Dr Tony Beatton

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BEST Fellow

PhD (Economics), M. Bus (Research), B. Bus (Finance)

ORCID 0000-0002-6742-4508

Tony Beatton is an empirical economist focussed on the development of longitudinal BIG Datasets used to analyse the life trajectories in learning, well-being, social inclusion, education, and labour market outcomes, from the early years through adolescence on to early adulthood. He applies causation-based econometric analysis methods to provide policy-based evidence to support improvements in our education & social systems. He collaborates in this effort with key stakeholders and a global team of researchers to achieve real world research impact. He is on the management team of the World Wellbeing Panel.

Since completing his PhD in 2011, he has applied his 30-year IT industry experience to the development of Big Data longitudinal panel datasets. These datasets enable research focussed on improving the life outcomes of 1.7 million young Queenslanders from kindergarten, State grade & high school, tertiary education, and into employment, a family relationship, and beyond. We do this by matching administrative data sources from Government agencies such as the Queensland Government Department of Education, Queensland Police Service; Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General, and; the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Our unique longitudinal dataset allows us to undertake studies in areas previously inaccessible to researchers due to the lack of quality data sources. This allows us to publish Government reports and academic papers that address everyday problems and advance our knowledge.

He recently applied his BIG Data expertise to reveal the extent to which Queensland’s introduction of a Preparatory year of education and the provision of high-quality Kindergarten contributed to student academic outcomes. Other contributions using BIG datasets include examination of the benefits arising from Queensland’s 2006 Earning or Learning education policy change. Using advanced econometric methods, we untangled the complicated web of causation and inter-correlation to reveal that compelling young people to stay at school reduces their anti-social behaviour and improves their educational outcomes.

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