Dr Gregg took part in the computational methods and experimental economics workshops held immediately before and after the conference. The computational methods workshop provided insights into analysing choice in dynamic (over-time) decision problems, which are common in natural resources and agricultural economics.
Currently, Dr Gregg is exploring issues related to how complexity in these systems leads to poor management decisions impacting both environmental health and farm profitability. However, these decisions are ubiquitous in resource economics and represent a key area where economic analysis needs to be applied more rigorously.
The post-conference workshop on experimental economics was also timely given the recent creation of the GFAR experimental economics laboratory. Professor David Just provided insights into the power of experimental economics, as well as an overview of limitations of laboratory-based experiments: Good thing that GFAR’s lab is meant to be taken to ‘the field’ then!
Wendy and Daniel also attended meetings of several of the AAEA sections (oriented on specific disciplines such as ‘beer economics’(!), econometric analysis, experimental methods and more). Whilst some were more social than others (guess which…) it wasn’t all fun and games. Discussions with the experimental economics group yielded a proposal to develop a pre-conference workshop at the Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) meeting to be held in Adelaide in February 2018. We hope to bring some leading researchers over and to run a workshop focused on experimental economics methodologies.
Overall, the AAEA conference provided GFAR staff and students with excellent opportunities to receive feedback and comments on their research projects and to network with researchers from both academia and international agricultural research centres.