Paul is one of Australia’s leading social researchers. His work into the costs of homelessness have resulted in policy and widespread practice change. Paul has spent his career applying economics to questions of social impact and has made a significant contribution to the analysis of social and economic outcomes in a number of fields including poverty, education, youth justice, unemployment, homelessness and housing. He has extensive experience helping the not-for-profit sector, social enterprises, government partners, industry and philanthropists achieve better and more cost-effective outcomes for citizens and beneficiaries. Paul actively engages in policy and industry discussions and seeks to build knowledge and debate around important social and economic issues. In recent years, Paul has made significant contribution to homelessness research in Australia.

Influential work

  • Led the The Cost of Youth Homelessness in Australia research study, the first national longitudinal youth homelessness study which attempts to understand the experience and impacts of youth homelessness in terms of economic costs to the Australian community.
  • Advised the Western Australian government on behalf of the Coalition to End Homelessness.
  • Led a review into the social and economic impact of Indigenous employment and business activity and established the Indigenous Business, Enterprise and Corporations conference held between 2011 and 2016, which advanced the development of Indigenous business and social procurement in Australia.
  • Led a major five-year research program, Supporting Development and Growth in the Community Sector in Western Australia, which examines outcomes measurement in the community sector in Western Australia.
  • Established an extensive program of public lectures, workshops and conferences to bring university together with Australian corporate, not-for-pror and government sectors including sponsoring the development of the Social Impact Festival at the University of Western Australia.


  • Applied research
  • Policy analysis
  • Program design
  • Measurement and evaluation


Professor Paul Flatau has produced over one hundred influential publications covering a broad range of fields including labour economics, the history of economic thought, and the economics of social issues and social policy. He is the Chair in Social Investment and Impact and Director of the Centre for Social Impact at the University of Western Australia at the UWA Business School. Paul holds a PhD in Economics from Murdoch University, an M.Ec. from UWA and a B.Ec. from Sydney University. He was formerly the Director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and chaired the Western Australia Government Social Innovation Fund.