Essay Competition

In the Spring term of each year, any school students studying UK A level 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)

The essays are judged by a team of school judges organised by tutor2U with the final list of winners judged by the President of the RES and 2 expert judges (usually elected members of the RES Council). The winner of the Young Economist of the Year prize is announced in August each year, with the prize presentation to be made at the RES Annual Public Lecture in London. 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 tutor2U.

Due to the large number of entries we regret that no feedback can be provided for individual essays.

RES Young Economist Competition 2015


From the final shortlist of 20 essays drawn from a total entry of over 2100, the judging panel of Professor Sir Charles Bean (London School of Economics and RES Past President), Stephanie Flanders (JP Morgan) and Professor Jonathan Haskel (Imperial College, London) have selected four winners and wish to congratulate them, together with all of the other students that made the short list. The overall standard was again high, with an increasing number of entries from international schools.

The winner of the RES Young Economist of the Year competition 2015  is:

Lok Yin Cheng of Westminster School, London, writing on "Does the economic case favour a new airport runway at Heathrow, Gatwick or elsewhere?”, who will receive the glass trophy and a prize of £1,000.

Second place goes to Hamish Hatrick of Eton College, Windsor whose essay discussed “It is immoral for the drug companies to charge large sums for drugs that are cheap to manufacture.” (£500).

And joint third place, both receiving £250, goes to: Neil Gibbons of King’s Cathedral School, Peterborough for an essay on “The rising gap between rich and poor is not just bad for society, it is bad for growth"; and Ellen To of Streatham and Clapham High School, Clapham, who examined the topic,  "Countries like Greece caused the Eurozone crisis by running up too much debt, so it is only fair that they should bear most of the burden of fixing it"

All winners have been invited to an award ceremony to take place at the RES Annual Public lecture at the Royal Institution in London on Tuesday 24 November 2015.
View the 2015 judges report.
View the 2015 winning essays.

 A list of highly commended entries and also a list of the schools and colleges from the UK and overseas that joined in the 2015 competition is published by tutor2u and  here.

The 2015 essay topics were:
1. “Countries like Greece caused the Eurozone crisis by running up too much debt, so it is only fair that they should bear most of the burden of fixing it." Discuss.
2. Should the Government support manufacturing? If so, how?
3. Should raising GDP be the primary objective of economic policy?
4. “The rising gap between rich and poor is not just bad for society, it is bad for growth." Discuss.
5. Should “fracking” be allowed? If so, who should benefit?
6. “It is immoral for the drug companies to charge large sums for drugs that are cheap to manufacture.” Discuss.
7. "High saving promotes faster growth. So having more savers in the global economy should be good for our long run prosperity."
8. “Does the economic case favour a new airport runway at Heathrow, Gatwick or elsewhere?”

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 2014 - Kartik Vira  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 Judges Report & winning essay

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 Report.

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