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Seattle on Demand Issue 4


How to Get a Discount on Your Seattle Hotel Room

As someone who has registered for the Annual Meeting, you have access to discounted room rates at three Seattle hotels. Make sure you act fast, as those discounted rates can’t be guaranteed after July 10.

Sheraton Seattle Hotel (1 block from Convention Center)
Starting at $199

Grand Hyatt Seattle (1 block from Convention Center)
Starting at $199

Red Lion Hotel (3 blocks from Convention Center)
Starting at $189

AAEA negotiated with these hotels to receive these rates and could possibly face a penalty if attendees choose to make reservations elsewhere. We ask that you please consider booking at one of these three hotels.

Visit the Hotel & Travel page to reserve your room, and for helpful information on getting around in Seattle.

Seattle Meeting Features Speakers from MIT, Google, and More

AAEA is proud to welcome seven high-profile speakers to the Annual Meeting who will be giving lectures as part of both free and ticketed events. These speakers include:

  • Hal R. Varian, Chief Economist for Google
  • Rich Sexton, Professor and Department Chair at University of California, Davis and AAEA President-Elect
  • Michael Brady, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist at Washington State University
  • William Masters, Professor and Chair of the Food and Nutrition Policy Department at Tufts University
  • Carmen Diana Deere, Professor of Food and Resource Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Florida
  • Laurian Unnevehr, Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Daron Acemoglu, Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at MIT

You can learn more about each speaker below. You can register for ticketed events when completing your Annual Meeting registration. If you’ve already registered for the meeting and would like buy a ticket to one of these events, please contact AAEA at

Keynote Address

This event is free for all meeting attendees.
Sunday, August 12, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Hal R. Varian, Google

Hal R. Varian is the Chief Economist at Google. He started in May 2002 as a consultant and has been involved in many aspects of the company, including auction design, econometric analysis, finance, corporate strategy and public policy.

He is also an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley in three departments: business, economics, and information management.

He received his SB degree from MIT in 1969 and his MA in mathematics and PhD in economics from UC Berkeley in 1973. He has also taught at MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Michigan, and other universities around the world.

Varian is a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the Econometric Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was Co-Editor of the American Economic Review from 1987–1990 and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Oulu, Finland, and the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.

Varian has published numerous papers in economic theory, industrial organization, financial economics, econometrics, and information economics. He is the author of two major economics textbooks which have been translated into 22 languages. He is the co-author of a bestselling book on business strategy, Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy and wrote a monthly column for the New York Times from 2000 to 2007.

AAEA Presidential Address

This event is free for all meeting attendees.
Monday, August 13, 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Rich Sexton, University of California, Davis

Richard J. Sexton is Professor and Department Chair of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis. He is a past editor of the AJAE, past Director of the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics, and a Fellow of the AAEA. Sexton's research focuses on industrial organization issues in agricultural markets. He has received research awards from the AAEA, Western Agricultural Economics Association, and European Economic Association.

Extension Section Speaker Series & Luncheon

This is a ticketed event. The cost to attend is $45.
Monday, August 13, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Michael Brady, Washington State University

Michael Brady is an Assistant Professor and Extension Economist with a focus on specialty crop production including tree fruits, vineyards, vegetables, horticulture, and nursery crops. He also has a strong interest in issues related to water use and irrigated agriculture. Brady is involved in a number of projects focusing on modeling coupled human and environmental systems in an interdisciplinary framework. He has analyzed the economic impact of various agriculture industries in Washington. He also conducts research on farmland ownership, agricultural land values, and land use change.

COSBAE/CWAE Speaker Series & Luncheon

This is a ticketed event. The cost to attend is $45.
Monday, August 13, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

William A. Masters, Tufts University

Will Masters is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Food and Nutrition Policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University. His research focuses on the economics of agriculture and nutrition in rural Africa; before coming to Tufts in July 2010 he was a faculty member in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University (1991–2010), and also at the University of Zimbabwe (1989–90), Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (2000), and Columbia University (2003–04).

Recent publications include an undergraduate textbook co-authored with George Norton and Jeff Alwang, Economics of Agricultural Development (Routledge, 2nd ed. 2010). His research on malnutrition includes “Effects and determinants of mild underweight among preschool children across countries and over time” (Economics and Human Biology, 2010) and "Does child undernutrition persist despite poverty reduction in developing countries? (Journal of Development Studies, forthcoming). From 2006 through 2011 he edited Agricultural Economics, the journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, and in 2010 he was named an International Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists. Details are available online at

International Section Banquet

This is a ticketed event. The cost to attend is $55.
Monday, August 13, 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Carmen Diana Deere, University of Florida

Carmen Diana Deere is Professor of Food and Resource Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. She holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a MA in Development Studies from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Deere was Director of the UF Center for Latin American Studies from 2004 to 2009. She is a Past President of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) and of the New England Council of Latin American Studies (NECLAS). She serves on numerous editorial boards, including World Development and Journal of Agrarian Change and is an Associate Editor of Feminist Economics. She has carried out recent studies for the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and UN-WIDER.

Deere is the co-author of Empowering Women: Land and Property Rights in Latin America (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001), winner of LASA’s Bryce Wood Book Award, as well as Land and Development in Latin America: Openings for Policy Research (North-South Institute/IDRC, 2005). She is the co-editor of a special issue of Feminist Economics (2006) on Women and the Distribution of Wealth as well as of Rural Social Movements in Latin America: Organizing for Sustainable Livelihoods (University Press of Florida, 2009)

During 2009-2010, she was a Visiting Scholar at FLACSO-Ecuador, directing the UF-FLACSO study on Gender, Poverty and Assets, which included a 3,000 household survey on asset ownership in rural and urban areas. This project is part of a broader comparative study on the gender asset gap which includes Ghana and India, and is funded by the Dutch Foreign Ministry’s MDG3 Fund.

AAEA Fellows Address

This event is free for all meeting attendees.
Tuesday, August 14, 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Laurian Unnevehr, IFPRI

Laurian Unnevehr is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), leading research on enhancing nutrition and food safety in value chains. She is recognized for original contributions in measuring the consumer benefits from agricultural research, the changing structure of U.S. food demand, and the economic trade-offs in food health regulation. She has received the AAEA awards for Quality of Communication and for Publication of Enduring Quality, recognizing contributions in food policy and food demand. In 2009, she was made a Fellow of the AAEA.

During a thirty year career as an agricultural economist, Unnevehr has held positions at the USDA’s Economic Research Service, the faculty of the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois (where she is now a Professor Emerita), and the International Rice Research Institute. She has served on the National Academies’ Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, as well as the USDA’s National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board. Unnevehr received her PhD from the Food Research Institute, Stanford University and her BA in Economics from the University of California, Davis.

AAEA Galbraith Forum

This event is free for all meeting attendees.
Tuesday, August 14, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Daron Acemoglu, MIT Department of Economics

K. Daron Acemoglu is Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Economic Growth program of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. He is also affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Center for Economic Performance, the Center for Economic Policy Research, and Microsoft Research Center. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, and the Society of Labor Economists.

Acemoglu has received a BA in economics at the University of York, 1989, MSc in mathematical economics and econometrics at the London School of Economics, 1990, and PhD in economics at the London School of Economics in 1992. Since 1993, he has held the academic positions of Lecturer at the London School of Economics, and Assistant Professor, Pentti Kouri Associate Professor and Professor of Economics at MIT.

He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the award for best paper published in the Economic Journal in 1996 for his paper "Consumer Confidence and Rational Expectations: Are Agents' Beliefs Consistent With the Theory?", the inaugural T. W. Shultz Prize from the University of Chicago in 2004, and the inaugural Sherwin Rosen Award for outstanding contribution to labor economics in 2004, Distinguished Science Award from the Turkish Sciences Association in 2006, the John von Neumann Award, Rajk College, Budapest in 2007.

He was also awarded the John Bates Clark Medal in 2005, given every two years to the best economist in the United States under the age of 40 by the American Economic Association, and holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Utrecht.

Acemoglu's research covers a wide range of areas within economics, including political economy, economic development and growth, human capital theory, growth theory, innovation, search theory, network economics and learning.

Acemoglu has recently completed a new book, along with Professor James Robinson (Harvard University), entitled Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty.

Special Sessions Discuss Finding a Job at ASSA, Working with iPads and PDFs

Three special sessions will be held in Seattle during lunch on Tuesday, providing perspective on important issues facing attendees. The topics to be discussed include finding a job at the ASSA Meetings, productivity tools for iPads/tablets, and organzing a PDF library. These sessions are free for all attendees.

Finding a Job at the ASSA Meetings
Tuesday, August 14, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

The ASSA Meetings is a critical part of the job market for economists. Academic institutions, government agencies, and private sector firms from around the world use this meeting as a place to screen and sometimes hire applicants for job openings. For job seekers, this meeting offers an opportunity to make applications come alive through personal interviews.

This session is designed to help early career professionals find their way in this lively, sometimes confusing marketplace. Presenters include a university department head, a government agency administrator, and a new assistant professor who successfully interviewed at ASSA.

  • Jon Brandt, Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University – “The University Perspective”
  • Steven Sexton, Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University – “The Recent Hire Perspective”
  • James MacDonald, Chief of the Agricultural Structure and Productivity Branch, USDA-Economic Research Service – “The Public Agency Perspective”

AgEcon Search: Productivity Tools for iPad/tablet
Tuesday, August 14, 11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Hear suggestions for using your iPad or tablet for collaboration and research. Learn about apps for sharing documents with others, taking notes, managing citations, tracking projects, word processing, and more.

AgEcon Search: Organizing a PDF Library
Tuesday, August 14, 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Are your electronic reprints hard to organize and even harder to [re]find? Learn about a few of the tools available for organizing and accessing your pdf files.

Preliminary Program Provides Information on Seattle Presentations

You can learn exactly what research will be presented in Seattle using the online preliminary program. Organized by topic, the preliminary program lists all of the information about the sessions being presented in Seattle.

Are you presenting in Seattle? We encourage you to look up your presentation in the preliminary program to verify that it will be displayed correctly in the final printed program.

AEM/GSS Case Study Competition Judges Needed

The AEM and GSS Sections are pleased to announce that registration is open for the Graduate Student Case Study Competition. This is an important and exciting opportunity for graduate students to apply their skills and to compete with peers from around the country. In past years, executives from the case study subject firms have commented on the high quality of the teams’ presentations. 

Additionally, your help is needed to judge the preliminary and final rounds of the competition. The preliminary rounds are Sunday, August 12, from 8-3. Judges typically work in shifts, so you need not commit to the entire time. The final round will be Monday afternoon from 1:30-4:00. If you are not presenting in a session, please consider helping out.

If you are willing to help, please contact Jody Campiche (OK State) and let her know what times you are available.

Use the Employment Center to Find a Job/Fill an Opening

Registration is now open for the 2012 Employment Center. The Employment Center is an online and on-site resource that provides a great opportunity for highly qualified job seekers and employers to connect while in Seattle at the 2012 Annual Meeting. Employers will enjoy access to numerous individuals with a Master’s degree or higher in the fields of agricultural and applied economics. Job seekers will have the opportunity to network with a number of employers while in Seattle.

The Annual Meeting Employment Center is not a job fair. It is an opportunity for employers and applicants to discuss specific open positions. After registering for the Employment Center, applicants will have access to all of the open positions submitted by registered employers, and employers will have access to the employment information of each applicant.

Based on this information, employers and applicants can connect regarding a specific position. Then, they are encouraged to schedule an interview to take place at the on-site Employment Center at the Annual Meeting to discuss the position.

Registration for applicants is $25 until July 25. After that date, registration increases to $30. On-site registration is an option, but waiting until then could limit the number of interviews that an applicant is able to schedule.

Employers will have the option to reserve a table for conducting on-site interviews (for $450), or to use the unreserved tables on a first-come, first-served basis (for $400). After July 25, the rates will increase by $50 for both reserved and unreserved registrations. All employers will have access to the applicant information through the online Employment Center.