Documenting regional science exceptionalism: What's special about WRSA?

Rachel S. Franklin, David A. Plane, Warren Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Although many regional science associations exist around the world, members of the Western Regional Science Association have long maintained that the WRSA is special. In an effort to measure this sentiment, a survey of the Western Regional Science Association's membership was conducted in early 2011 in advance of the Association's 50th anniversary conference. The survey prompted respondents for both quantitative information, in terms of number of meetings attended and basic socio-demographic characteristics, as well as more qualitative information, such as favorite meeting locations and meeting recollections. This paper provides an analysis of both the quantitative and narrative elements of the survey. In addition, it provides a profile of current membership, based on survey respondents. The results suggest that respondents do, indeed, view the WRSA as "special", and that this sentiment is a result of both longstanding conference quality and an environment of collegiality and friendship. The paper closes with an assessment of potential future challenges to the Association's "exceptionalism" and an expression of hopes for the next 50 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-403
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Regional Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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