Winton Bates

Personal details:

Full Name: Winton Russell Bates

Postal address:


NSW 2280



Blog: Freedom and Flourishing

Nationality: Australian

Date of Birth: 17 November, 1944.

Educational qualifications: Bachelor of Agricultural Economics,

Master of Economics

(Both degrees were awarded by the University of New England, Australia.)

Current interests:

Since I retired from full-time work in 2006, most of my time has been devoted to researching, writing and blogging on issues related to well-being and liberty. My blog is entitled Freedom and Flourishing.

My book, 'Free to Flourish' was published at Amazon as a Kindle eBook in December 2012.

Professional record:

May 1995 to present: Economic consultant, team leader and researcher

My consulting work covered a range of topics, reflecting my interests in institutional economics, economic analysis of public policy issues and agricultural economics. Some specific issues on which I have worked include:

  • effects of size of government on economic performance;
  • agricultural policy in Papua New Guinea;
  • relationships between economic policies and economic, social and environmental outcomes;
  • assessment of progress in economic reform in Australia;
  • implications of economic reform for economic growth prospects in New Zealand;
  • farmer control of agricultural processing and marketing activities in New Zealand;
  • the statutory monopoly provided to the New Zealand Dairy Board for export of dairy produce from New Zealand;
  • approaches to reform of tariffs and other trade barriers;
  • arrangements for supply of legal services to the Commonwealth Government;
  • the role of transparency rules in economic strategy in New Zealand.

April 1993 to end April 1995: Advisor, Budget Management Branch,

New Zealand Treasury

I was employed as an internal consultant on strategic issues. These issues included:

  • the relationship between economic growth and social cohesion;
  • links between policy reforms and medium term growth prospects; and
  • implications for public sector decision-making of the move to proportional representation in New Zealand.

August 1979 to April 1993: First Assistant Commissioner,

Industry Commission (and IAC) Australia

I was responsible for management of various divisions (around 50 professional staff) in the Industry Commission. My responsibilities included planning research, assigning staff to project teams and monitoring performance of teams and their managers.

Economic issues in which I became heavily involved included:

· public sector reform e.g. issues related to privatisation, corporatisation, regulatory barriers to competition, policy transparency and regulatory review;

· approaches to trade liberalisation and other aspects of industry assistance; and

· natural resources issues e.g. issues related to property rights, resource rental, and recovery of costs of research and policy administration.

During this period I also obtained leave from the Industry Commission for two short periods to lead the Syntec Economic Services project teams which prepared reports on the structure of industry assistance (1983) and industry assistance reform (1988) for New Zealand Government Departments.

April 1975 to August 1979: Assistant Commissioner,

Industries Assistance Commission

My main responsibilities in this position were to advise the Commission on industry assistance and economic development strategies.

February 1967 to April 1975: Research Officer to Senior Economist,

Bureau of Agricultural Economics

My work covered a range of topics such as effects of tax concessions for investment, rural credit policies and adjustment assistance.

Selected Publications (since 1990)

Winton Bates, 'Where are emancipative values taking us?', Policy, Vol 30, No. 2, Winter 2014.

.......................'Is progress history?', Policy, Vol 29, No 2, Winter 2013.

........................ 'Some Observations on the Relationship between Freedom and Well-Being', Paper prepared for the Bhutan Conference on Happiness and Economic Development, August 2011.

........................'How Much Does Size of Government Matter for Economic Growth?', Consultancy report prepared by Winton Bates for 2025 Taskforce, September, 2010.'

........................'Informing the Happy State', Policy, Vol. 25 No 4, Summer 2009-10. (A review essay on "Well-being for Public Policy", by Ed Diener, Richard Lucus, Ulrich Schimmack and John Helliwell.)

....................... 'Gross National Happiness', Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Vol. 23, No. 2, November 2009. (Abstract; draft here).

.....................‘Is economic growth given too high a priority?’, Policy, Vol. 20, No. 4, Summer 2004-05.

------------------ How Much Government? The effects of high government spending on economic performance, New Zealand Business Roundtable, Wellington, August 2001.

------------------- Farmer Control of Processing and Marketing, Does it serve the interests of farmers?, New Zealand Business Roundtable, Wellington, August 1998.

------------------- ‘Discussant Comments: Microeconomic Reform; the New Zealand Experience’, Microeconomic Reform and Productivity Growth, Workshop Proceedings, Productivity Commission and Australian National University, AusInfo, Canberra, 1998.

------------------ The Dairy Board’s Export Monopoly, New Zealand Business Roundtable, Wellington, October 1997.

--------------------The New Zealand Model of Economic Reform: A Review’, Agenda, Vol. 4, No. 3, 1997.

-------------------- The links between economic growth and social cohesion, New Zealand Business Roundtable, August 1996.

------------------- Will a coherent economic strategy be possible under proportional representation?, New Zealand Business Roundtable, February 1996.

------------------- ‘Strategic Trade Policies: Respectable Interventionism?’, Policy, Vol. 6, No. 4, Summer 1990.

Recent Book Reviews

Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being By Martin E.P. Seligman (William Heinamann, 2011.): Reviewed in Policy, Vol 27, No 3, Spring 2011.

Sustainable Welfare in the Asia-Pacific: studies using the genuine progress indicator, by Philip Lawn and Mathew Clarke (eds): Reviewed in Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, 23(1), May 2009, Crawford School of Economics and Government, ANU, Canberra, and Blackwell Publishing (draft here).

Happiness: A Revolution in Economics, by Bruno S Frey: Reviewed in Policy, 34 (3), Spring 2008, Centre for Independent Studies (draft here).