The Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2018

The remarkable and prestigious Royal Economic Society is one of the most important associations which promotes the study of the humanitarian science by providing news, resources, support, competitions and events. This charity was incorporated in the Royal Charter in 1902, the notorious club of British founded societies related to academics, from then it is the publishing house of the worldwide recognised paper “The Economic Journal”.

Each year in the spring term the RES organises a three days conference which covers a wide range of topics, from economic theories and finance to labour and social issues. The objective of this intellectual event is to bring together academic and professional economists not only from the UK but from all over the world to present and discuss new investigations and theories. Moreover, the conference is also a vigorous and unique networking event where the interaction between the global audience may lead to creating international professional communications and to originate new ideas full of potential. I personally noticed that an essential characteristic of the environment in which the talks happen, is that it is a conversation from peer to peer, therefore, a presentation of an idea is not a method to provoke bad criticism, but it’s an opportunity to receive structured and helpful pieces of advice.   

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The Royal Economic Conference 2018 took place in Brighton at the welcoming University of Sussex. Despite the cold and rainy weather, the guests received a warm hospitality which began with breakfast from 8:45 to 10:00 that with the other meals, they were a perfect moment for experts to shine their badges in front of other guests while socialising. The day was divided into plenary, general and special sessions. The plenary sessions reunited all the attendants in the imposing lecture theatre of the university Jubilee and discussed the trendy topics such as Brexit. The general sessions consisted of multiple short presentations on little examinations and discoveries. While the special sessions were also small talks but organised by illustrious institutions as the Bank of England, and with the general sessions there was various choices to pick from depending on the interests.

Over three days, I’ve been able to attend the conference only one day, but in that one day, I’ve been involved in intellectual economical thinking for about 8 hours. 

My favourite lecture was one of the two plenary sessions, about “The view of Brexit from abroad” where four experts presented various ideas,  Michael C. Burda from Harvard University observed the Winners and Losers in Britain leaving the European Union and also how Brexit would challenge globalisation, Robert W. Staiger from Dartmouth University looked at the trade agreements and the WTO integrating the Prisoners Dilemma which our economics classes were able to study briefly during the first year of IB, L. Alan Winters local professor at the University of Sussex presented his three ways to support trade as in his opinion cooperation between the UK and the EU is not sustainable, at first he said having a common legal system, then sharing data, and at last let free movement of people, and finally Meredith A. Crowley lecturer at University of Cambridge who argued the insignificance of the costs of Brexit for the UK.

Overall, the organisation managed to set up a solid conference. I admired the quality of the papers submitted and of the Conference venue, the excellence of the Plenary sessions and the balance between the different fields of economics, but especially the relevance to the work and interests of the participants. The service was well-coordinated, from the essential material such as brochures served at the registration in the morning and the possibility of purchasing subject related books from various publishing houses such as MIT press and Oxford press, to the standard quality meals and the aid provided by the genial staff.

I personally recommend this experience to those students who are really passionate about economics or other related subjects. Next year, this conference will feed your hunger for knowledge in an unique and admirable way.

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