
It would be useful to have more cooperative economic ballast in relations, even as other things might deteriorate.
Commentary
There is no wages case for a permanent cut to immigration
RBA governor Philip Lowe makes a reasonable point about the short-term suppression of wages in some industries. But long-run evidence shows migration lifts demand for workers…
Aiding the Pacific during Covid: An update
Aiding the Pacific during Covid: An update
While the money is flowing, the outlook for the region has also darkened considerably.
Commentary
Will Indonesia’s Omnibus reforms bolster recovery from COVID-19?
Originally published in East Asia Forum. 
Patent waiver for vaccines is a plus, but no panacea
Patent waiver for vaccines is a plus, but no panacea
Lifting IP rights won’t kill innovation. It also won’t automatically get more vaccine doses where they’re needed.
Lowy Institute Conversations: Ross Garnaut on Restoring Australia after the Pandemic Recession
Podcasts
Lowy Institute Conversations: Ross Garnaut on Restoring Australia after the Pandemic Recession
In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, Roland Rajah, Lowy Institute Lead Economist, sits down with Dr Ross Garnaut to discuss the ideas in his new book, Reset: Restoring…
Malaysia’s political turmoil has an economic cost
Malaysia’s political turmoil has an economic cost
With parliament suspended and a pandemic-induced shock, necessary and serious reform seems a long way off.
Commentary
Why our economy can afford to stand up to China with Belt and Road veto
Originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald. 
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