Pre-Conference Workshops


Pre-Conference Workshops

These will be held on Tuesday 7 February 2023

Economic Modelling with TERM-USA Using Customised RunGEM

Full Day Workshop
Organiser: Professor Glyn Wittwer, Centre of Policy Studies, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
Presenters: Professor Glyn Wittwer and Dr Rob Waschik, Centre of Policy Studies, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

This workshop introduces participants to TERM-USA, a multi-regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) economic model of USA, and provides practical experience in conducting model simulations. TERM-USA captures the behaviour of economic agents in US regions linked by interregional trade and factor flows. It is a powerful tool for analysing a wide range of issues facing US regions. TERM-USA is run with CRunGEM software, a Windows program that makes it easy for users to run the model. The workshop overviews the main characteristics of TERM-USA and its data base, and demonstrates the model’s capabilities in analysing some typical regional issues, such as the regional impacts of a major industrial project, a new fiscal policy, regional development policies, among many others. A particular feature of the workshop will be hands-on computer exercises with CRunGEM to provide workshop participants with experience in conducting a range of typical simulations.

To learn more about TERM-USA, to obtain a download of the model with the CRunGEM software, and to download technical information, please visit: Format: The workshop involves a full day of lectures and hands-on computing exercises. There will be a one hour lunch break and half hour breaks mid-morning and mid-afternoon. The morning session will start with three lectures followed by the first computing exercise. The afternoon will consist of two computing sessions followed by a final lecture. To participate properly in the computing sessions, participants will need to bring their laptop/notebook computer. Participants will be able to download the required software and install it on their computer prior to the workshop. Objectives To provide workshop participants with the following: 1. An introduction to regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling 2. A description of the TERM-USA economic model of the United States with 64 sectors, 70 regions and 12 occupations 3. Hands-on computing experience of running TERM-USA simulations with the CRunGEM software 4. Experience in using CRunGEM facilities for checking and interpreting results. Expected participants The workshop is aimed at regional scientists interested in the analysis of the economic impacts on regions of policy changes and other events. This includes those with some experience of CGE modelling interested in learning about a new multiregional CGE platform. It also includes those with input-output experience considering upgrading their capabilities to a user-friendly CGE facility. Additionally, it includes those who simply want to expand their knowledge of regional analysis to include a basic understanding of CGE modelling. Prerequisites: There are no specific prerequisites beyond an interest in learning about CGE capabilities. Participants will find it helpful to read available material

Valuing Indigenous peoples’ values for the environment using non-market valuation methods; challenges, best-practices, and ways forward

Half - Day Workshop (Morning)
Organiser: Alaya Spencer-Cotton, University of Western Australia
Organiser: Dr Virginia Marshall and Professor Quentin Grafton, Australian National University, Professor Vic Adamowicz, University of Alberta, Canada (further contributions to be confirmed)

Non-market valuation (NMV) can be effective to understand the values people place on ecosystem goods and services for which there are no market prices. Over the last three decades, NMV has increasingly been used to estimate the value of goods and services that are particularly important for Indigenous Peoples. However, important conceptual and methodological considerations exist, which past studies have handled in an array of different ways.

Key questions to be explored in the first part of the workshop include: How does NMV fit with Indigenous worldviews and ontologies? What governance principles and frameworks should overarch the application of economic tools, such as NMV? What other approaches exist that are useful and appropriate to account for Indigenous Peoples’ values in environmental management decisions (e.g., budget allocations, cost minimisation, or environmental protection)? In the second half of the workshop, supported by insights from a global systematic literature review published in Ecosystem Services in April 2022, this workshop aims to bring together expert knowledge from Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars to discuss: i) existing challenges; ii) current best-practice; and iii) ways forward. The goals of the workshop are two-fold. First, it will provide an open forum for scholars with a common interest to come together and discuss a question that deserves greater attention on the part of academics and policy-makers. Second, the workshop will aim to develop a suite of pathways forward to improve the application of NMV tools when Indigenous Peoples’ values are at the centre of valuation questions.

Randomised Controlled Trials for Agricultural, Resource, Development, and Environmental Economics: Challenges, Evidence & Lessons

Full Day Workshop
Organiser: Nazmun Ratna, Lincoln University
Presenters: Professor Asad Islam, Monash University, Australia and Dr Zack Dorner, University of Waikato, New Zealand

In this workshop, participants will engage in a discussion on the practical issues of running Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) in Agricultural, Resource, Development, and Environmental Economics (ARDEE). The experts will discuss their experiences conducting RCTs on various issues and in different contexts. The workshop will cover some important lessons on where to start and what you need to know to run experiments yourself. It will cover aspects that students, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers should think of in designing RCTs to evaluate different policies and programs. These topics will be covered using examples from recent RCTs. There will also be plenty of time devoted to interactive sessions with the participants. These sessions will be designed on the basis of the participants’ research and policy interests and prior exposure to experimental designs, which we will collect beforehand.

Prof. Asad Islam is the Director of the Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability (CDES) and Professor of Economics at Monash University. His research work spans a number of developing countries in Asia and Africa. He has conducted numerous randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to understand the efficacy of various interventions on agriculture and food security, natural resources, education, and health. His recent research mostly uses RCTs to understand the efficacy of different policies and programs. He has published widely in top economics journals based on his research on education. His work is supported by national and international research and development agencies such as ARC, ESRC, DFAT, ADB, and World Bank.

Dr Zack Dorner is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Economics at the University of Waikato. His research investigates individual choices and behaviour change, particularly within an environmental policy context. He utilises lab and field experiments, as well as survey methods. He has published in leading environmental, and economic journals, including Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Land Economics and the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. His ongoing work is supported by the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge and Endeavour fund in New Zealand.

Mr Robbie Maris is an economics master’s student and research assistant at the University of Waikato. He has a background in economics and chemistry and enjoys bringing a multi-disciplinary lens to discussions. His master’s research is supported by the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge and revolves around designing and conducting a field experiment to increase and retain volunteers for community restoration groups in urban environments. He also works part-time for EnviroStrat (a natural resources and impact investing consultancy), where he works across a range of projects and has notably contributed to natural capital water accounting in the Hawkes Bay region. 

Research Translation Workshop

Half - Day Workshop (Afternoon)
Organiser: Professor Alan Renwick, Lincoln University, New Zealand
Presenters: Professor Alan Renwick and Allanah Robinson (to be confirmed), Lincoln University, New Zealand, with contributions from 'The Conversation' (to be confirmed)

Research Translation is a key part of developing your profile and your career – it is part of the journey towards having greater impact. Research Translation is therefore about how we make our research accessible and intelligible to those that our research should be important to - business, industry, policy, NGOs etc. By doing this we strengthen our relationships with our stakeholders and this can have many benefits in terms of raising our profiles, building collaborations and raising the quality of our research. In this hands-on half-day workshop,& we will work through a step-by-step approach to translating research. This will include identifying your audience, your core message and your potential outlets. You will also craft a pitch and have time to work on developing the full content. With input from those experienced in research translation the aim is to work towards completing a piece that could be suitable for publication in outlets such as The Conversation (

An Introduction to R: Data Analysis and Visualisation

Full - Day Workshop
Organisers: Professor Frank Scrimgeour, University of Waikato, New Zealand and Mr Mark Neal, Dairy NZ, Hamilton, New Zealand
Presenters: Mr Mark Neal, Ben Marmont and colleagues, Dairy NZ, Hamilton, New Zealand

This workshop will introduce participants to R and demonstrate the software's fundamentals. It loosely follows the content and philosophy of the carpentries, a global open-source movement to build capacity in data and computational skills. The workshop will run all day and be comprised of four parts: an introduction to R, some of its uses, and its basic functions; live coding, where participants are encouraged to code along with assistance from presenters to troubleshoot any issues with your code; time spent on visualisations, making beautiful and reproducible graphs; concluding with examples of how economists might use R. To read more about the carpentry course this workshop is inspired by please explore the following link: