Friday, 31 December 2010

Things to do in Denver when you're Greg

Sorry, I couldn't resist the title. If you'd like to meet Greg Mankiw in person, just head over to the ASSA (Allied Social Science Associations) meeting next week and sign up for his discussion on economic policy.

More to the point, the American Economics Association conference is also taking place at the same time. You can get an interesting insight into the concerns and priorities of the discipline by running some keyword searches on the preliminary programme, which is available here.

Some topics of interest to me:

  • cognitive: appears 12 times, though mostly related to cognitive and noncognitive skills, particularly with relevance to the labour market. There is one mention of cognitive biases and one of cognitive economics - which highlights a study called CogEcon of which I wasn't aware. Again though, it appears to mainly focus on a cognitive skills measure for Americans over 50, rather than a more general exploration of how cognition affects economic behaviour and modelling.
  • behavio(u)ral: appears 16 times. The most interesting-looking talk seems to be "Inflation targeting from the perspective of behavioral economics". No abstract available for that one, but I'll see if I can get any information from the authors. There's also an amusing-looking session on "Selling Economics to the Foundations" which includes a talk "Eric Wanner and The Economics of Behavioral Economics". My main conclusion from this is that if nothing else, the discipline of behavioural economics needs to be renamed so that it can be spelled consistently by researchers in all (English-speaking) countries.
  • psychology/psychological): 6

  • monetary: 83
  • fiscal: 32

  • banking: 27
  • industry: 36

  • unemployment: 14
  • employment: 72

  • Keynes: 6
  • Hayek: 0
  • Friedman: 6 (although all six are presenters who just happen to be called Friedman - none refer to Milton)

  • macro: 43
  • micro: 31
  • econometric: 63
You are welcome to make whatever inference you like from the above; and no doubt you can do your own searches to prove whatever point you'd like to make.

I suspect, though, that the highlight for most blog readers will be this little gem:

Jan 07, 2011 10:15 am, Sheraton, Governor's Square 15 
American Economic Association
What's Wrong (and Right) with Economics? Implications of the Financial Crisis (A1) (Panel Discussion)
Panel ModeratorJOHN QUIGGIN (University of Queensland, Australia)
BRAD DELONG (University of California-Berkeley) Lessons for Keynesians
TYLER COWEN (George Mason University) Lessons for Libertarians
SCOTT SUMNER (Bentley University) A defense of the Efficent Markets Hypothesis
JAMES K. GALBRAITH (University of Texas-Austin) Mainstream economics after the crisis

Unfortunately I can't make it to this year's conference due to a client project and some personal commitments, so I hope this session will be filmed or recorded. Are any readers planning to go?

Update: Anyone who is in Denver is recommended to spend an hour or two at the humo(u)r session, where Jodi Beggs (@jodiecongirl, Economists Do It With Models) and Greg Mankiw are both speaking, along with Yoram Bauman, the Standup Economist.

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