Survey Results

Clio Conference 2010: Wisconsin - La Crosse

2a) How did the presentation at the Cliometrics Conference help your work?

The conference was very useful in getting feedback from a completely different set of people than I usual interact with. It's also very rare that you get a group that has carefully read your paper in advance which dramatically increases the quality of the comments.

(1)   Helped clarify a number of issues in terms of presentation that we need to address before submission, (2) suggested which parts of the paper are (and more importantly, are not) convincing to people outside my university, and (3) got some suggestions from people about alternative data sources which could be used to support our work

To me, the value of the conference is equivalent to having 25 potential referees read and evaluate your work prior to ever submitting it.  I think it was invaluable in giving me ideas for further refinement of the paper’s arguments and for raising issues that will be red flags to reviewers upon submission.  I acted on many of the suggestions immediately, and the paper is ready for submission and vastly improved from its pre-Clio state.

My coauthor and I received several pages of useful comments.  The feedback we received has helped us in positioning our paper in the literature and in motivating the central fact pattern we seek to explain.   Several empirical suggestions will be addressed to support
our argument and additional theoretical considerations will be incorporated into the new formulation of our model.

The atmosphere was simply excellent. We had hard and intense work and enough time for long discussions before, during and after the sessions. It is in my sense, one of the very few conferences who all the papers are so seriously discussed. I will for sure participate again, as presenters or ‘simply’ as discussant.

I got a lot of well-thought out comments from people who had actually read the paper that let me see what people thought were the particularly interesting aspects, and see which of my interpretations of the results people find the most convincing.

The detailed comments helped me to view the topic and data from other directions. It also exposed me to other literatures that will help me provide stronger conclusions in this paper and set up future projects.

The discussion was useful. I received many comments I can take into my paper. The benefit of 40 minutes discussion and participants having read the papers is rather unique.

The presentation at the Cliometrics Conference helped my work really very much. The comments and questions were very useful to improve my work.

2b) Please describe the current status of the paper you presented (is it published or forthcoming (please give status), submitted, etc.) 

The paper is still being revised for submission.

Still under preparation for submission

The paper will be submitted in the next few days.

Our paper was an early draft and is now being substantially revised and
improved based on the feedback we received.

The papers are still in their Working Paper form and/or under review.


It is currently a working paper being prepared for submission.

not yet submitted

Working paper. Not submitted yet.

3) If you participated at the conference without presenting, how was your participation beneficial to your research and professional activity? 

The Cliometrics conference offers the best conference style that I have ever seen.  Everybody is expected to read the paper.  The author gets 5 minutes to present the essence of the idea and then it is 55 minutes of intense discussion of the topic.  The attitudes of the discussants are to be critical and be helpful at the same time.  It is a congenial atmosphere that is more like a working group on how to improve the papers being presented.  On every paper there are at least 4-6 experts in the room who would be likely referees when the paper is sent to a journal.  Many of the remaining people also make quite useful comments and a number of authors see their papers in a totally new light after hearing the comments.  The Conference also does a great deal to bring new scholars into the profession.  Up to half the presenters and up to a fourth of the participants are typically new assistant professors or late-stage graduate students.   Since everybody is expected to attend all events in the conference, the breaks, meals, and walks and rides to the venue serve as great ways to meet people and learn about their research.   I can honestly say that I have learned something new about methods, approaches, or basic information from every paper discussion I have seen at the Clio meetings. 

The conference keeps me up to date and active with the field of economic history, refreshes and expands my knowledge on topics I teach but don't necessarily research, and connects me to the profession as a whole.

N/A since I presented (although was still very useful to hear the other presenters, to see what was currently going on in economic history research).

I found the conference very beneficial.  It was very instructive to see which papers the participants found convincing and which engendered long discussions asking "what about this, what about this."
 I feel that I am in a better position to do research in economic history after attending.  I see the importance of having convincing and well documented casual mechanisms.

This was the first time I was able to introduce myself to the econ history community.

[a] re-energized [b] conversations

These answers are my observations as a junior academic.
 I'm very shy and tend not to ask questions in seminars but in the clio environment it's easier to ask. This is  because so much of the session focuses on questions I'm able to overcome the feeling that if I ask a question I'm taking time away from other questions. I learnt not to be afraid of asking questions.
 A second benefit is that since so much of the session focuses on audience response to the papers I learnt a lot about what is expected of a paper. Too often the papers we read are the final product and I have no sense how the authors got there, this is even worse where I work since very few economic historians pass through.  At clio we get to see work in progress and also how to move the research to the final product. I learnt a lot about model building and setting up arguments from the questions people asked.


Attending clio and reading the summaries in the newsletter is critical to understanding where the frontier is in research in econ history.

4) Please make suggestions for improving the conference.

Keep up the good work.

The only suggestion I would make is to rearrange the order of presentations. 6 on Saturday is brutal. I would prefer moving 2 from Saturday, 1 to Friday and 1 to Sunday. People are really dragging by the last paper on Saturday.

None really.  

Actually, I think the conference was perfect. One small suggestion - more tea in the breaks.

I have no suggestions – I think it‘s a great thing.  It’s also a really nice way to introduce graduate students and young faculty to the profession.  The conference is laid back and small enough that you can really get to know people well.  My experience at Clio in 2006 secured my decision to study economic history and made the path to a career as a cliometrician much easier.

The conference was excellent and has very little need for improvement. 
The only suggestion I have is that the room would have been more
conducive to the discussion had it been more square and less of a
rectangle.   The  room caused participants at either end to have trouble
hearing the other side.

Continue like that.

I was very happy and would not change anything.