2014 Annual Conference
ESAMACE2104, held in Hobart and hosted by the University of Tasmania, was the first ever joint conference of the Australian Conference of Economists (ACE) and Econometric Society Australasian Meeting (ESAM). ESAM/ACE also coincided with the 100th anniversary of the first teaching appointment in Economics at the University of Tasmania, lending an excellent sense of celebration to proceedings.
With more than 400 delegates, the pairing of the two bodies for the joint event was a positive and productive development.
Keynote speakers included Michael Buchanan (Temasek International), Rachel Griffith (University of Manchester), Julia Lane (American Institutes for Research), Manuel Arellano (Centre for Monetary and Financial Studies, Madrid), John Campbell (Harvard), Alastair Hall (University of Manchester), Ilya Segal (Stanford) and Glenn Stevens (Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia).
A large number of invited speakers also led special sessions. Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz, visiting Australia as part of the ESA Eminent Speakers Program, delivered a free public lecture titled Manufacturing and the Great Recession – Sectoral Imbalances and Long Run Crises.
Innovations in the conference program included a Market Economists Day, running concurrently with contributed-paper sessions. Andrew Leigh MP was invited to speak at the Market Day luncheon. The program also include ‘mentored’ sessions in which early career researchers were paired with more experienced economists who provided more detailed commentary on papers. The conference highlighted the importance of economic linkages with other disciplines, including a popular session with the University of Tasmania’s Housing and Community Research Unit, sessions on the economics of marine and environmental issues, and a keynote on the role of 'Big Data' in the which was partially supported by Sense-T. The program co-chairs were Mardi Dungey, John Tisdell and Graeme Wells, with Mardi Dungey playing a leading role.
The conference organising team, led by Helene Stewart at Leishman Associates, did an exceptional job in ensuring the conference and the many meetings and social events ran smoothly.