Friday, February 22, 2013

Face to Face Interaction and the Creation of New Ideas

First, I want to plug my new Ziman Center short piece on commercial electricity consumption.  Now, I'd like to turn to a quick case study of why amenities and conferences are complements.  Over the last two days, the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco and UCLA have partnered to throw a very successful conference focused on "Housing and the Macroeconomy".    For the last two days it has been 70 degrees, sunny and blue skies in Westwood.  Perhaps because of this, an excellent set of economists showed up.   My old friend and co-author Joe Tracy participated.   As Joe and I talked throughout the conference, we sketched out a new paper we are planning to write together. He taught me a couple of things related to the social cost of the Great Recession as the plunge in home owner equity affects their investment patterns.  This got me thinking and now we have a plan to write something serious.  If we hadn't started talking at the conference, we wouldn't have written this paper.  Progress not regress!