Associate Professor Tim Higgins

tim higgins


Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies & Statistics

Associate Professor
Associate Dean (Research)
Phone number
+61 2 612 54507
Room 4.30, CBE Bld (26C)
Research areas
  • Income contingent loan theory and applications
  • Panel data econometrics
  • Microsimulation modelling
  • Superannuation and retirement income policy



Tim Higgins is an Associate Professor of Actuarial Studies, and a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia. Tim has done extensive research in income-contingent loan theory and applications, with a primary focus on policy analysis, model development and costing of the Australian HECS scheme.  His other research has included stochastic modelling of earnings dynamics, demographic modelling, financial literacy and behaviour, and superannuation and retirement policy.  Tim’s research has been funded twice through the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects as well as once through their Academies Linkage Grant (Academy of Social Sciences of Australia). Tim’s work has appeared in top peer reviewed journals including Economics of Education Review and Australian Journal of Management. He has also made direct contributions to parliamentary and government agenda, independent and industry practice, with analysis and insights provided in the media. Finally, Tim is co-editor and author of the book Income Contingent Loans: Theory, Practice and Prospects with Professor Bruce Chapman and Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz.

View ORCID profile

Research publications

Recent Publications:

Chapman, B., Higgins, T. (2013) “The costs of unpaid HECS debts of graduates working abroad”, Australian Economic Review, 46(3), 2013, 286-299. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8462.2013.12014.x

Bruhn, A., Higgins, T (2013) “Barriers to Co-Contribution in Superannuation: a Comparative Assessment of the Financial Benefits of Scheme Participation”, Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal, 7(3), 2013, 127-144. Available at:

Higgins, T., Sinning, M. (2013) “Modeling Income Dynamics for Public Policy Design: An Application to Income Contingent Student Loans” Economics of Education Review, December 2013, 37, 273-285.

Chapman, B., Higgins, T., Stiglitz, J.E. (2014) “Introduction and Summary”, in Income Contingent Loans: Theory, Practice and Prospects, Chapman, B., Higgins, T., Stiglitz, J.E. (eds), Palgrave MacMillan, pp.1-11.

Higgins, T. (2014) “Improving Paid Parental Leave through Income Contingent Loans”, Chapter 10, in Income Contingent Loans: Theory, Practice and Prospects, Chapman, B., Higgins, T., Stiglitz, J.E. (eds), Palgrave MacMillan, pp.127-135.

Chapman, B., Higgins, T., Stiglitz, J.E. (eds) (2014) Income Contingent Loans: Theory, Practice and Prospects, Palgrave MacMillan

Chapman, B., Clarke, P., Higgins, T. and Stewart, M. (2015) “Income Contingent Collection of a ‘Brain Drain Tax’: Theory, Policy and Empirical Potential”, Population Review, vol 54(2), pp.13-27.

Higgins, T. and Chapman, B. (2015), “Feasibility and design of a tertiary education entitlement in Australia: modelling and costing a universal income contingent loan”, commissioned report to the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Melbourne. Available from

Cheah, K., Foster, F.D., Heaney, R., Higgins, T., Oliver, B., O’Neill, T., Russell, R., (2015) “Discussions on Long-Term Financial Choice” Australian Journal of Management, vol 40(3), pp.414-434.

Higgins, T. (2016) “Income Contingent Loans for Social Policy: the Case of Paid Parental Leave”, Chapter 9, in Contemporary Issues in Microeconomics, Stiglitz, J.E. and Guzman, M. (eds), IEA Conference Volume, No. 155-III, Houndmills, UK and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.159-168.

Bruhn, A., Whiting, B., Browne, B., Higgins, T., Tan, CI. (2017) "Introducing Enterprise Risk Management into the University Classroom: A Case Study", Risk Management and Insurance Review, 20(1), pp.99-131.

Khemka, G., Roberts, S., Higgins, T. (2017) "The Impact of Changes to the Unemployment Rate on Australian Disability Income Insurance Claim Incidence", Risks5(1):17.

Britton, J., van de Erve, L. and Higgins, T. (2019) “Income contingent student loan design: Lessons from around the world”, Economics of Education ReviewDOI:10.1016/j.econedurev.2018.06.001.

Higgins, T. (2019) “The Higher Education Contribution Scheme: Keeping Tertiary Education Affordable and Accessible ”, Chapter 3 in Successful Public Policy: Lessons from Australia and New Zealand , Luetjens, J., Mintrom, M., ‘t Hart, P. (eds.) Canberra: ANU Press.


Research grants and awards

Research Awards

(2014) Tim Higgins was joint recipient (with Bruce Chapman) of the ANU Vice Chancellor’s Award for Public Policy and Outreach.

(2005) Tim Higgins was awarded the ANU Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Research Grants

Rural Investment Corporation.  “Encouraging the uptake of climate smart farming practices and technologies” Chief Investigators: Tim Higgins, Bruce Chapman. Report 2019.

ARC Linkage Grant. “Innovative methods for higher education financing”. B Chapman, M Sinning, T Higgins, G Withers. Awarded 2011.

ARC Linkage Grant. “Expenditure needs and drawdown of retirement savings during later life: how important are demographic factors and financial resources?”. TJ O’Neill, P McDonald, MA Martin, J Temple, S Roberts, T Higgins. Awarded 2007.

ARC Learned Academies Linkage Grant (through Academy of Social Sciences of Australia). “New Social Policy Approaches for Sharing Risk”. Chief Investigators: Bruce Chapman, Glenn Withers, Tim Higgins. Awarded 2006.


Current Teaching

STAT3035/8035 Risk Theory 

Previous Teaching

STAT3035/8035 Risk Theory 

STAT2032/8046 Financial Mathematics

STAT3037/8043 Life Contingencies

STAT4031/8040 Actuarial Control Cycle Part A

STAT1031 Introduction to Actuarial Studies

STAT3038/8045 Actuarial Techniques

ACST8058 Advanced General Insurance

ACST8051 Special Topics in Actuarial Studies

ACST8061 Enterprise Risk Management 2