David Stanton

Mr David Stanton


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

  • Social policy generally (particularly. social security research and policy issues).
  • The historical development of social policy (particularly in the UK and Australia.  
  • The economics of social policy.
  • Tax and transfer policy.
  • Social policy issues for families and children and the retired. 
  • Social policy issues for sole parents including in the context of divorce, separation and child support.   
  • Labour market policies and administration and "welfare to work" 
  • Older workers.
  • Measurement and analysis of poverty and inequality.
  • Social security and welfare data and evaluation
  • International comparisons and developments (OECD, China, Asia and the   Pacific). 
  • Processes of policy development and analysis.
  • Public administration and service delivery issues
  • Management theory and application.    




David Stanton is currently an Honorary Associate Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University.  He has helped develop a social policy stream in the Crawford Masters of Public Policy Program. 

David held the position of Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) from May 1999 to January 2003. In recent years he has also been a consultant to the Australian National Audit Office and was a member of the Board of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) from 2009 to 2012.

David worked for the Australian Government in various positions over some 36 years up to the equivalent of Deputy Secretary. He started in the Australian Public Service with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and then with the Department of Social Security (DSS). He held various Division Head Positions (Band 2) with DSS for some 12 years, including as Head of the (then) research and policy Division of the Department (Development Division, subsequently Social Policy Division), the Family Programs Division, Performance and Control Division and Evaluation and Services Division. He also worked on the service delivery side of DSS having been Director of DSS for NSW from 1987 to 1990. He played a key part in the building and enhancement of the Department’s analytical and policy development capacity, including the establishment of the Research and Policy Paper series and the Social Security Journal.

David maintains a strong interest in social policy research and is working with others on the economic and social implications of divorce; the situation of sole parents and older workers; and conditionality in social policy. He is also undertaking research on aspects of the historical development of social security policy and the policy development process, including the role of research in the policy development process.

David has a strong interest in developments in social security throughout the world. He worked as a Social Policy Consultant/Economist with various International Agencies (including the International Labour Office, the Asian Development Bank and the OECD) in such countries as China, Egypt and Trinidad and Tobago. He has been responsible for reviews of pension provision in the Asia and Oceania region. 

David was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division (AM) in the 2017 Australia Day Honours List. The citation for the honour is: “For distinguished service to public administration, to social policy development and as an academic”. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (FASSA) in September 2017.



B.Ec. (Hons 1st Class), Univ.of WA; M.Sc (Soc Admin), London School of Economics and Political Science


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