Who we are

Lateral Economics is a network of professionals with a wealth of experience and expertise in economic reform and public policy.  We draw on a range of people from a range of professional backgrounds to meet clients’ needs.

Our principals are:

Nicholas Gruen

Lateral Economics’ CEO is Nicholas Gruen, is a widely published policy economist, entrepreneur and commentator who has had regular columns in the Australian Financial Review, the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

He has advised Cabinet Ministers, sat on Australia’s Productivity Commission and founded Lateral Economics and Peach Financial. He chairs:

He is Patron of the Australian Digital Alliance, which brings together Australia’s libraries, universities, and major providers of digital infrastructure such as Google and Yahoo and a member of the Council of the National Library of Australia.

He was second shareholder and Chairman of successful San Francisco based startup data analytics crowdsourcing platform Kaggle. He is an Angel investor in various other Australian and international startups including Breezedocs which is developing semantic document management systems, BetterBills, SoundFocus., Slant.co, SydVentures, and Lendable.

He was chairman of the Federal Government’s Innovation Australia Board in 2013 and 2014. He was a member of a review of Pharmaceutical patent extensions in 2013.

In 2009 he chaired Australia’s internationally acclaimed Government 2.0 Taskforce. In 2008 he was a member of a major review into Australia’s Innovation System.

He has a BA (Hons – First Class) in History (1981) and a PhD in Public Policy from the ANU (1998), and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne (1982).

Alex Coram

Alex Coram is Winthrop Professor of Political Economy at the University of Western Australia.  He is also a visitingprofessor in the Aberdeen Business School and holds an Honorary Professorship at the University of Tasmania. He has held the Helen Sheridan chair in Economics at the University of Massachusetts.

He has worked for the Department of Infrastructure in Victoria on models of city development and on providing training programmes for senior management and has consulted for law firms on problems of contracting.  He has also consulted on energy problems and nuclear power.

He specializes in solving non-standard problems particularly those involving applications of mathematical game theory, control theory and optimization theory more generally to problems in:

He has been seconded to other universities in Australia to develop postgraduate courses in public sector management.

He has published two books and approximately 50 papers in international scientific journals on such problems as: the effect of luck on life time wealth distribution; arms races; international capital flows; political party competition; environmental problems and international environmental management. He has also written a number of papers for government. He is currently working on problems of the dynamics of energy use under constraints imposed by emissions reduction.

Philip Hagan

Philip HaganPhilip Hagan partners with Lateral Economics on selected projects. He is also principal of AustralAsia Economics. He is an economist with extensive experience in policy making in the public sector, having worked in senior positions in both Federal and State Governments. After a long career at the Industries Assistance Commission, he was an Assistant Secretary with its successor body  the Industry Commission (which is now the Productivity Commission) and also with the Health Department. He was also Deputy CEO of the South Australian Development Council, where he worked on economic development issues. Mr Hagan now works as a consultant to the public and private sectors.

Philip’s expertise and background is in microeconomics. He also has extensive experience in the field of health and ageing. He also worked for a period developing quantitative models of the Australian economy and is familiar with Australian economic statistics. Mr Hagan holds bachelor’s degrees in science and economics and an MBA and is an Adjunct Research Fellow with the University of South Australia.