South Australia’s Federation Referendum of 1898: A Quantitative Empirical Enquiry

The paper uses data from the 1901 census to throw light of the attributes of electors and electorates that encouraged or discouraged voting Yes in the 1898 SA federation referendum. It is concluded that British birth and an industrial occupation contributed powerfully to voting No in 1898. It is also concluded that in the 1899 referendum industrial occupation disappeared as a discouragement to voting Yes.

William Coleman is a Reader at the School of Economics of the Australian National University, and has written extensively upon inflation, the history of economic thought, and the contested position of economics in society. He is currently the editor of Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform. A book he co-authored Giblin’s Platoon: The Trials and Triumph of the Economist in Australian Public Life, won the Bruce McComish Prize for Economic History. His other books include Economics and Its Enemies: The Story of Two Centuries of Anti-economics; The Causes, Costs and Compensations of Inflation and The Political Economy of Wages and Unemployment. He has recently edited Only in Australia: The History, Politics and Economics of Australian Exceptionalism.

Date & time

Thu 31 Aug 2017, 12am


L.J. Hume Centre, Copland Building, ANU


Dr. William Coleman


Jessica Genauer


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