Prof Peter Whiteford


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Peter Whiteford (FASSA) is a Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University, Canberra. He is the Director of the Social Policy Institute and a Fellow of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute in the Crawford School. He is an Associate Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), and an Adjunct Professor with the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. 

He is an expert on international comparisons of social security policies, and on inequality and redistribution. He is the author of more than 100 articles in refereed journals, book chapters or monographs and he has been a keynote speaker or invited presenter at more than 35 international and Australian conferences. He has written extensively on pension issues in OECD countries, including on the public/private pension mix, pension reform in Eastern Europe, China, Australia and APEC economies, as well as on the living standards of pensioners in a comparative perspective.

Between 2000 and 2008, he worked as a Principal Administrator in the Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. His work at the OECD encompassed pension and welfare policies in OECD countries, Eastern Europe and China. He also worked on child poverty, family assistance policies, welfare reform, and income inequality and redistribution. He has been an expert referee for the Australian Parliamentary Budget Office, the Productivity Commission and the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare,   as well as for numerous academic journal articles.

In July 2008, he was appointed by the Australian government to the Reference Group for the Harmer Review of the Australian pension system. He was an invited keynote speaker at the Melbourne Institute-Australia's Future Tax and Transfer Policy Conference held in June 2009 as part of the Henry Review of Australia’s Future Tax System, and he participated in the Tax Forum held in Canberra in October 2011.

In 2018, he was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.




Research interests

Peter Whiteford's research has concentrated on international comparisons of systems of social protection and comparisons of poverty and income distribution, and his areas of interest include: Child poverty; family policy; international comparisons of income inequality and poverty; comparative social policy and the welfare state; reconciliation of work and family life; lone parenthood and joblessness among families with children; social policy and the life course; social assistance policies; pension policies; social policy and income disparities in China; Australian social policy, especially social security policy; tax-transfer policies.

Researcher's projects

He was Chief Investigator (with Gerry Redmond) of an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded linkage project on “Supporting Families: Equity in the Australian Tax-Transfer System”.

GINI Growing Inequalities, Impacts:

Recent projects include for UNICEF (Pacific) on child poverty and disparities in Kiribati and Vanuatu.


BA (Hons) Qld; Litt. B. ANU; D. Phil. York

Expertise Areas

  • Social Policy


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