The distributional effects of the Hilmer reforms on the Australian gas industry*

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Abstract

We analyse changes in the Australian gas industry during 1990s that were motivated by the Hilmer Reforms. We estimate the effects on real household income of the changes by combining a computable general equilibrium model with a microsimulation model. Although the structural changes were significant in their effects on the gas industry, they are estimated to have had minor effects on real household income in all Australian regions owing to the small size of the gas industry and household gas consumption at that time, and low importance of gas as an input to other industries. The changes are estimated to have slightly increased income inequality owing to the redistribution of income from labour to other primary factors.

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