Department of Sociology

Dr Bob Davidson


B.A., Dip Ed (Newcastle) B.Ec (ANU), Master of Public Policy (ANU), Ph.D (UNSW)
Office: W6A804
Phone No: +61 2 9349 8535; Mob +61 419 415 103

Dr Bob Davidson is an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University. He has held senior positions with Commonwealth and State government agencies, government business enterprises, and as an adviser to Ministers in the fields of industry and business development, science, technology, regional development, employment and education. He is also currently a director of his consulting company Danett Associates, which works with the government, community, and corporate sectors across a wide range of economic and social issues.

His research and consultancy interests are focused on the intersection of economics, social policy, and organisational theory. In recent years, his research has been primarily focused the nature and impact of the marketisation of human service programs, and the development of human service providers and service systems. He has authored various publications concerned with the economics and marketisation of human services, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. In 2015, he completed a Ph.D on 'Contestability in human services: A case study of community aged care,' at the University of New South Wales.


Davidson, B. (2016), 'Marketisation and human services providers: An industry study', in Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Heterodox Economics, (eds) Frederic S. Lee & Bruce Cronin, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham UK. 

Davidson, B. (2015), 'Contestability in human services - a case study of community aged care', PhD thesis, Sydney: University of New South Wales. 

Davidson, B. (2015), 'Community aged care providers in a competitive environment: Past, present and future', in Markets, Rights and Power in Australian Social Policy, (eds) Gabrielle Meagher & Susan Goodwin, Sydney University Press, Sydney. 

Cortis, N., Meagher, G., Chan, S., Davidson, B. & Fattore, T. (2013), 'Building an industry of choice: Service quality, workforce capacity and consumer-centred funding in disability care,' Report for United Voice, Australian Services Union, and Health and Community Services Union, Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) Report 02/13, March. 

Davidson, B. (2012), 'Contestability in human services markets,' Journal of Australian Political Economy, Volume 68, Summer 2011-12, pp.213-239. 

Davidson, B. (2009), 'For profit organisations in managed markets for human services', in Paid Care in Australia: Profits, Purpose and Practices, (eds) Gabrielle Meagher & Debra King, Sydney University Press, Sydney. 


Davidson, B. (2016), 'Human services and private profits', paper presented to Public Policy Network Conference, Sydney, January. 

Davidson, B. (2015), 'Competition and human services - Reality and the Harper Report', paper presented at the 14th Annual Conference of the Society for Heterodox Economists (SHE), Sydney, December. 

Davidson, B. (2015), 'When does policy change end? Reforming the reforms', paper presented to the Summit on Regulatory and Compliance Readiness for Consumer Directed Care, Melbourne, February. 

Davidson, B. (2013), 'Community aged care services - Localisation or McDonaldisation?', paper presented at the Australian Social Policy Conference, UNSW, Sydney, September. 

Davidson, B. (2013), 'The nature of choice - When more can be less', paper presented to the Australian Association of Gerontologists (AAG) Annual Conference, Sydney, 27 November. 

Davidson, B. (2011), 'The community aged care industry', paper presented at the 10th Annual Conference of the Society for Heterodox Economists (SHE), Sydney, December. 

Davidson, B. (2010), 'Contestability in human services,' paper presented to a Symposium on Contesting Markets, University of Sydney, October. 

Davidson, B. (2009): 'Community care for older people: Competition in a human services growth industry,' paper presented at the 8th Annual Conference of the Society for Heterodox Economists (SHE), Sydney, December. 

Davidson, B. (2008), 'Non-profit organisations in the human services marketplace: The impact of quasi voucher-licensing systems,' paper presented at the 37th Annual Conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organisations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), Philadelphia, November 20.