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Agricultural Economics Society Annual Conference 2018
The Agricultural Economics Society's 92nd annual conference will be held at The University of Warwick, UK on 16th - 18th April 2018...more

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The Journal of Agricultural Economics an academic journal which is published (hard copy and electronic) three times a year....more

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Joint Defra-AES one-day Conference

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7th AIEAA Conference
14/06/2018 - 15/06/2018, Conegliano Veneto (Italy)
Evidence-based policy to face new challenges for agri-food systems...more

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Agricultural Economist...more


July 2017

Letter from the President
Is rural poverty being neglected in the Brexit debate?

One step forward, three steps back. That phrase might reasonably describe the curious 2017 election, which pointed up sharp differences in political style and effectiveness across the UK main parties. Leading themes that decided the ultimate poll shifted considerably. The initial attempt to gain greater legitimacy for the Conservatives’ Brexit strategy foundered as domestic issues, including health services, weariness with austerity, and most importantly, a slow-burning sense of inequality were stoked by Labour’s rhetoric.
I wrote my last letter on Brexit and the triggering of Article 50 well before this unexpected election popped up, and by the time it was published the election had been held and everything had changed again. I would not be surprised if this letter is also superseded by some other unexpected development. So I focus my concern now on the fact that farming and rural issues had virtually no profile in electoral debates. Obviously, farming ranks alongside the financial and manufacturing sectors as most vulnerable to anything other than the softest of exits from the EU. In terms of likely intensity of effects, agriculture can probably expect greater proportionate impact, with profound consequences for landscape aesthetics and environmental quality. Also, while sometimes overstated, local multiplier effects on social and economic viability of rural areas could be significant. The value of a clean and vibrant countryside is hard to measure accurately and, being priceless, is often understated.
Issues that displaced Brexit have significance for rural interests as well. The brunt of austerity has been borne, firstly by working age welfare recipients, but secondly by public sector workers. The latter are, of course, much more prominent in rural workforces, and generally in lower pay grades. The Pay Cap may have had a more dampening influence on rural economic activity than any anticipated future, and as yet uncertain, post-Brexit farming recession.
The issue of inequality divides economists more sharply than other academic squabbles. Some view it positively since, without incentives the incentives it creates, economic growth and the development it allows would be flaccid. Such strong beliefs, though, ignore international empirical evidence from the IMF that growth in more unequal countries is weaker. Inequality in the countryside, exacerbated by real declines in public wages, is more complex. On aggregate, rural areas appear wealthier than urban conglomerations. The income poverty that does undeniably exist in the countryside, though, is masked by heterogeneous social structures and scattered, sparser populations.
It is further compounded by inferior service levels, to the extent that the Rowntree Foundation estimates a minimum income standard 10-20% higher than the average is required, so that rural poverty is more intense but under-recognised than in general. However, policies that focus on these problems are almost entirely absent. While LEADER in the EU has been shown to be both effective and popular, it really only represents the crumbs left over from the feast of the CAP laid out for the largest and wealthiest farms. Probably more, smarter thinking is required to address these issues if another surprise election pops up before my next letter.
Peter Midmore, AES President 2017-18 (
AES Annual Conference 2017

At the end of April the Society held its Annual Conference in Dublin. It was a memorable event. The hot topic was, not surprisingly, Brexit []. 160 delegates from over 20 countries (with an additional 180 guests registered for the public keynote sessions) debated the implications for agriculture of the UK leaving the EU after listening to keynote speakers Phil Hogan (European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development), Mairead McGuinness (Vice President of the European Parliament), Alan Swinbank (Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at the University of Reading) and Alan Matthews (Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy at Trinity College). Many thanks to Trevor Donnellan (Teagasc) for facilitating the high-level invitations to the Brexit session!

Two more plenary sessions explored Brexit, but workshops also featured wine economics and rural development among others. A very popular master class was held on choice modelling. A wide range of papers (153 abstracts submitted) from around the world were presented on topics including technology absorption, bargaining power, climate change, and migrant workers. The 3 travel awards to attend the conference were highly appreciated by the recipients. A strong contingent of young researchers was present, with the PhD prize won by Carolin Kamrath (University of Bonn), while Geoffrey Muricho (International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology) won the best poster prize. Hao Lan won the Prize Essay competition. Professor Peter Midmore’s (Aberystwth) Presidential Address was The science of impact and the impact of science.

AES Awards for Excellence were presented to Danny Campbell (Young Researcher), Derek Shepherd (Service to the Society) and Wyn Morgan (Teaching and Learning). The President for 2018-19 will be Professor John Davis (Belfast). Brian Revell, Francisco Areal and Cathal O’Donoghue retired from the Executive. New members of the Executive are Frederic Ang (Uppsala and Wageningen), Janet Dwyer (Gloucestershire), Yiorgos Gadanakis (Reading), and Brendan Bayley (HM Treasury) co-opted for 2017-18.
Come next year to Warwick (16-18 April) to enjoy another great conference programme with a vibrant and familiar community! (

Vera Eory, Programme Secretary (

Flagship OECD publications

Two annual publications from the OECD have just been published. They contain a wealth of data, analysis and policy recommendations for governments, and provide a valuable resource for agricultural economists. Browse or read online at;jsessionid=53jispjw5t08n.x-oecd-live-03

The 2017 Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation is the 30th in the series of annual OECD reports that monitor and evaluate agricultural policies across countries. This year’s report includes all OECD and EU countries, as well as eleven emerging economies: Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Russian Federation, South Africa, Ukraine and Viet Nam.

The 13th edition of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 includes a special focus on Southeast Asia.

AES Centenary Preparations

The AES will be 100 years old in 2026. A small team, designated by the AES Executive, is being coordinated by Richard Tranter (Reading) to prepare materials to mark the centenary of the founding of the AES in Oxford in 1926. The Society is working with Dr David Stead, an agricultural historian (UC Dublin) to write a comprehensive history of the AES, assemble a collection of oral histories, and organise a special event in Oxford. Other ideas and reflections are always welcome, to  


had a very good year in 2016 with full-text global downloads at a record level, driven to a large extent by a special section in the summer issue on the potential impacts of Brexit on UK and EU agriculture, published early in advance of the UK referendum on membership of the EU and heavily promoted by Wiley. We aim to maintain this momentum in 2017. Following a special issue on the Brazilian agri-food sector, another special section on Brexit implications is included in the summer issue.  A special section in the winter issue will follow on the CAP and rural jobs.   EuroChoices provides a unique channel for your work and ideas to reach the policy and wider stakeholder community in accessible formats. Please do consider the submission guidelines for authors prior to composing an article:

John Davis, Chief Editor (

Upcoming EAAE and other events 2017-18

EAAE Congress: The historic city of Parma will host the European Association of Agricultural Economists triennial congress from 28 August - 1 September on the theme Towards sustainable Agri-Food-Systems: Balancing between Markets and Society. The Congress is a highlight of the conference calendar and features pre-congress symposia, 8 keynote speakers, 60 organised sessions, 14 organised panels, together with 300 contributed papers and 300 posters – and lots of networking opportunities!

13 AES Members have received financial support from the AES Travel Award Scheme to attend. Congress registration is still open so go to Looking forward to seeing a good contingent of AES members in Parma!

Tim Lloyd, EAAE Liaison Officer (

EAAE Seminars

18-22 September 2017, Summer School for postgraduate students on Policy Evaluation in Agriculture, Bucharest, Romania. and or Carmen Hubbard (

8-10 November 2017, 7th EAAE PhD Workshop, Challenges for young agro-food and natural resource economists facing the future, Barcelona, Spain

5-9 February 2018, 12th International Forum on System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks, Igls/Innsbruck, Austria

26-27 April 2018
, The evaluation of new CAP instruments: Lessons learned and the road ahead, Budapest, Hungary

EAAE information:

Advance notice: The IAAE flagship conference – the International Conference of Agricultural Economists (ICAE) – is held every three years and attracts about a thousand colleagues from around the world. The 30th conference will take place on Canada's West Coast, in Vancouver, British Columbia, July 28 - August 2, 2018.

A shorter version of the Newsletter is distributed with the Journal of Agricultural Economics. The deadline for receipt of material for the next issue is 1 December 2017, to
Posted: 19:16:44 - 22/07/2017

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