Whitman prof is managing editor, creates "Mercedes" of wine journals


            A recent partnership between Whitman College and associate professor of economics Karl Storchmann has resulted in the birth of “The Journal of Wine Economics.” Published for the first time in May, the fledgling journal is a rich blend of the vision and effort of Storchmann, the scholarly papers written by international economists and the support and funding of Whitman College.


            The idea for the journal stemmed from Storchmann’s involvement in the international Vineyard Data Quantification Society, which includes about 100 economists from around the world including Storchmann, a German national who has been a member of the group for eight years. The group meets once a year for a conference that is equal parts scholarly work and elegant wine tasting and dining in exotic locals from Budapest to Nampa to Rome. (Storchmann premiered the journal at the society’s May meeting in Bordeaux, France, to rave reviews.)


            The society economists had frequently talked about needing a journal to showcase the wonderful scholarly papers written by important economists but nothing came of it until Storchmann turned the talk into action. When he left a position at Yale University, he specifically sought a job at a college that would be willing to sponsor a wine economics journal. Whitman administrators agreed to cover most costs for the first two years, and Storchmann began teaching at Whitman in the fall of 2005. The fact that Whitman is surrounded by the burgeoning Walla Walla Valley Wine Appellation was a bonus.


            Scholarly papers in Vol. 1, No. 1, of the journal are filled with math and theory and written by wine economists with other economists in mind, said Storchmann, but some winemakers and connoisseurs might also enjoy it. For example, Daniel McFadden, a UC Berkeley professor who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2000, contributed a piece about research on interstate wine shipments and e-commerce. Storchmann describes the journal as one-of-a-kind, the “Mercedes of wine journals.” The authors, he said, are the “superstars” of the economics world.


            For more information about the journal or the association, please go to the American Association of Wine Economists’ Web site at www.wine-economics.org.     




CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156

Email: parishlj@whitman.edu