Will Hurley  attends the Southern Economic Association’s Annual Meeting

After attending the Southern Economic Association’s 91st Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas, I gained invaluable experience in the field of economics, and the conference showed me how economists in the field apply the concepts I have learned in the classroom to real-world problems. While attending four different program sessions throughout the weekend, I learned how economic research can be applied to such a wide range of everyday situations. For example, in the program session titled, “Price Discrimination”, I learned how methods of reallocation, such as resale or refund, can deliver consumer surplus in the college football ticket market differently, and a particular allocation method can more efficiently match consumers’ willingness to pay in specific situations. Furthermore, some of the same economic estimation methods were employed in another session I attended titled, “Policing and Public Policy”, demonstrating to me how  the field of economics is truly a social science with infinite applications. Finally, I was able to see firsthand how those working in academia interact with each other to improve their current research. I witnessed how professors and other academics networked with each other to gain co-authors for their research papers, and I also learned the importance of discussants and the peer review process in successfully publishing academic papers. By being given the opportunity to travel to Houston for the three-day economic conference, I was exposed immensely to the academic world and to the field of economics, both of which I have never interacted with professionally beforehand. I plan on using the knowledge I gained to inform my future career path and my current research in the International Scholars Program.