June 2, 2020
23rd GTAP conference goes virtual, sees record high registration
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Global Trade Analysis Project’s (GTAP) 23rd annual conference will look a little different from years past. Established in 1993 at Purdue University, GTAP furthers collaboration between academics, researchers and policymakers working on issues impacting the global economy such as trade and climate change. Its central objective is to enhance quantitative analysis of these and other global economic issues within an economy-wide framework.
Though the conference was originally scheduled for this summer in Tokyo, Japan, complications from COVID-19 forced organizers to move to an online format. The conference, which has a theme of “Global Economic Analysis Beyond 2020,” will take place June 17-19 utilizing the WebEx platform.
In-person conferences are always preferable, but a virtual conference does offer a singular opportunity to increase participation in the conference, said Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, professor of agricultural economics and GTAP director.
“We have decided not to charge any conference fee for the online GTAP conference. This will allow many researchers around the world to more readily participate because the cost savings, including travel, are substantial. In particular, the conference will be much more affordable to our GTAP community in poorer countries around the world,” van der Mensbrugghe said.
The deadline is a week away, but attendance numbers have already tripled from previous years, totaling over 700 participants, including sizable registration numbers from Africa, Asia and South America, regions conference organizers have been eager to draw more from.
In the face of a global pandemic and the economic havoc it has caused and will continue to cause, GTAP’s work becomes more essential than ever, van der Mensbrugghe said.
“There is always plenty of work for researchers using GTAP resources. The pre-pandemic agenda was ample: be it the new fondness for raising trade barriers, the ever present and growing impacts of climate change and other sustainability issues, and long-term economic sustainability and development given the millions of people still living in abject conditions around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a number of important new issues that can be addressed by researchers in the GTAP network,” van der Mensbrugghe continued. “What are the near-term impacts of the pandemic? Who will be hurt the most? How long will it take to recover? Are the impacts synchronous, if not, what has made some countries less vulnerable, or perform better, than others? What are the long-term impacts?”
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