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Relevant and/or Elegant Economics

Keith Coble ()

American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2020, vol. 102, issue 2, 392-399

Abstract: In this paper, I focus on the contrast between doing elegant, or peer impressing applied economics, and relevant applied economics that develops solutions to real‐world problems. I emphatically applaud elegant economics but in this paper focus on how our profession can achieve relevance to those outside our profession. In particular, I examine several key areas of professional relevance. First, I examine how technological change can disrupt not only the industries we normally examine but also our profession. Second, I examine our dependence on available, quality data. From that perspective, I advocate for greater efforts and leadership with respect to data for our profession. Next, I examine our engagement with industry and our non‐Ph.D. graduates. This leads me to pose the question of whether we would gain from great efforts to engage non‐academic alumni of our departments? Finally, I draw upon my experiences with the policy makers to suggest we should walk a fine line between advocacy for our discipline, and science in general, while vigorously maintaining objectivity and nonpartisanship in our work.

Date: 2020
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Handle: RePEc:wly:ajagec:v:102:y:2020:i:2:p:392-399