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Economic policy debate in Australia is dominated by the belief that the nation’s economy experienced a surge in productivity in the mid-1990s. The surge is attributed to programs of microeconomic reform that began in earnest with the floating of the dollar in 1983. It was particularly welcomed by advocates of microeconomic reform, given that the decade following the float was characterized by relatively weak productivity growth, and macroeconomic performance that began well, but ended in the deep recession of 1989-91, and the prolonged period of high unemployment that followed.


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