The Association of Private Enterprise Education is alive and well. This year’s conference was held earlier this week at The Wynn Las Vegas and was attended by about 530 scholars, practitioners, and students from 12 countries. It was the largest attendance in the Associations 39-year history.
To put that in perspective, my notes say that the 2001 meeting in Washington, DC, was attended by 142, and the 2000 meeting at Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas drew attendance of 206. So APEE has grown somewhere between two- and four-fold in the past 15 years. This is noteworthy because APEE’s mission is to teach
about markets and the benefits of private enterprise. We seek to educate the public about how a system of private enterprise aligns incentives so the pursuit of profits serves the interests of the general public in addition to the interests of those producers. We seek to spur economic understanding through all media and educational means for the broadest public possible.
Atop hundreds of academic papers and roundtable discussions, highlights for me included:
- Larry White being recognized with the Association’s highest honor, the Adam Smith Award. This is the second acceptance speech by Larry that I’ve attended in the past six months. He has a very entertaining style to go with his always-solid substance.
- My good friends Professors Nikolai Wenzel (Florida Gulf Coast University) and Alex Padilla (Metropolitan State College of Denver) being awarded the Kent-Aronoff Award for service to the Association. Nikolai and Alex have worked for the past few years to initiate the Association’s undergraduate research poster session, which has rocketed to enormous success by offering a venue for undergraduates to be noticed and begin their long-term APEE membership.
- An “Author Meets Critic” panel on Peter Boettke’s book, Living Economics, with David Colander as critic. (Professor Boettke elaborates on the session here.)
- An important session, “Ideas and Arguments: Determinants of Political Change,” in which GMU graduate students Vlad Tarko, Kyle O’Donnell, and Stefanie Haeffele-Balch presented papers related to Chapter 5 of Madmen.
- A panel discussion on Virginia Postrel’s new book, The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion.