Emeritus Professor John Foster

Emeritus Professor

School of Economics
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
+61 7 336 56780
0418 119 320


Fellow of the Academy of Social Science in Australia, Life member of Clare Hall College, Cambridge, Past President of the International J.A. Schumpeter Society. Current research interests include: the diffusion of innovations with special reference to the emergence of low carbon emission power generation technologies; modelling evolutionary economic growth with special reference to the role of energy; modelling the impact of climate change on the economy with a specific focus on the power generation sector; modelling the macro-economy as a complex adaptive system; applying self-organisation theory to statistical and economic modelling in the presence of structural change; the re-design of national power grids to accommodate renewable energy generation. He currently serves on the following editorial boards: Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Review of Political Economy, Journal of Bio-economics, Journal of Institutional Economics and, previously, the Scottish Journal of Political Economy and Economic Analysis and Policy. He is Director of the Energy Economics and Management Group at UQ and Focal Leader, Renewable Energy at the Global Change Institute. Previously, he was: Head of the School of Economics at UQ (1999-2008); Deputy Director of the ARC Centre for Complex Systems (2006-2008); Member of the Social, Behavioural and Economic Panel, ARC College of Experts (2005-2007); Member of the Expert Panel appointed by the Federal Minister for Industry and Innovation, Senator Kim Carr, to review the National Innovation System (2008).

Research Interests

  • Specialises in renewable energy economics, modelling complex economic systems, economics of innovation, economic evolution and growth, macroeconomic theory and policy


  • Fellow
  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Aust
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Manchester
  • Master of Arts, The University of Manchester
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Coventry University


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Book Chapter

  • Wild, Phillip, Bell, William Paul and Foster, John (2014). The impact of carbon prices on Australia's national electricity market. In John Quiggin, David Adamson and Daniel Quiggin (Ed.), Carbon pricing: early experiences and future prospects (pp. 101-122) Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi:10.4337/9781782547747.00020

  • Foster, John (2011). Economic Systems. In Philosophy of Complex Systems (pp. 509-530) Kidlington, Oxford United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-52076-0.50018-3

  • Foster, John (2011). Economic systems. In Dov. M. Gabbay, Paul Thagard and John Woods (Ed.), Philosophy of complex systems (pp. 509-530) North Holland, Netherlands: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-52076-0.50030-4

  • Metcalfe, J. Stan and Foster, John (2010). Evolutionary growth theory. In Mark Setterfield (Ed.), Handbook of alternative theories of economic growth (pp. 64-94) Cheltenham, U.K. ; Northampton, MA, U.S.A.: Edward Elgar.

  • Foster, John and Potts, Jason (2009). A micro-meso-macro perspective on the methodology of evolutionary economics: Integrating history, simulation and econometrics. In Cantner, Uwe, Gaffard, Jean-Luc and Nesta, Lionel (Ed.), Schumpeterian perspectives on innovation, competition and growth (pp. 53-68) Germany: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-93777-7_5

  • Foster, J., Matthews, K. E., Mattick, L. E., McManus, M. E. and Strong, J. (2008). Self-review in higher education: Experience from the University of Queensland. In Self-review for Higher Education Institutions (pp. 47-70) Melbourne, Vic.: AUQA (Australian Universities Quality Agency).

  • Foster, J. (2007). Macro-econometrics. In Horst Hanusch and Andreas Pyka (Ed.), Elgar companion to neo-Schumpeterian economics (pp. 733-742) Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar Publishing.

  • Foster, J. and Potts, J. (2006). Complexity, evolution and the structure of demand. In Maureen McKelvey and Magnus Holmén (Ed.), Flexibility and Stability in the Innovating Economy (pp. 99-120) Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Foster, J. (2006). Time. In T. Raffaelli, G. Becattini and M. Dardi (Ed.), Elgar Companion to Alfred Marshall (pp. 281-287) Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar.

  • Foster, John (2005). The self-organizational perspective on economic evolution: A unifying paradigm. In K. Dopfer (Ed.), The Evolutionary Foundations of Economics 1st ed. (pp. 365-390) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511492297.011

  • Foster, J. and Holzl, W. (2004). Introduction and Overview. In Foster, J. and Holzl and W. (Ed.), Applied Evolutionary Economics and Complex Systems 1st ed. (pp. 1-14) Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

  • Foster, J. (2001). Competition, competitive selection and economic evolution. In P. Garrouste and S. Ioannides (Ed.), Evolution and Path Dependence in Economic Ideas First ed. (pp. 107-132) Cornwall, UK: Edward Elgar.

  • Foster, J. and Metcalfe, J.S. (2001). Modern evolutionary economic perspectives: An overview. In J. Foster and J. S. Metcalfe (Ed.), Frontiers of Evolutionary Economics: Competitions, Self-Organization and Innovation Policy (pp. 1-16) Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

  • Foster, J. and Wild, P. (2000). Detecting self-organisational change in economic processes exhibiting logistic growth. In Uwe Cantner, Horst Hanusch and Steven Klepper (Ed.), Economic evolution, learning, and complexity (pp. 159-183) Heidelberg, NY: Physica-Verlag.

  • Morgan, B. and Foster, J. (2000). Modelling growth in economic systems as the outcome of a process of self-organisational change: A fuzzy regression approach. In Uwe Cantner, Horst Hanusch and Steven Klepper (Ed.), Economic evolution, learning, and complexity (pp. 185-207) Heidelberg, NY: Physica-Verlag.

  • Foster, J. and Wild, P. (2000). The detection of evolutionary change in nonlinear economic processes: A new statistical methodology. In W. A. Warnett, C. Chiarella, S. Keen, R. Marks and H. Schnald (Ed.), Commerce, Complexity and Evolution (pp. 233-252) Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Foster, J. (1999). The rise of unemployment and working poverty: An evolutionary macroeconomics perspective. In M. Setterfield (Ed.), Growth, Employment and Inflation (pp. 195-210) London: MacMillan.

  • Foster, John (1991). Econometric methodology in an environment of evolutionary change. In (Pier) Paolo Saviotti and Stan Metcalfe (Ed.), Evolutionary Theories of Economic and Technological Change: Present Status and Future Prospects (pp. 239-255) London, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781351127707

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