ASCE was founded in 1990 and since 1991, the Association’s principal activity has been its Annual Meetings, held in Miami, Florida, in late July or early August with the exceptions of 2020 and 2021 when the meetings were held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and 2022 when they were held in September. During a three-day period, scholars, and professional and private entrepreneurs (including those from Cuba) present papers and participate in roundtable discussions. Papers, comments, presentations, and discussions, as well as roundtable summaries, were included in a volume of papers and proceedings entitled “Cuba in Transition” from 1991 through 2020/2021. Beginning with the 2022 proceedings, the meeting presentations will only be posted on the ASCE website. ASCE’s activities have been traditionally financed through annual membership dues, the sale of publications, and donations by universities, foundations, and individual sponsors.
The thirty volumes of ASCE’s proceedings from 1991 through 2021 are widely used inside and outside of Cuba by scholars, universities, research centers, government agencies, and others. Papers from these volumes are also available in electronic form in the Publications Section of the ASCE website, under Annual Proceedings.
Among the wide range of topics covered in the past annual meetings and collected in the proceedings are the current socio-economic and political situation and reform in Cuba; lessons from transition economies; stabilization proposals and a wide spectrum of fiscal and monetary policy issues; social security and social safety net; governance; legal aspects of transition, such as property rights and privatization; agricultural issues, with particular emphasis on the sugar sector; labor; foreign investment; tourism; the environment; the balance of payments and trade policies; exchange rate policy; external debt problems; and foreign assistance requirements.
For a number of years, ASCE has maintained a blog in its website where topical issues are addressed outside of the schedule of the Annual Meetings. Some recent topics discussed in the blog include the aftermath of the monetary reform of 2021; handling the dollar crunch; and inflation and macro policies in Cuba. Since 2021, ASCE circulates a monthly basis newsletter titled “Happenings in ASCE” where publications and activities of ASCE members in Cuba are publicized.
ASCE also sponsors sessions on Cuba at the annual meetings of the American Economic Association (AEA) with which it is associated. Every other year, ASCE hosts the Carlos Diaz Alejandro Lecture at a luncheon held at the AEA meetings, or at appropriate venues in Washington, D.C. or at the time of the Annual Meetings of ASCE. This lecture was established in honor of the most distinguished Cuban American economist of his generation, the late Carlos Diaz-Alejandro, Professor of Economics at Yale, Minnesota, and Columbia universities.
ASCE also sponsors student prizes, consisting of a stipend and the opportunity to present at the Annual Meetings for best undergraduate and graduate student papers on Cuban economic and other social issues. Visit ASCE’s student prize. ASCE is encouraging independent economic research inside Cuba by encouraging young researchers on the island to enter this student competition.
ASCE seeks to broaden its contacts with economic and social science associations outside the United States and to encourage economists and other social scientists from outside the United States to participate in its Annual Meetings.