Sunday, November 23, 2008

LACEA, lot's of good stuff but also some bad news

I am on my way back from LACEA. I had no time to enjoy Rio but I saw lots friends (and I was surprised to find out that many regularly read No Original Content) and the conference was really good. Great papers with high policy content, so far away from standard ivory tower stuff.

Because of my commitments with the Economia panel I lost many interesting sessions, but I did manage to listen to Abhijit Banerjee’s fantastic interpretation of India’s economic success (with a discussion of how, in his view, India and China are screwing all other countries at the same stage of the development process) and Ricardo Hausmann’s discussion of internal decoupling in Latin America (Ricardo could be asked to give talk about the standard deviation of the temperature inside his refrigerator and still manage to make it fascinating).

Of course, the fact that there were so many good papers is not so surprising. Given the policy-obsession of Latin American economists, LACEA is always a good conference. The most surprising thing was a very bad plenary (or semi-plenary) presentation. Probably the worse since I have been going to LACEA. I hope that my friends will not suffer too much.
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