Our People

Professor Peter Whiteford

Adjunct Professor
BA (Hons) Qld, Litt. B. ANU, D. Phil. York
Social Policy Research Centre


+61 2 9385 7838
Fields: Public Policy, Social Policy, Labour Economics
Tags: Law, Politics and Community Services, Social Class and Inequalities

Professor Peter Whiteford previously was a Principal Administrator, Social Policy Division, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, and he has also worked at the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York in the United Kingdom, as well as a Consultant to the Social Security Review (PDF).

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.

He was an invited keynote speaker at the Australian Institute of Family Studies conference in 2008, and also as a keynote speaker for various international seminars organised by the International Social Security Association in Budapest, Oslo and Seoul between 2001 and 2007. In 2008 he was appointed by the Government to the Reference Group for the Review of the Australian pension system and in 2009 he was an invited keynote speaker for the Australian Treasury Conference on reform of the Australian tax system.

Recent projects include for UNICEF (Pacific) on child poverty and disparities in Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, as well as on Australian Government projects on family joblessness in Australia. He is Chief Investigator (with Gerry Redmond) of an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded linkage project on “Supporting Families: Equity in the Australian Tax-Transfer System”. He is an Associate Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research. (CEPAR)



    • Whiteford P, (ed.), 2007, Modernising Social Policy for the New Life Course, Original, OECD, Paris
    • Adema W;Whiteford P, 2007, Babies and Bosses: Reconciling Work and Family Life in OECD Countries: Synthesis Report, Original, OECD, Paris
    • Whiteford P, (ed.), 2003, Practical Lessons In Pension Reform: Sharing the Experiences of Transition and OECD Countries, Original, OECD, Paris
    • Whiteford P;Millar J;Mendelson M, 2003, Timing it Right?: Tax Credits and How to Respond to Income Changes, Original, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, London, UK, http://www.jrf.org.uk/bookshop/eBooks/1859351107.pdf

    Book Chapters

    • Whiteford P, 2010, 'Equity issues in pension design and pension reform: New Zealand in comparative perspective', in Rashbrooke G; Davey J; Stephens B (ed.), Retirement income policy and intergenerational equity, edn. 1st ed., Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, NZ, pp. 33 - 77
    • Whiteford P, 2008, 'How Much Redistribution do Governments Achieve? The Role of Cash Transfers and Household Taxes', in OECD (ed.), Growing Unequal: Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries, edn. Original, OECD, Paris, pp. 97 - 121, http://www.oecd.org/document/4/0,3343,en_2649_33933_41460917_1_1_1_1,00.html
    • Whiteford P, 2006, 'Increasing Employment among Older Workers: Social Security Reform in OECD Countries - A Survey and Assessment', in Han E (ed.), Ageing And The Labour Market: Issues And Solutions, Or Are There?, edn. Original, Intersentia, pp. 11 - 41
    • Whiteford P, 2005, 'Sustaining Social Security and Enhancing Employment', in OECD (ed.), Ageing and Employment Policies : United States, edn. Original, OECD, Paris, pp. 69 - 102,
    • Whiteford P, 2004, 'Mandating Pensions: The Australian Experience', in Rein M; Schmahl W (ed.), Rethinking the Welfare State: The Political Economy of Pension Reform, edn. Original, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd
    • Whiteford P, 2004, 'Striking the Right Balance: Income Support and Work Incentives for Older People', in Ageing and Employment Policies: United Kingdom, edn. Original, OECD, Paris
    • Maurice M;Whiteford P, 2004, 'Income Disparities in Post-Reform China: A Review of the International Evidence', in Income Disparities In China: An Oecd Perspective, edn. Original, OECD, Paris
    • Saint-martin A;Whiteford P, 2003, 'Making Work Pay - Making Work Possible', in Employment Outlook: 2003, edn. Original, OECD, Paris

    Journal articles

    • Whiteford P, 2012, 'Social Security Reform: The Tax Forum and Beyond', Economic Papers, vol. 31, pp. 24 - 29, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1759-3441.2012.00169.x
    • Whiteford P, 2010, 'The Henry Review and the Social Security System', The Australian Economic Review, vol. 43, pp. 429 - 436, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8462.2010.00613.x/abstract
    • Whiteford P, 2010, 'The Australian tax-transfer system: architecture and outcomes', The Economic Record, vol. 86, pp. 528 - 544, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4932.2010.00634.x
    • Adema W;Whiteford P, 2008, 'Matching work and family commitments: Australian outcomes in a comparative perspective', Family Matters, vol. 80, pp. 9 - 16
    • Salditt F;Whiteford P;Adema W, 2008, 'Pension Reform in China', International Social Security Review, vol. 61, pp. 47 - 71
    • Queisser M;Whitehouse E;Whiteford P, 2007, 'The Public-Private Pension Mix in OECD Countries', Industrial Relations Journal, vol. 38, pp. 542 - 568
    • Whiteford P, 2006, 'Welfare State Reform in Continental and Southern Europe: An Overview of Challenges and Strategies', Revue francaise des affaires sociales, vol. 2006/1 January-March, pp. 22 - 50
    • Whiteford P, 2006, 'The Welfare Expenditure Debate: Economic Myths of the Left and the Right Revisited', Economic and Labour Relations Review, vol. 17, pp. 33 - 78
    • Whiteford P, 2006, 'Pension Challenges and Pension Reforms in OECD Countries', Oxford Review of Economic Policy, vol. 22, pp. 78 - 94
    • Whiteford P;Adema W, 2006, 'Combating Child Poverty in OECD Countries: Is Work the Answer?', European Journal of Social Security, vol. 8, pp. 235 - 256
    • Whiteford P, 2003, 'From Enterprise Protection to Social Protection: Pension Reform in China', Global Social Policy, vol. 3, pp. 45 - 77

    Conference Papers

    • Whiteford P, 2009, 'Family joblessness, child poverty and welfare state design', 11th Path of Full Employment Conference and 16th National Conference on Unemployment, University of Newcastle, presented at 11th Path of Full Employment Conference and 16th National Conference on Unemployment, University of Newcastle, 03 - 04 December 2009
    • Tannous KW;Whiteford P, 2009, 'Family-centred research on employment for jobless families in three disadvantaged areas in Australia', in 11th Path of Full Employment Conference and 16th National Conference on Unemployment, University of Newcastle, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, 01 January 2009


    • Zhu A;Brennan DJ;Adamson E;Whiteford P, 2011, Leave Patterns of Australian Mothers, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
    • Sawrikar P;Whiteford P;Michail S;O''connor A, 2009, Child poverty and disparities in the Pacific: Study of child-centered policy analysis in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu; Draft report
    • Sawrikar P;Whiteford P, 2008, Child poverty/hardship in the Pacific: Study on child-centered policy analysis and child-centered budgeting in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu; Phase 1: Travel plan and work plan

    Conference Presentations

    • Whiteford P, 2007, 'The Active Social Policy Agenda: An OECD Perspective', presented at the European Regional Meeting of the International Social Security Association, Oslo, 15 - 16 May 2007
    • Whiteford P, 2007, 'Child Poverty in Europe: Trends, Causal Factors and Policy Responses', presented at 6th European Round Table on Poverty and Social Exclusion - Minimum Social Standards: A Strategy for Protection and Empowerment, Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores, 16 - 17 October 2007
    • Whiteford P, 2005, 'Innovation: The key to social security progress', presented at Meeting of Directors of Social Security Organizations in Asia and the Pacific, Seoul, 09 - 11 November 2005
    • Whiteford P, 2005, 'Reconciling Work and Family Life: A Comparative Analysis of OECD Countries', presented at Finnish Social Policy Association, Turku, 27 - 28 October 2005
    • Whiteford P, 2004, 'Managing the social consequences of economic reform: Issues in designing social safety nets', presented at EUROMED Expert Meeting on Managing the Social Consequences of Economic Reform, Marrakech, Morocco, 20 - 21 May 2004
    • Whiteford P;Adema W;Gornick J, 2004, 'Family Policy and the Restructuring of the Welfare State: A Comparative Analysis of OECD Countries', presented at European Social Policy Network Meeting, Oxford, 09 - 11 September 2004

    Working Papers

    • Whiteford P;Adema W, 2007, What Works Best in Reducing Child Poverty: A Benefit or Work Strategy?, OECD, Paris, OECD Social Employment and Migration Working Papers, OECD Social Employment and Migration Working Papers No. 51, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/30/44/38227981.pdf

Teaching and Supervision

HDR Supervision:: He is keen to supervise PhD candidates with an interest in Australian social security policy and international comparisons of social policy. Peter Whiteford currently is co-supervising Sherman Chan, Ioana Oprea, Timothy Murton, K. M. Kabirul Islam and Peter Davidson.

He has contributed to study trips and training courses for members of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Chinese State Planning Commission, as well as for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, both in Australia and China. He taught training courses for officials of the Romanian Ministry for Social Protection and the Department of Labour and Social Protection of the Slovak Republic, and contributed to Asian Development Bank conferences and training courses in Mexico, Manila, Tokyo and Cambodia, and to a World Bank conference on pension reform in India. Between 2000 and 2008, he taught on annual training courses for officials from Former Soviet Union and Asian transition countries at the Joint Vienna Institute.

He was an invited keynote speaker at the Australian Institute of Family Studies conference in 2008, and also as a keynote speaker for various international seminars organised by the International Social Security Association in Budapest, Oslo and Seoul between 2001 and 2007.

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