Welcome from the President


I am pleased to invite you to attend the 81th meeting of the Midwest Economics Association.  I have enjoyed organizing the program for the annual conference and working with the other officers of the Association to prepare an event that I believe will be stimulating and a pleasure to attend.  We received a variety of submissions from across the U.S. and the world.  The largest numbers are from the Midwest, but participants will join us from both coasts as well as from Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.  As has long been true of the MEA, in addition to papers from distinguished faculty, we have papers by Ph.D. students, and special undergraduate sessions. 

In addition to the two plenary sessions, there are special sessions organized by other groups, including the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE), the Society of Labor Economists (SOLE), and the Association for Social Economics (ASE).  CSWEP (Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession) will hold two career development panels, one titled "Advice for Job Seekers" and a second one on issues facing those in academic careers.

The C. Woody Thompson Lecture will be given by Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago.   Professor Greenstone has done pioneering research on the economics of energy and the environment.  He will speak on “The Global Energy Challenge.”  He will also chair a special session, that will take place just before his lecture, titled “Energy and the Environment,” that will include talks by Chris Timmins, Koichiro Ito, Joseph Cullen, and Tatyana Deryugina.

The second plenary session will be the presidential address.  I will be talking about the logistics of international trade, and broader impacts on the economy, under the title “Indivisibilities, Scale, and Container Imports from Asia.”

The Midwest Economics Association is deeply grateful to our two host institutions, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and the University of Cincinnati Department of Economics.  We are also fortunate to have the following sponsors:  the Ohio State University (Department of Economics), the University of Kentucky (Department of Economics), and the University of Minnesota (Heller-Hurwics Institute). The generous financial support of these organizations helps keep the MEA fiscally sound and serves to validate its mission.

I thank the MEA first vice-president, Anne Villamil, of the University of Iowa, for her service to the MEA and in particular for taking the lead on the nominations committee.  I thank the second vice-president, Rob Lemke, of Lake Forest College, for his service to the MEA and particularly for putting together the undergraduate program.  I thank my predecessor, Alan Deardorff, of the University of Michigan, for his continuing service to the organization over the past year. Special thanks go to Keith Brouhle, of Grinnell College, who serves as secretary-treasurer, Jeanette Copeman, who serves as managing secretary, and Angela Winburn who serves as administrative assistant.  Keith, Jeanette, and Angela do the real work in keeping this organization afloat and making the conference a success. 

At the conclusion of my Presidential Address, the MEA’s business meeting will take place. At that time I will turn over the presidency to president-elect Ellen McGrattan, who is Professor of Economics at the University of Minnesota.  I know that the MEA will be in good hands next year with Ellen as president.

Thomas J. Holmes
Curtis L. Carlson Professor of Economics
University of Minnesota