Essay competition

Essay Competition


Winner of the 2016 Dorian Fisher Memorial Prize

The IEA is delighted to announce the results of this year’s Dorian Fisher Prize Essay Competition. The winner of the First Prize was Cameron Logan, of Royal Grammar School High Wycombe with an essay answering the question “Recently the World Bank revealed that the proportion of the world’s population living on less than $1.25 a day had fallen below 10%. How and why did this happen?”.

The three runners up prizes were awarded to Ibrahim Abdu of the Judd School for an essay on the topic of “Why should behavioural economics lead us to be sceptical about both some mainstream economics and calls for larger government?”, and Jermaine Nsubuga of the Latymer School and Linya Peng of Stephen Perse School, Cambridge. They both answered the question “In the light of several countries now having negative nominal interest rates, can monetary policy have any real-world macroeconomic effects and what might they be?”.

The prize for the school with the highest number of entries was recaptured by Queen Elizabeth’s School Barnet, with Royal Grammar School High Wycombe, who had taken it for the last two years, coming second. There were honourable mentions in this category for Rugby School and the Judd School. At the individual level in addition to the four prize winners the judges noted a number of other outstanding entries, including but not limited to Rohan Radia (QE Barnet), Adam Wicks (RGSHW), Nikil Shah, (QE Barnet), Marium Tahir (St Wilfrid’s High School), Carmen Olnos (Fulneck School), Jack Syder-Mills (Adams Grammar School), and Luke Masom (Cheadle Hulme School). The prize winners and those who placed in the top sixteen will be invited, with their parents, to an awards event and presentation to be held at the IEA on October 19th.

The IEA’s Head of Education, Dr Steve Davies, said: “Once again we have had a set of entries of the highest quality from a wide range of schools and establishments, the majority of which had not participated in any of the last five years. The questions were challenging and raised issues that professional economists are very divided about and so it was a real pleasure to see such thoughtful engagement with the issues they raised. Many of the entries showed wide reading on subjects only recently introduced to the syllabus such as behavioural economics, and serious and original thinking about such questions as the nature and definition of global poverty and how to remove it, and the new monetary world that we seem to be entering. On the evidence of this year’s entries the future of the economics profession is bright”.

The IEA’s Annual Essay Competition receives thousands of entries and awards hundreds of pounds to sixth formers across the country.

Please Note: Submissions for the 2017 essay competition will open in Spring.

2016 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 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.

Entries should be submitted by post to Dr S. Davies, Head of Education, Institute of Economic Affairs, 2 Lord North Street, London SW1P 3LB.

The final deadline for this year’s competition is Friday 29th July.

An entry to the competition should contain the following three pieces of work.

1) A short essay, of roughly 1,300 words, on one of the following questions:

(a) Why should behavioural economics lead us to be sceptical about some mainstream economics and calls for larger government?

(b) Recently the World Bank revealed that the proportion of the world’s population living on less than $1.25 a day had fallen below 10%. How and why did this happen?

(c) In light of several countries now having negative nominal interest rates, can monetary policy have any real world macro-economic effects and what might they be?

2) A 500-word answer to one of the following two questions:

(a) What does ‘entrepreneurship’ mean to economists and why do they think it is important?

(b) Why is the concept of time preference such an important one for many economists?

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.