Greetings AFEE members,

Belatedly, I wish you all a Happy New Year!  It was wonderful to see so many of you at the 2024 AFEE@ASSA conference and the AFEE@ICAPE conference in San Antonio TX, January 4-7. In my letter I would like to report on several things; the 2024 conference(s), our annual award winners, newly elected and continuing officers, the state of the JEI, and some of our recent and planned initiatives.

View the AFEE 2024 committee assignments


Report on the 2024 Conference:

The conference theme for this year was “Economics for a Just World”.  There were over 90 submissions including several panels and a roundtable.  ASSA allocates AFEE 11 sessions which we easily filled. In keeping with past practice, we utilized our institutional membership with ICAPE to include as many papers as possible on the combined programs of ASSA and ICAPE.  We were able to accept 90 submissions by assigning 6 papers to a session and not utilizing discussants.  This year we also cooperated with ASE and IAFFE and sponsored several joint sessions.

The ASSA was quite adamant about returning to an in-person conference and although they offered to provide technology to facilitate remote participation, we considered the cost per panel to be prohibitively expensive.  ICAPE was more flexible and offered a one-day remote conference after the meeting in San Antonio to allow for those who were not able to travel to participate and present their work.

Attendance at our AFEE@ASSA sessions was very robust!  I counted the number of people who came to each of our 11 sessions and attendance ranged from 15-38 with an average of 21 audience members.  There was standing room only in the session with 38 audience members so perhaps next year we will be given larger rooms! All-in-all the presentations were excellent and so were the discussions they elicited.

A highlight for me was a roundtable organized by economists from the Department of Labor.  It was about institutional economics in practice and very much in the spirit of the work of John R. Commons.  The title of the Roundtable was “Institutions in Practice: Labor Rights with a Focus on Construction and Trades. A real treat was having Allie Perez on the panel who represents Texas Women in Trades and who spoke about women’s rights and protections in the construction space!

Gary Dymski’s Presidential address was also a highlight as Gary spoke on the topic of “Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity in a Planetary Crisis: Institutional Economics Beyond the ‘t/T’ Duality”.


Report on 2024 Award Winners:

2024 Veblen-Commons Award recipient is Charles Whalen, The Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, University Buffalo.  Charles’ address at the Veblen-Common luncheon at the meetings was entitled “Telling it Like it is: Reflections of a Maverick Economist”.

2024 Clarence E Ayres Scholar recipient is Danielle Guizzo, University of Bristol.  Danielle’s address in the Session Building on the Ideas of Thorstein Veblen at the meetings was entitled “Inequality, Monopolies and the Commodification of Academic Knowledge: Writing a New Chapter of the Higher Learning in America”.

2024 James H. Street Scholar recipient is Diego Guevara, National University of Columbia and Deputy Finance Minister for Columbia.  Diego’s address in the Session Macro, Finance and Inequality at the meetings was entitled “Financialization, External Constraint and Democracy: Challenges for Changes in Peripheral Economies”.

2024 AFEE Service Award recipient is John Battaile Hall, Portland State University.

Congratulations to all of the distinguished award winners!!


Report on Continuing and Newly Elected Officers for 2024:

The complete list of AFEE Officers and Board Members for 2024 is available on our Governance Page on

Newly elected officers for 2024:

Alexandra Bernasek, President
Wilfred Dolfsma, President-elect
Yan Liang, Board Member
Karol Gil-Vasquez, Board Member


AFEE Committees and Committee Members for 2024:

I am attaching to my letter a list of AFEE Committees and Committee members for 2024 (Appendix #1).  I will also send the list in a separate email as I was requested to do so by several AFEE members.  If you would like to participate on one of our committees please let me know as we benefit greatly from the passion and commitment of our members!


Report on the JEI:

Bill Waller and his editorial board members and reviewers and production editor Susan Evans, continue to do a fabulous job with the JEI.  It has truly become an international journal.  Bill reported that in 2023 non-US based authors made up 21 of the 31 papers accepted for the three issues excluding the June issue (21 out of 40 papers in the June issue).  Thanks to all of you for making the JEI such a gem for AFEE!

The “JEI Editor’s Prize for 2023” was awarded to a paper co-authored by Selin Kiksal Arac and Serap Cabuk entitled “How do Ethically Minded Consumers Explain Intention-Behavior Gap? Barriers to Ethical Purchasing in Turkey”, JEI Vol. LVII (57) No. 4: 1339-1354, December 2023.

There is a plan for a symposium/special issue to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the publication of Legal Foundations of Capitalism by John R. Commons (hopefully in the Sept. or Dec issue). Something to look forward to in 2024!


Report on AFEE Graduate and Early Career Workshop 2023:

Past-President Mary Wrenn did an amazing job putting together a workshop for graduate and early career economists interested in learning more about Original Institutional Economics (OIE).  It was to be the first workshop in 17 years!  Mary put together a great organizing committee that included Hao Cheng, Paula Cole, Deb Figart, Valerie Kepner, Ellen Mutari, Kanchana Ruwanpura and Zdravka Todorova.

The August 2023 workshop was a great success with 44 applicants, 24 accepted and 23 attending.  A big thanks to Mary for this organizing and participating in this effort and thanks to all of the other “teachers” who participated; Rojhat Avsar, Susan Evans, Deb Figart, Thomas Kemp, Ellen Mutari, Linwood Tauheed, Geoff Scheider, All Semanova, Bill Waller, and Jon Wisman.


Other past and future Initiatives:

  1. There has been a change to AFEE mail and we will be in touch with more information on that soon.
  2. Ad-hoc committee on Establishing an AFEE Archive:
    Discussions about an AFEE Archive continued during 2023 and the complexities   of such an endeavor became very clear as the discussion progressed.  Bill Waller is leading this committee and will continue exploring possibilities for an archive in 2024.
  3. Exploring cooperation with other heterodox associations:
    As we reflected on the 2024 conference and cooperation with other heterodox associations we committed to exploring more options for cooperation in the future with for example ASE, IAFFE, URPE, NEA, HES, and ASHE.
  4. Regional and International Conferences:
    The Committee on Regional and International Conferences (CORIC) received three requests for funding in 2023 and all three were approved for a total of $3,100.  One was for an AFEE South American Conference, on for the Brazilian Keynesian Association and one for AFEE@EAEPE. The remaining funds were used to pay for ICAPE registration for AFEE members presenting at the 2024 conference.



I would like to thank Gary Dymski, now immediate past-President of AFEE, for his leadership over the last year.  In addition, very little would be possible without the institutional memory and hard work of our Secretary-Treasurer Eric Hake and Coordinator Teresa Rowell, and so I thank them for everything they do.  Thanks also to departing board members Thomas Kemp and Anna Klimina.  Thanks to past-President Mary Wrenn for organizing the Early Career Workshop on OIE.  Thanks to Geoff Schneider for supporting AFEE@ICAPE! And finally, thanks to all of you who served on AFEE Committees in 2023!

I would also like to welcome Wilfred Dolfsma to the leadership team and I know we are both excited about the year ahead!!  If I may make one request of you – if you have not already done so, please renew your AFEE membership – if can be easy to forget but we all benefit from your continued commitment and involvement in our organization!!  Thank you.

Wishing you all the best for 2024.

Alexandra Bernasek
Professor of Economics, Colorado State University
2024 President of AFEE