Monday, January 04, 2010


Compared to Minnesota, Atlanta is balmy, but at 28 degrees I sure don't feel this way. The conference seems as busy as ever, and the geek parade seems as always. (Yes, I saw that damn article in the weekend WSJ. They run one of those every year it seems. Made for good radio Saturday, little else.) Yet I sense the job market for economists is not as good this year as even last year, when it was really not good. (One way to know -- people who interview with us do not look at their watches to be sure they're not late for their next interview.)

I find the meeting more is an opportunity to see old friends and make new ones than to hear the latest research. I have not gone to any of the plenary sessions that will make most of the news reports from here. Not they're not interesting or important, but that I can get 85% of what they say from news and blogs, but nothing replaces the personal contacts -- talk to a publisher, another econ ed center director, and an old cousin of mine who lives in Atlanta, all in the last 24 hours. No matter how sophisticated we make these things, little will replace that aspect of the conference life, and little should.