Monday 16 July 2012

Conference Wrap Up

The annual NZAE conference is now gone and I can turn my hand back to blogging. I am hardly a disinterested observer, so I won’t comment much on the conference itself—James and Bill have already done so, anyway, in a more timely manner. A few random thoughts occur, however.
  • It was great to see Matt at the conference; having a dedicated roundtable on blogging seems to have worked as a Trojan Horse as he is now promising to submit a paper next year.
  • Next year, I should try and jig the schedule so that I don’t have another commitment on at the time that James is presenting. Despite his attending the past three conferences (at least), I have not had the opportunity to see him present. It is not a deliberate snub, James.
  • Finally, I was interested in Berk Ozler’s comments on the academic culture in New Zealand at his Development Impact blog, following his participation in the blogging session at the conference: Berk says that
For those of you not familiar, the discussion at a typical seminar or conference presentation [in New Zealand] goes quite differently than it would in an academic setting in the U.S.: the audience generally avoids interrupting the speaker and the questions and the discussion are very polite.
I think Berk is right about the culture of the NZAE conference, and that is something we like to encourage. It is a broad-church affair bringing together economists with a range of backgrounds from the academic, government and private sectors, and polite, constructive interactions are an important part of that. But I am hoping we can get Berk up to give a seminar at Canterbury, where we can try to replicate the culture of a U.S. academic setting, :-)


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