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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


Midwest Graduate Student Conference on Regional and Applied Economics (CRAE) Held at Ohio State on April 5th and 6th; Meeting was a Huge Success

April 22, 2013

The Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AEDE) at The Ohio State University hosted the Midwest Graduate Student Conference on Regional and Applied Economics (CRAE) on April 5 and 6, 2013.

CRAE, which is a continuation of a series of conferences held by Midwestern universities, was previously held at Purdue University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the titles Regional, Population, Health, & Environmental Economics Midwest Graduate Student Summit (RPHE) and Space, Health and Population Economics (SHaPE). This year was the 6th annual gathering.

The conference offered a platform for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers from a variety of Midwestern universities to gather and share ideas, seek and provide feedback, and foster collaboration in the fields of regional studies, economic geography, urban economics, and applied economics.

This year’s conference featured several major milestones: with nearly 60 attendees, the conference was one of the largest in the series to date; the conference also featured live tweeting and filming, with conference footage and presentations made available after the gathering on the CRAE website, which was also a first for the series. Additionally, this year’s conference featured keynote speaker Dr. Philip McCann from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, which marked the first time that a speaker from an international university participated in the gathering. Dr. McCann’s participation was sponsored by the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC).

Other conference speakers included Dr. Linda Lobao from the Department of Sociology and Geography at Ohio State whose participation was sponsored by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), and Dr. Neil Reid from the University of Toledo whose participation was sponsored by Ohio State's C. William Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy. Additionally, AEDE faculty members Dr. Elena Irwin, Dr. Ian Sheldon and Dr. Alessandra Faggian spoke at the conference.

In his presentation “The Economic Geography of Growth: Patterns, Challenges and Policy Implications” Dr. McCann focused on growth in OECD countries analyzing how growth differs across the region. He noted: “The growth contribution of mega-cities in OECD countries is falling and has fallen for more than a decade… Non-core areas quietly, steadily, and consistently account for two-thirds of growth in OECD countries now.”

Dr. Lobao presented “Poverty and Place across the United States: Subnational Disparities in Economic Well-being and Their Significance for Research and Policy” reflecting on how spatial heterogeneity, or large differences across space, characterize the geography of poverty in the U.S.

Dr. Reid presented “Regions, Clusters & Institutional Change: The Role of Universities” highlighting the important, and often complex, relationship between universities and agricultural producers in the regions that universities serve, focusing on a particular case study on the topic from the greater Maumee Valley in Ohio.

Another highlight of the conference was the AEDE faculty panel, where Professor Elena Irwin presented "How to Write a Good Paper"; Andersons Professor of International Trade, Dr. Ian Sheldon, presented "How to Make a Good Presentation"; and Associate Professor Alessandra Faggian presented "The Publishing Process".

Conference participants were encouraged to present their research at the gathering with over 40 research pieces discussed at a number of concurrent sessions. A full list of abstracts for work that was presented at the conference can be found here.

On the last day of the conference Matt Gnagey and Wendong Zhang from The Ohio State University were both awarded the conference prize for best paper for their works Buried Streams: An Analysis of Environmental Regulations and Land Development and The Housing Market Bust and Farmland Prices: Identifying the Changing Influences of Proximity to Urban Centers.The paper entries were reviewed in a double blinded process by AEDE faculty and post-doc researchers.

Regarding this year’s gathering, Elizabeth Truex-Powell, co-conference organizer from Ohio State, noted “Conference attendees seemed to truly value the feedback they received during the sessions. One participant commented that feedback received at CRAE far surpassed feedback received at more established economic conferences.”

For a full recap of the conference’s events, please see the live conference updates on AEDE’s Twitter page, as well as the CRAE website. Additionally, event photos, videos and presentations can be found on the CRAE website.

April 9, 2013