VU pioneer honoured at global economic conference in Melbourne

Victoria University’s Centre of Policy Studies will announce the inaugural recipients of the Ken Pearson Scholarship at a major global economic conference in Melbourne tonight.

Recipients Dr Heinrich Bohlmann and PhD Student Giacomo Schwarz will be named at the 18th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, hosted by VU’s Centre of Policy Studies and the Purdue University’s Global Trade Analysis Project.

The scholarship honours Professor Ken Pearson who pioneered economic modelling software known as GEMPACK, now used by 650 key global institutions including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation, universities and multinational companies.

VU Centre of Policy Studies Professor Peter Dixon said worldwide tributes continue to flow for Professor Pearson who passed away last month. He said Professor Pearson democratised the field of Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling, and linked those who use it around the world.

“Ken’s GEMPACK software results can be readily analysed and constructively challenged in policy debates ranging across trade, finance, industry, microeconomic reform, the environment, immigration, labour markets, and natural disasters.  Through GEMPACK, Ken has enabled economists without computational expertise to build and apply sophisticated models,” he said.

Professor Dixon congratulated the inaugural recipients of the Ken Pearson Scholarship, Dr Heinrich Bohlmann and Giacomo Schwarz.

Dr Heinrich Bohlmann is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Pretoria in South Africa where he specialises in economic policy research using CGE modelling methods.

Giacomo Schwarz is a visiting PhD student at ETH Zurich and the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, whose research focuses on the economic assessment of more stringent climate regulations.

The Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis runs from June 17-19 at the Melbourne Convention Centre. For more information on the conference please see the conference program (PDF, 3MB).

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