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Faye Wang

Economist, RBA

Faye Wang is helping predict Australia’s economic future through a climate lens

Faye sees climate change as the number one issue impacting our generation, and it’s part of her job at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to try to work out how climate change might impact our economy.

“At the RBA, I’m part of a community of economists who are conducting research and discussion around how we can manage climate risks and influence policy,” she explains.

Faye grew up during the Global Financial Crisis and became interested in both the environment and economics as she saw how economics impacted everyday households.

She studied a Bachelor of Law/Economics (Hons) at the University of Sydney, and was initially interested in a legal career, but soon gravitated towards the economics side of her degree.

“I discovered it was less about numbers and more about people and the social impact,” she says.

“Economists analyse the successes and failures of the past, and how these can inform emerging conditions. I wanted to get a better understanding of the world around me; how people, governments and firms make decisions and justify what they do.”

Challenging and exciting career

Encouraged by a uni lecturer to apply for the RBA graduate program, Faye has since built a successful economics career at Australia’s central bank, working across several different departments.

“My own economics skills in forecasting and scenario modelling have been really useful in trying to quantify what climate change means for the economy,” she says. “I make projections about what might happen if we do nothing, versus if we act to address the issue.”

A career highlight was co-writing an internal article about how some of Australia’s biggest trading partners – Japan, South Korea and China – are committed to cutting down emissions, and what this will mean for our own economy. The article was picked up and published outside the RBA.

“It was exciting to see the article getting media coverage and contributing to the broader policy debate on climate change ahead of COP26,” Faye says.

Faye loves how diverse her role at the RBA is, with the opportunity to tune in to policy debates and participate in policy discussion forums.

“It is both challenging and exciting to be given the opportunity to speak up in front of senior staff and influence policy-making decisions,” she says.

Faye’s study and career path to becoming an economist at the RBA

  • Bachelor of Laws/Economics (Hons), University of Sydney
  • Economist, Reserve Bank of Australia

This profile was brought to you in partnership with the Reserve Bank of Australia and a version of it was originally published in Careers with STEM: Maths & Data.

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