economic society conference, essa2013

ESSA 2013

This week the Economic Society of South Africa is holding its biennial conference in Bloemfontein. The programme is a showcase for the interesting work being done in South Africa.

For the first time in a few a years a South African leads the opening plenary session. Prof Servaas van der Berg will be speaking on Education, poverty and affluence – a South African perspective. His  ReSEP group at Stellenbosch produces key socio-economic policy work. There is also a presentation about the REDI3x3 project and SAJE editor Steve Koch will speak about what the journal is looking for in an article.

There are many papers on the programme that caught my eye:

  • Prof Peet Strydom has put together a session on the history of economic thought. He will be presenting a neo-Ricardian view of income distribution, employment and growth. John Hart is discussing Hutchinson. Stan du Plessis is reinterpreting Friedman. Should be good.
  • Dori Posel and Daniela Casale is presenting some subjective well-being work. I used to do some quality of life, quality of place research and I am keen to hear their take.
  • Derick Blaauw and Ilse Botha looks at the subjective well-being of day labourers and the importance of location – combining some of my favourite fields.
  • Neil Rankin, Volker Schoer, Gareth Roberts and more collaborators have a number of different papers on employment. I am keen to go listen to their results from a randomized control trial of a youth wage subsidy.
  • I also want to hear Frederick Fourie on the NDP.
  • There are a number of Economics education papers that look promising.
  • My colleagues and myself have a few papers on the programme as well.

I have marked many more in my programme and expect to run around quite a bit between sessions. You can have a look at the programme at I spotted a few tweeting economists on the programme, so you can also follow the essa2013 hashtag on Twitter.


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