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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


AEDE Applied Economics Seminar presented by Keith Coble, Mississippi State University

Apr 12, 2019, 10:30am - 12:00pm

AAEA Presidential Address 2019 sponsored by the Farm Income Enhancement Program in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Dr. Keith Coble, W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Mississippi State University, will present "Relevant and/or Elegant Economics" on Friday, April 12th from 10:30AM-12:00PM in Room 250A, Agricultural Administration Building (2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, OH 43210). This event is open to the public. RSVPs are not required. Light refreshments will be served prior to the presentation beginning at 10:00AM.

Abstract:  In this paper, I focus on the contrast between doing elegant, or peer-impressing applied economics, and relevant applied economics which develops solutions to real-world problems. I emphatically applaud elegant economics, but in this paper focus on how our profession can achieve relevance to those outside our profession. In particular, I examine four key areas of professional relevance. First, I examine how technological change can disrupt not only the industries we normally examine, but also our profession as well. Second, I examine the dependence that we have on available quality data.  From that perspective, I advocate for greater efforts and leadership with respect to data for our profession. Next, I examine our engagement with industry and our non-Ph.D. graduates. This leads me to pose the question of whether we would gain from great efforts to engage non-academic alumni of our departments. Finally, I draw upon my experiences with the policy-makers to suggest we should walk a fine line of being advocates for our discipline and science in general, while also vigorously maintaining objectivity and non-partisanship in our work.