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The Southern Economic Association (SEA) is one of the oldest economics associations in the United States and strives to further the education of scholars and the public in economic affairs. As its first president explained a decade later, “While [the association] is regional in its membership, its interests as well as its annual programs extend beyond the region which it serves and encompass the nation.”

As current president of the SEA, Donna Gilleskie delivered the presidential luncheon address at the November 2019 annual meeting. She encouraged economists not to abandon our understanding of theory despite the advent and allure of big data and increased computational capacities in a lecture entitled “In Sickness and In Health, Until Death Do Us Part: The Case for Theory.” Dr. Gilleskie is the sixth woman to serve as president among the 90 elected since the regional association was founded in 1928. Carolina has a long, strong tradition with the SEA. Other UNC-CH professors who have served as president are John Woosley (1940), G.T. Schwenning (1948), Milton Heath (1957), Ralph Pfouts (1966), James Ingram (1973), Robert Gallman (1978), and Sandy Darity (1997). Carolina professors have also served as editors of the Association’s Southern Economic Journal including Bob Gallman and Vince Tarascio. Vince was editor for 28 years from 1967-1995, at a time when the journal did not have an editorial board, so he did all the accepting and rejecting of submissions by himself. Currently, two UNC professors, Neville Francis and Lutz Hendricks, serve as co-editors for the journal.

Many professors from UNC-CH participated in the November 2019 Annual Meeting as paper presenter, co-author, session organizer, and/or session chair. These included Simon Alder, Anusha Chari, Luca Flabbi, Donna Gilleskie, Qing Gong, Lutz Hendricks, Andrés Hincapié, Fei Li (7 sessions!), Luca Maini, Peter Norman (7 sessions!), Stan Rabinovich, Valentin Verdier, Jon Williams (7 sessions!), and Kyle Woodward.

Graduate students also find the SEA meetings to be an excellent opportunity for them to disseminate their research as they prepare for the annual job market each January. Students who presented their work this year include Sid Biswas, Andrew Hanson, Alina Malkova, Mauricio Salazar, Garret Scott, and Quinton White.

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