Should AEA hold conference in Canada?

Some members of the American Economics Association recently wrote to the AEA asking them to move its 2023 meetings away from New Orleans and its 2024 meetings away from Texas. Their stated reason is that Louisiana and Texas have laws that greatly restrict abortion. They write:

These restrictions on healthcare impose an unreasonable, differential burden on young women in the economics profession, who are forced to balance the risk of unavailable medical care needs in Louisiana with their professional obligation to attend the annual meeting.

My Hoover colleague John Cochran has discussed the issues quite thoroughly.

Their appeal to the AEA made me think of something else. Will these applicants also speak in favor of not holding an AEA conference in Canada?

Here is a quote from a June 25 article on

According to Action Canada, women in Canada wait an average of one to two weeks for an abortion and up to five weeks for care for a post-term abortion.

So if the meetings are held in Canada, it will be more difficult for young women they are concerned about to have an abortion in Canada.

Here is another quote from the same story:

“While we have the full rights to this service, that does not mean that it is widely available,” said Kelly Bowden, director of policy, advocacy and government relations at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights.

This quote sums up the essence of single-provider: You have the right to healthcare, but that doesn’t mean you get it. As I once put it in a radio interview where I was discussing the Canadian Medicare system:

Medicare Canada does not guarantee that you will receive medical care; It ensures that you can Aligned For medical services.

There it is now Is A silver lining from the same article, which applicants may refer to the AEA:

Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Canadian Abortion Rights Coalition, said most of the clinics in power are in Toronto and Montreal. But clinics are hard to find in the western Canadian province, meaning women in states like North Dakota and South Dakota – which may soon face new restrictions – will have difficulty finding services. He said it could also promote a system where Canadian practitioners prefer Americans who pay cash. (Added italics.)

“We want to help Americans but it’s difficult because we want to take care of Canadians first,” Arthur said. “This could be the result of a two-tier system.”

So applicants may not mind holding an AEA meeting in Canada because there is a relatively free market for medical services for non-Canadians in Canada. I’ve heard weirder things than economists in favor of the free market.

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