Associate Professor Timothy Higgins

BA BSc GradDipStats MStats PhD FIAA
Associate Professor in Actuarial Studies
ANU College of Business and Economics

Areas of expertise

  • Applied Economics 1402
  • Econometric And Statistical Methods 140302
  • Mortality 160304
  • Investment And Risk Management 150205
  • Insurance Studies 150204
  • Financial Mathematics 010205


Dr Tim Higgins is an Associate Professor in Actuarial Studies in the Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Statistics. He has a Masters and PhD in Statistics and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia. Prior to academia Tim worked in the Department of Treasury.

Tim has taught a variety of actuarial and statistics courses at ANU including Introduction to Actuarial Studies, Financial Mathematics, Life Contingencies, Actuarial Techniques, Risk Theory, Actuarial Control Cycle, Advanced General Insurance and Enterprise Risk Management. He received the Vice Chancellor’s award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005, and has supervised over 30 honours and PhD students.

Tim has researched and published in the area of income-contingent loan theory and applications, stochastic modelling of earnings dynamics, demographic modelling, financial literacy and behaviour, and superannuation and retirement policy.

His primary field of research is income contingent loan (ICL) policy analysis and development. His involvement with ICL has included model development and costing of the Australian HECS scheme, and his work has led to published peer-reviewed research on topics including paid parental leave, mature-aged training, community attitudes, overseas debt collection, income support, recovery of migrant ‘brain drain’ charges, and options for tertiary education reform. Dr Higgins is co-editor and author of a recent book Income Contingent Loans: Theory, Practice and Prospects with Professor Bruce Chapman and Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz, launched at the 2014 International Economics Association World Congress in Jordan.

He is an active commentator and contributor to the Australian policy debate on higher education financing, has participated in Government Hearings into student income support and finance reform, and was an advisor to the 2014 Australian Higher Education Legislation and Finance Working Group. Tim was joint recipient (with Bruce Chapman) of the ANU 2014 Vice-Chancellor’s award for Public Policy and Outreach.

Researcher's projects

  • Income contingent loan theory and application
  • Modelling longitudinal earnings
  • Superannuation policy reform
  • Variability in expenditure preferences among elderly Australians


Past student projects

Past honours student supervisions

  • Xi Xin (2017) - Managing mortality risk in Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement
  • Preetham Arvin (2015) - Superannuation funded income support
  • Ruchen Han (2014) - Home Loan Repayments: An alternative option using the Superannuation Guarantee
  • Nick Preston (2011) - Keeping up with the Joneses. The impact of reference groups on the subjective financial well-being of Australian retirees
  • Yuet Ling Han (2010) - Relationship between individual characteristics and the superannuation co-contribution 
  • Yiyang Danielle Ling (2010) - Financial wellbeing in retirement: risk preferences and financial actions 
  • Sonn Palakatik (2009) - Developing a longevity insurance product for the Australian superannuation system
  • Cheah Kuan Kiat (2008) - Behavioural Foundations of Retirement Savings
  • Lynnette Lin (2007) - Applying an income contingent loan to paid maternity leave in Australia
  • Adrian Wong (2007) - Analysis of superanuation fund member behaviour with classification and regression trees
  • Sandy Tian (2007) - An empirical study of superannuation investment choices and implications to projected retirement savings
  • Robert Sorbello (2006) - Analysis of equity release products
  • Meng Yuan (2006) - Advancing Australia's ability - applying a profit-contingent loan to innovation and research
  • Tse Ling Teh (2006) - Microinsurance for massive disasters
  • Jill Shi (2005) - The expected burden of mesothelioma incidence and its associated claim costs in NSW, Australia from 2002 and 2051
  • Joseph Lim (2005) - Reinsurance above risk equilisation in Australian Private Health Insurance
  • Elizabeth Martin (2005) - Applying an income contingent loan to childcare in Australia
  • Han Sen Chen (2005) - An evaluation of asset allocation in the Private Health Insurance Industry
  • Kieran Luke (2005) - Microsimulation of wage income
  • Michael O'Neill (2004) - Principal components modelling of mortality
  • Jessica Wong (2004) - Risk equalisation in Australian Private Health Insurance
  • Yee Lian Tan (2004) - The sufficiency of prudential margins in Private Health Insurance 
  • Chris Wood (2004) - Modelling the Private Health Insurance Industry
  • Ming Ming Chan (2004) - Multinational pooling of pension funds
  • Mae Rae (2003) - Modelling Private Health Insurance by income

Past masters student supervisions

  • Anastasia Andressakis (2008)  - A profit-contingent loan scheme for the indigenous estate
  • Pei Fang Lee (2006) - Microsimulation of wage income

Past PhD supervisions

  • Gaurav Khemka (2009-2013) - The impact of economic changes on the health of the general Australian population, and the claim incidence experience of Australian DII business
  • Aaron Bruhn (2011-2013) - What happens when it all goes wrong? A study into the impacts of personal financial shocks.
  • Richard Cumpston (2008-2011) - New techniques for household microsimulation and their application to Australia
  • Haslifah Hasim (2005-2007)


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  22 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers