I was at the 13th Annual Conference of the Association for Public Economic Theory last week. It was organized this year by the Institute of Economics at the Academia Sinica, which is in Taipei, Taiwan. I presented my paper with Caterina Giannetti on the role of reciprocation in the formation of social networks, which uses data from blogging networks. We will soon release a new version of the paper that expands on the work we did since last version. Indeed, we worked on explaining better the contribution of the paper, how dynamic analysis differs from static analysis, the robustness of our empirical results, and their practical implications, notably in terms of the long-term effects of changes in activity over time.
Our paper was part of the very well attended session on public goods and networks, which took place on June 14 and was organized by Nizar Allouch. It seems the topic is interesting to many! I found the conference very interesting overall as I always found a good session to attend. The contribution by Steven Durlauf was particularly interesting for me, essentially about issues with the econometric identification of linear social network model. I also liked the session on behavior in health systems, useful in guiding the design of health policies and programs, the session on political economy, notably an interesting paper presented by Maria E Gallego, and a final session on public good provision, especially a paper by Nobue Suzuki dealing with how free exit affects public good provision (not available online though).
The conference itself was well organized. We had buses picking us up directly at the hotel to bring us at the venue, the food was quite good, and every sessions took place in the same building. It was the first time I went to an APET conference, and there were papers of a good level on a wide diversity of topics. A particularity is how Europeans, Asians and Americans all participate there in about equal number. I found that very refreshing as other conferences tend to have much less varied of a mix. I enjoyed the gala dinner on the second day. I was seated at the “French table”, which gave me some insights on the situation “back home”. We were treated to a huge variety of dishes, all more interesting than the other :-P. This was preceded by a visit of the National Palace Museum and its collection of perfect objects from Imperial China. I recommend going to the tea room at the top, with very nice views on the surroundings!