International economics conference shines spotlight on Newcastle

Monday, 15 January 2018


The opening of the University of Newcastle’s (UON) city campus is continuing to attract worldwide attention, with the 14th Western Economic Association International (WEAI) conference held at NeW Space last week.

Professor Wade Martin (L) and Professor Morris Altman at NeW Space

Close to 400 delegates from 35 countries attended the event, which shares the latest in cutting-edge international research within the field of economics.

Professor Morris Altman, Head of UON’s Business School, said WEAI’s presence in the city provided a wonderful opportunity for young researchers to make connections with world-leaders in their field.

“With this type of event, people have the opportunity to experience the beauty of Newcastle and it opens the door for us to attract other major events when people see the facilities on offer.

“Also, intellectually, notable scholars are being attracted here. We are holding early career research sessions where mentees are being exposed to wonderful mentors,” he said.

With keynote addresses from some of the world’s best economists, including Nobel Prize winner Professor Daniel McFadden, topics ranged from consumer behaviour, wine to immigration.

WEAI Executive Director, Professor Wade Martin, whose own research focuses on environmental economics such as bushfire risk, said Newcastle was an obvious choice due to the Association’s strong ties with the Business School and its appeal as a location.

“WEAI picks attractive locations – places we want people to say ‘wow I’ve never been there but I’ve seen pictures and it’s a beautiful place’.

“The location is very important to the people coming here. Most have children looking to go to college, so it’s another benefit of exposure having it in Newcastle,” he added.

Professor Martin further emphasised the draw of UON, highlighting the outstanding quality of research at the institution.

“Other Australian universities may have a longer history, but Newcastle has jumped to the top tier and the citations are an undeniable metric of the quality of work here,” Professor Martin said.

NeW Space will continue to shine internationally next month, with the Faculty of Business and Law hosting the Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE) February 4 – 8. The conference is already set to attract more than 200 international delegates to the CBD.