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


  • Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Manchester
  • Masters (Coursework), The University of Manchester
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Arts, Coventry University


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Book Chapter

  • Foster, John and Pyka, Andreas (2015). Introduction: The Evolution of Economic and Innovation Systems. Economic Complexity and Evolution. (pp. 1-5) Cham: Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-13299-0_1

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

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

  • Metcalfe, J. Stan and Foster, John (2010). Evolutionary growth theory. Handbook of alternative theories of economic growth. (pp. 64-94) edited by Mark Setterfield. 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. Schumpeterian perspectives on innovation, competition and growth. (pp. 53-68) edited by Cantner, Uwe, Gaffard, Jean-Luc and Nesta, Lionel. 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. Self-review for Higher Education Institutions. (pp. 47-70) Melbourne, Vic.: AUQA (Australian Universities Quality Agency).

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

  • Foster, J. and Potts, J. (2006). Complexity, evolution and the structure of demand. Flexibility and Stability in the Innovating Economy. (pp. 99-120) edited by Maureen McKelvey and Magnus Holmén. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/0199290474.003.0005

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

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

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

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

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

  • Foster, J. and Wild, P. (2000). Detecting self-organisational change in economic processes exhibiting logistic growth. Economic evolution, learning, and complexity. (pp. 159-183) edited by Uwe Cantner, Horst Hanusch and Steven Klepper. Heidelberg, NY: Physica-Verlag. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-57646-1_8

  • 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. Economic evolution, learning, and complexity. (pp. 185-207) edited by Uwe Cantner, Horst Hanusch and Steven Klepper. Heidelberg, NY: Physica-Verlag. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-57646-1_9

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

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

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

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PhD and MPhil Supervision

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