Dr Julie Smith

B Ec (Hons)/B A (Asian Studies), PhD
Honorary Professor (Associate), awarded ARC Future Fellow, National Centre of Epidemiology and Population Health
ANU College of Health and Medicine

Areas of expertise

  • Health And Community Services 111708
  • Public Policy 160510
  • Public Nutrition Intervention 111104
  • Health Promotion 111712
  • Health Economics 140208
  • Community Child Health 111704
  • Public Economics Taxation And Revenue 140215

Research interests

Main research interests: feminist economics, labor economics, health economics, maternal and child health and public health, public finance and public policy including;


  • National accounting treatment of non-market economic production
  • Economic valuation of breastfeeding and human milk
  • Markets, exchange and trading of mothers milk, and regulation of markets and marketing of food for infants and young children
  • Gender budgeting, Health care financing, Federalism and health policy, Cost benefit and cost effectiveness analysis, 
  • Economics of work and breastfeeding, Maternal time use especially time use of new mothers, Breastfeeding friendly environments (hospitals, workplaces and childcare)
  • Australian tax policy history, Fiscal federalism and horizontal equalisation, Taxation of families and children, Gambling taxation, Taxation of charities, Tax expenditures (superannuation, health insurance etc)
  • Smoking cessation and tobacco control, including of tobacco marketing  


Professional memberships

  • International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW)
  •  International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML)
  • International Association of Feminist Economics (IAFFE)
  • Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA)
  • Australian Health Economics Society (AHES)
  • Lactation Consultants Association of Australia and New Zealand (LCANZ)
  • Economic Society of Australia (ESA)


BEc(Hons)/BA (Asian Studies), PhD (Economics) 

T: +61 4 1609 9630
E: Julie.Smith@anu.edu.au 

Dr Smith is an Honorary Associate Professor and awarded ARC Future Fellow at the Research School of Population Health, ANU.  She is also an Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy's Tax and Transfer Policy Institute. 

Her PhD was awarded by the ANU in 2002, supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award. She won an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2004. From 2004 to 2014, Dr Smith held research appointments at the Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health (ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment). In 2015 she was appointed as Associate Professor at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy in the College of Asia and Pacific, School of Regulation and Global Governance.

Her research has focussed on the economics of breastfeeding and regulation of markets in mothers' milk, and gender analysis of Australia's taxation and fiscal policies. She has published over 60 research articles in health, nutrition and economics journals, as well as two books (Taxing Popularity and Gambling Taxation in Australia) and several book chapters.

Dr Smith was lead CI on ARC funded research projects on the economics of breastfeeding and markets in mothers milk, surveying maternal time use and breastfeeding support in workplaces and childcare. She has been a chief investigator on an NHMRC smoking cessation RCT. 

Dr Smith has been an expert advisor on economic aspects of breastfeeding to the WHO and the US Department of Health and Human Services, and led a consultancy for WHO on marketing of commercial complementary foods for infants and young children. She also led the evidence check commissioned by the Australian Department of Health for the 2019 Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy. 

Her invited expertise has contributed to several public inquiries including on breastfeeding, paid maternity leave, gambling taxation, land tenures, taxation policy and tax expenditures reporting.

She served as an honorary tax policy advisor to ACOSS since 1999, as honorary national treasurer of the ABA from 2002-2007, and as an advisor to IBFAN and WABA. She is an editorial board member of the International Breastfeeding Journal and served on the ILCA Research Committee.

She held appointments at the ANU Research School of Social Sciences and Centre for International and Public Law from 1992.

She was previously a senior economist in the Australian and New Zealand treasuries, Commonwealth Departments of Finance, Environment, and Prime Minister and Cabinet, and in the Parliamentary Library Research Service.

Researcher's projects

ARC Future Fellowship (FT140101260)

Research to enhance measurement, understanding, and policy regulatory approaches to emerging markets and trade in mothers' milk, 2015- 


ARC Linkage Project (LP0990975)

Working while breastfeeding: best practice strategies for workplaces and childcare centres, 2009-2012 (completed).

ARC Discovery Project and Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (DP0451117)


The economics of mothers’ milk and the market for infant food, 2004-07 (completed).


NHMRC Projects (568617)

Investigator (CIE) on Quit in General Practice: A cluster randomized trial of enhanced in-practice support for smoking cessation, 2008-11.

Other research funding

APIP Research Development Grants

  • Human rights, gender budgeting and the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi), 2017-18.
  • Gender responsive budgeting and breastfeeding, 2016-17. 


ANU Gender Institute 

  • Breastfeeding support on campus within a human rights framework: How does the ANU stack up nationally?, 2014-15.
  • Research workshop and New Zealand collaboration on breastfeeding friendly workplaces and childcare, 2012-13.

ANU Linkage Pilot Project Fund

  • Working while breastfeeding: best practice strategies for workplaces and childcare centres, 2007 (completed).

Australian Tax Research Foundation,

  • Taxing Popularity revision, 2003-04.

Rotary Family Health Research Fund

  • Attributable hospital system costs of premature weaning, with Prof. D. Ellwood & Dr J. Thompson, Canberra Hospital), 1999.

The Australia Institute

  • GST and charities, 1999.

Australian Tax Research Foundation Fellowship

  • Gambling taxation in Australia, 1997-98.

Available student projects

For students interested in doing research on economic aspects of breastfeeding and markets in mothers milk, such as projects in the areas of breastfeeding, work and childcare, the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, or economic valuation of breastfeeding, I can offer supervision and access to the following datasets and opportunities for innovative feminist economic research:

  • Maternal time use survey data 2005-06
  • Marketing of infant foods data from the 1950s
  • Breastfeeding and work survey data from 2011-12
  • Breastfeeding and childcare survey data 2011-12
  • Measuring breastmilk and breastfeeding in a country's Gross Domestic Product

Current student projects

Research Supervisor, Future Research Talent (FRT) Scholar, ANU College of Health and Medicine, "Measuring the Economic Value of Breastfeeding and Breastmilk in Indonesia", 2023.

Research Advisor, Phd Scholar, ANU College of Health and Medicine, "Assessment of baby food marketing and implementation of the Control of Marketing Promotion of Infant and Young Child Food Act B.E. 2560 in Thailand", 2018-.

Research Advisor, Phd Scholar, ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment/College of Asia and Pacific, “Food security and markets for infant milk”, 2014-.

Past student projects

Research Advisor (ANU College of Health and Medicine), PhD: "An examination of factors that challenge and facilitate implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in Australia and Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding in Indonesia: a convergent parallel mixed-methods study of two hospitals", Andini Pramono, awarded 2023.

Research Advisor (University of Essex), Master of Public Health:  “Industry Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes during the COVID 19 Pandemic”, Alessandro Iellamo, awarded 2022.

Research Advisor (QUT Faculty of Health), PhD: "Exploring barriers and enablers in early childhood settings to meet Australian Infant Feeding Guidelines supported by the National Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Guidelines", Julianne McGuire, awarded 2020.

Research Advisor (ANU College of Business and Economics), PhD: “A living wage; the evolution and future of the Australian minimum wage, child endowment, and tax treatment of families ”, Robert Bray, awarded 2018.

Research Advisor (University of Queensland School of Public Health), Master of Public Health, 'Perspectives and Experiences of Key Stakeholders in Infant Feeding on the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015', Naomi Hull, awarded 2016.

Research Supervisor (ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment), ANU Medical School; “Pharmacists knowledge of breastfeeding support and management”, Morgan Ryan, awarded 2013-14.

Research Supervisor (ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment), ANU Vice Chancellors Course 'Unravelling Complexity', Emma Day, Bryce Deller, Lauren Hassall, Jessica Avalon; “Fathers and Breastfeeding”), awarded 2012.

Research Supervisor (ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment), ANU Summer Scholar, Miranda Blake; “Australian infant food marketing strategies undermine effective regulation of breastmilk substitutes; analysis of trends in print advertising in Australia, 1950-2010”), December 2011 - January 2012.

Research Supervisor (ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment), ANU Summer Scholar, Rachel Dennis, “Maternal time use towards enhancing mother and child health – the effect of paid leave access), December 2010 - January 2011.

Joint Research Project Supervisor (ANU College of Economics and Business),  PhD Scholar Ning Ding, Case Studies in Econometrics Project EMET8002, “Breastfeeding Decisions and Time Use: Evidence from Australia”, 2009.

Research Supervisor (College of Medicine, Biology and Environment), ANU Summer Scholar, Nancy Cinnadao, 'Australian infant food marketing', December 2005 - January 2006.



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Updated:  24 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers