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Senior Section Partners with Econometrics Section to Sponsor Session on Prioritizing Government Statistics

Budget appropriations for discretionary programs, like those of most Federal research and statistical agencies, are not likely to rise in the next few years and may continue to decline in absolute value. Yet, the output of statistical agencies, from those in USDA, to the Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and National Center for Health Statistics, to name a few, are input to commodity market modulation, agribusiness and other market decision making, and research performed by AAEA members and other applied economists. Statistical agencies themselves are operating under great uncertainty. Each has gone through prioritization processes to identify programs that would have to be discontinued if they receive funding below (or in some cases, at) the 2013 sequestration level. Most agencies eschew making their own across-the-board cuts since nibbling away at the full suite of current programs would reduce data quality. Users of Federal statistics should thus be prepared for potential elimination of some surveys, data series, indicators and/or statistical programs. How can the users of valuable Federal statistical data make their data/information priorities known to the agencies who must make these tough decisions?

This AAEA session, at 2:45 pm, Monday, July 28, will provide a platform for the collection of AAEA member priorities and the initiation of a process to systematically collect them. While not every perspective on priorities can be represented in one session, several perspectives will be offered. Vigorous audience discussion will be encouraged and a voting “slate” will be offered for reaction. Please attend this important session and let your voice be heard.

AEM/GSS Case Study Competition

The case study competition is a long and prestigious tradition in the Graduate Student Section. Every year, groups of students have a chance to show off their case study skills and win prize money as well as the great honor of being a case study competition winner. In collaboration with the Agribusiness Econometrics and Management Section, the Graduate Student Section Case Study Competition allows graduate students to test their communication skills and their ability to apply their knowledge of agricultural economics and agribusiness subjects to practical situations. Students competing in the competition will receive a copy of the case study at least two weeks in advance of the AAEA Annual Meeting.

AEM/GSS Case Study Competition Rules:

Each team should prepare an oral summary of their solution to the case that will last no more than 15 minutes. Presentations lasting over 15 minutes will be penalized. After the presentation, teams should be prepared to answer questions from the judges on their interpretation of the case.

Teams can be comprised of up to three graduate students. Students may either compete as a team from the same school, or may choose to be mixed with students from other schools. If there is only one student from a school that wants to participate, the student can compete on their own, or he/she can be matched with other students. In the case of teams that are matched with individuals from different universities, competitors will be notified of their teammates as soon as possible, but no later than the same day the case is announced.

AEM/GSS Case Study Competition Prizes:

The top three teams will receive plaques and cash prizes.

  • First Place: $300
  • Second Place: $200
  • Third Place: $100

Specific Information for the 2014 Case Study Competition:

The number of rounds will be determined by the number of teams entered. The final round will be composed of the top 3 teams. In addition to plaques and cash prizes, the three finalist teams will also be recognized during the AAEA Awards Ceremony.

  • Sunday, July 27, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: First Rounds of Competition
  • Monday, July 28, 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Final Round
  • Monday, July 28, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Awards Ceremony

Students participating in the case study competition will need to be registered for the Annual Meeting AND the Case Study Competition.

Students should register for the AAEA Annual Meeting through the 2014 Annual Meeting Registration Form which is available online.

Each team must also complete the Case Study registration form identifying their teammates and send it to AAEA no later than June 16, 2014.

Please direct any questions regarding the 2014 AAEA Case Study Competition to Dr. Aslihan Spaulding ( or GSS Section Chair, Brandon McFadden (