Choosing Openness
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Choosing Openness

Why global engagement is best for Australia

Across the developed world, global engagement has become a major political fault line. Some say that trade, investment, and immigration are threats rather than opportunities. Global uncertainty, rising inequality, and populism present real challenges to globalists. Choosing Openness argues that Australia’s past prosperity has flowed from engaging with the world. An open Australia requires stronger advocacy and smarter policies.

From 1914 to 1945, the world turned inwards, as fear shut down flows of people and goods across national borders. A century later, can we make a better choice?

Choosing Openness is available to purchase from all good bookstores ($9.99) and online. An e-book version is also available. The Lowy Institute’s Bligh Street headquarters has a limited number of copies available for purchase at our reception.

About the author

Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner. Prior to entering the Australian Parliament in 2010, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. Andrew holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Law and Arts. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and a past recipient of the Economic Society of Australia’s ‘Young Economist Award’. His previous books include The Luck of Politics, The Economics of Just About Everything and Battlers and Billionaires.


Introduction – 1 

1. Why openness makes us uncomfortable – 13

2. The case for trade – 33

3. The case for migration – 54

4. The case for foreign investment – 78

5. Better together – 102

6. Keeping Australia open – 121

Endnotes – 144

Acknowledgements – 177

Photo: Simon Chen/EyeEm/Getty Images