In the Spring term of each year, any school students studying UK GCSE, A level, SQC Intermediate 2/Highers or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are invited to write a unique essay of between 1,000 to 2,500 words, on a subject set by the President of the Royal Economic Society, calling on key elements of their studies, examples from the world around them and imaginative discussion. Applications for each year's essay topics are managed online through our partners tutor2u, the UK's leading online educational publisher who provide advice and resources to assist students. (View Tutor2U's blog and video on referencing)
RES Young Economist of the Year 2017 is now closed.
Congratulations to our 2017 Joint Winners:
Louise Averill(King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon) - Read Essay
Matthew Thorne (King's College Taunton) - Read Essay
For the Judges Report - Click Here
For a list of Finalists and Highly Commended Entries - Click Here
Due to the large number of entries we regret that no feedback can be provided for individual essays.
Students had to choose from the following essay topics:
1. A recent UK tribunal case has found that Uber drivers are not self-employed and so should be paid the minimum wage and holiday pay. Is this to the advantage of actual and potential drivers or not?
2. Some politicians have proposed a maximum wage to lessen inequality. From an economics perspective, do you think it is good idea?
3. “Governments should raise the public science budget, to boost flagging UK productivity growth”. Do you agree? Explain your answer.
4. “Having more grammar schools would help raise education levels and opportunities”. Do you agree? Explain your answer.
5. “If you don't look after your health, you can't expect free access to healthcare”. Is this wrong? What are the economic arguments?
6. A report (Hendryreview.wordpress.com) has recently concluded that it's worth investing in tidal lagoon systems even though the energy produced is expensive. What are the key judgements and assumptions which lead to this conclusion and how would you challenge them?
You will find more resources and details on these topics at tutor2U.net
The winner of the Young Economist of the Year receives an award and wins £1,000, with runners-up each receiving £500. All those on the final shortlist or highly commended lists will receive a certificate from our partners in the competition, the online educational resource publisher tutor2U.net.
Who is judging the competition?
Tutor2u arranges a panel of over 20 Economics teacher judges from across the UK, who meet over two days to read through all of the entries and put together a shortlist of essays for final judging and also a list of highly commended entries from the 2016 competition which are then passed to the Royal Economic Society for the final judging. The RES judging panel in 2017 will be made up of: Andrew Chesher (President, RES), Jonathan Haskel (Imperial College London), Bridget Rosewell (Volterra Partners) and Alvin Birdi (Economics Network and University of Bristol).
The deadline for submitting essays was Sunday, 9th July 2017 at 2359 hours (GMT).
Previous Years’ Essay Titles and Competition Winners
From this page, you can link to the Essay titles and Competition winners and runners-up, their essays and the judges' reports from previous years:
RES Young Economist of the Year 2016 - Sherwood Lam. 2016 Winning Essays & Judges Report
RES Young Economist of the Year 2015 - Lok Yin Cheng. 2015 Winning Essays & Judges Report
RES Young Economist of the Year 2014 - Kartik Vira. 2014 Winning Essays & Judges Report
RES Young Economist of the Year 2013 - Ellie Heatherill. 2013 Winning Essays & Judges Report
RES Young Economist of the Year 2012 - Calum You. 2012 Winning Essays & Judges Report
RES Young Economist of the Year 2011 - Mayank Banarjee. 2011 Winning Essays & Judges Report
RES Young Economist of the Year 2010 - Jessica Hawley. 2010 Winning Essays & Judges Report
RES Young Economist of the Year 2009 - Tiffany Young. 2009 Winning Essay and Judges Report
RES Young Economist of the Year 2008 - Lizzy Burden & Promit Anwar. 2008 Winning Essays & Judges Report
RES Young Economist of the Year 2007 - Zoe Hart. 2007 Judges Report
IEA Essay Competition
The Dorian Fisher Memorial Prize
We are delighted to present this year’s competition for A- Level and IB students, with a prize of £500 for the entry judged best and £250 each for the three runners up. There is also a prize of £500 for the school with the highest number of entrants. The four top winners, along with the other best entries, will all be invited to a special one-day event at the IEA in the Autumn term, at which they will be given a certificate and the award. The competition is open to students studying International Baccalaureate or A Level and equivalent at institutions outside the UK. Entries from the UK should be submitted by post to Dr S. Davies, Head of Education, Institute of Economic Affairs, 2 Lord North Street, London SW1P 3LB. Entries from outside the UK may be submitted by email. The final deadline for this year’s competition is Friday 27th July. The prize for this competition is named after Dorian Fisher, the wife of Sir Anthony Fisher, founder of the IEA, who was a longtime supporter of the Institute and its work.
An entry to the competition should contain the following three pieces of work.
1. A short essay, of roughly 1,200 words, on one of the following questions:
(a) Is economic calculation only possible when productive assets are privately owned, and traded? If so why is this, if not why not?
(b) How might we use market mechanisms to mitigate or resolve environmental problems?
(c) Is an increase in the proportion of the adult population in paid employment always a good thing and if so why?
2. A 500 word answer to one of the following three questions:
(a) What part do the concepts of knowledge and ignorance play in economic thinking?
(b) Are there inherent problems with the idea of market failure?
(c) What is the difference between risk and uncertainty and why does this matter in economics?
3. A 500 word answer to the following question.
Identify an area of economics that you think should be given more attention in the A- Level or IB syllabus and say why this is so.
Anyone wishing to enter the competition should feel free to contact the IEA for guidance about selected reading by sending an email to [email protected]. The email should have “essay competition” in the subject line.