Calling All Economists: What's Not to Be Missed at the AEA?

I will be attending the Annual Meeting of the American Economics Association in Denver this weekend and, if all goes according to plan, live-blogging it here (as well as fishing for ideas for future writing, radio, etc).

The program of panels and events is astonishingly large and varied, from a panel on “The Economics of the Organic Food System” to “Incentive Compensation” to “What Economics Needs: Past and Future.”

There are far, far, far more discussions than any one person could attend — in fact, you’d need a crew of about 60 people to take in all the events, given that so many happen simultaneously.

So I am asking for your help: what and who are the must-sees at this year’s AEA? Please leave your comments below. Feel free to promote your own paper or panel, or that of your colleague or co-author or even spouse (you can of course be anonymous in the comments section). And if you’re in attendance and see me wandering about, please come up and say hello.


Got to see the humor session


City Size and Land Development

In order for people to build, and live in smaller houses, we need to change zoning and lot size restrictions.

Brian S

This is weighted toward the first day since I made it through only about 75% of the entries, but regardless the first day seemed to have the highest density of interesting topics, in my opinion.

Education in Developing Countries: Results from Randomized Control Trials in China (O1)

Health Insurance and Public Policy (I1)

Motor Vehicle Fuel (Q5)

The Costs and Benefits of Pollution Control (Q5)

Choice Theory (D0)

Insights into Obesity from a Behavioral Economics Perspective (I1)

Causal Effects of Vietnam-Era Military Service on Health and Welfare (I1)

Economic Underpinnings of Recycling and Waste Disposal Policies (Q5) (!!!!)

Economics of Immigration (J2)

Optimal Fiscal Policy (H2)

Self-Control, Self-Confidence, and Self-Deception (D3)

Marriage and Divorce: Perspectives from Four Countries (J1)


Definitely Janet Currie's address on Friday.

Drill-Baby-Drill drill Team

The Nostradamus Effect:

In Future Armageddon Event Forecasting (Black Swan Phenomena), does accuracy correspond to Beard Length of the economist?


- The inequality debate w/ Rajan and Ed Glaeser

- The humor session, if only for Yoram Bauman to degrade Greg Mankiw

- Currie's address on Inequality from birth

- Eichengreen's work on the panel of the future of trade

- Grand Challenges for Social Science research featuring none other than Esther Duflo and former flame Emmanuel Saez!

Economists Do It With Models

I've got to give a self-promotional second on the humor session point. :)

Harry Johnson

Go see the part with all of the economists that actually foresaw the bank failures of 2008. Oh yeah all three of them. The rest all ought to resign and go do something useful. They are like a doctor that missed a fifteen pound tumor or a carpenter that built a house upside down. It is a terrible thing that public funds are spent for a so called profession that so totally missed the boat. They should all apologize, return their salaries and go do something useful.

Jeff Ely

Torture. Friday morning 9:30. (4th talk in 8-10am session) Sheraton plaza court 6.

Laura Shinn

I always visit the CSWEP hospitality room to meet new people, chat, have coffee & a snack, find out what sessions CSWEP is sponsoring in the coming year.
I've received useful career advice from women there.
Sheraton Windows room,
North Convention Lobby, 2nd level, Tower Building, Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel,
7:30 - 4:30


I'd say any of them on electricity. I think it is a topic that receives far too little attention outside of the electricity world. But I'm biased that way.


Self promotion:)

Jan 08, 2011 10:15 am, Sheraton, Director's Row H
American Economic Association
The Economics of Blood, Stem Cell and Organ Donation

Jan 08, 2011 2:30 pm, Sheraton, Vail
American Economic Association
Experimenting with Organizations (D2)


Any of the sessions with David Laibson as a speaker or panelist.


A few sessions that caught my eye:

Five Unrelated but Interesting Papers (Friday 10:15 Sheraton - Century) -- they really do look interesting!

Panel on the Financial Crisis (G1)

Music Session (Z1) -- Hal White on Trumpet and Randy Write on Guitar & Vocals!

The Economics of Blood, Stem Cell and Organ Donation (I1)

The Biology of Finance (G1)

The Economics of Humor (Z1) -- as already mentioned