Back to Top

President's Column

February 2021

It has been a busy couple of months for the AAEA, with a successful slate of sessions and T.W. Schulz lecture “Reconsidering the Economics of Identity: Position, Power, and Property” at the ASSA meetings in January, and hundreds of great selected paper and organized symposia submissions flowing in as we plan for the 2021 Joint Annual Meeting.  As you might imagine, we are thinking hard about our plan for 2021, including a few hybrid alternatives that would allow us planning flexibility.  Beyond the Annual meetings, it has been increasingly clear that our membership will be best served with a more diverse set of activities year-round, even though the Annual gathering may continue to be a keystone event.  So, let me share a bit of what we are considering, and stay tuned for more information on 2021 events.

No matter where we stand with the pandemic and public health restrictions, we are envisioning a hybrid set of online/in-person elements for the annual meetings, but the “blend” will be decided between now and April, somewhat based on feedback from the membership.

  • We already plan to stream all the plenary sessions from the ballroom, including the Gordon Rausser Keynote, Galbraith Lecture, Fellows Address and a 40th anniversary celebration of CWAE and COSBAE
  • We will also stream the Awards and Fellows Recognition Ceremony, making it possible for the wide circle of family, friends, colleagues and supporters to celebrate our honorees
  • Beyond that, I have two thoughtful task forces considering a number of scenarios for how we can offer a larger set of the program, weekend Section and committee activities and perhaps some fun networking events during the meetings (or similar to last year, across a more extended set of dates). We will likely be asking for your opinion on these options during the Spring, so watch your email for opportunities to share your plans

Whether virtual or in-person (or both), we have a great program shaping up, including:

  • I want to share that we are welcoming the Western Ag Economics Association to our meetings and found space for them to host their own Keynote, Presidential address and Invited paper series as part of our meetings
  • Lots of pre- and post- events including a tour led by the Beer section and pre-conferences led by the Employment, Experimental and Senior/NAAEA Sections
  • After the meetings, there will be post-conferences hosted by the FAMPS/FSN and Senior/Extension committees or the option to join the Extension tour


  • The Sections continue to be active in innovating ways to better engage, serve and celebrate their members.  Watch for new awards and recognition opportunities (including CWAE’s new award to honor junior & senior scholars who actively work to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the applied econ profession). Many of these awards will be advertised past the AAEA awards deadline that just passed, and I encourage you to look for ways to acknowledge the good work of your peers
  • The graduate student section has been particularly focused on ways to elevate the role of graduate students in AAEA activities.  Under a new initiative, a number of sections will integrate graduate student representatives into their leadership teams to offer those students a professional development opportunity, and for the section, an important voice providing a young scholar’s perspective
  • There will also be a few virtual Job Market Paper sessions, co-led by the Employment committee and the Graduate Student section, and they presented to the Section leaders in January to see if there was interest in organizing those sessions by Sections as well, so stay tuned for details of how to participate, and how this may be integrated into the hybrid meeting plans.

Finally, a favor to ask of you.

Are you willing to participate in a project to provide the Economics Labor Market with Quality Data? The O*NET Data Collection Program is recruiting AAEA members.  If you are willing to share your expert opinion as an Economist on occupational data, they will compensate you for your time with a $40 stipend.

  • Economic Experts must:
    • Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to address economic problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services or monetary and fiscal policy. May collect and process economic and statistical data using sampling techniques and econometric methods
    • Be currently active in the occupation and based in the U.S.
    • You have at least 5 years of experience with the occupation.
    • Contact Matt Robinson or 919-926-6617.  Please provide the following: Full Name, Employer/Company Name & Title, Daytime Phone Number, Email Address and Address with City & State 

Dawn Thilmany
AAEA President