Essay Competition

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 2016

From the final shortlist of 19 essays drawn from a total entry of nearly 1700, the judging panel of Professor Sir Charles Bean (London School of Economics and an RES Past President), Stephanie Flanders (JP Morgan) and Professor Jonathan Haskel (Imperial College, London) have selected three winners and wish to congratulate them, together with all of the other students that made the short list.

The 2016 RES Young Economist of the Year is therefore Sherwood Lam of The King's School, Canterbury, who will receive the glass trophy and a prize of £1,000. Joint second place goes to George Keech of Bedford Modern School and  See Chung Yi of Raffles Institution, Singapore, each of whom will receive £500. The awards will be made at a ceremony before the RES Public Lecture on 29th November.

Read the YE 2016 Judges report here. Read the winning essays here.

Thank you to all students and schools who have taken part this year. Due to the large number of entries we regret that no feedback can be provided for individual essays but if you have queries about the submission process please contact directly here.


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

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. These pictures of the 2016 initial teaching team .

To select the winners from the final shortlist, the RES judges are Sir Charles Bean (former RES President, former deputy governor of the Bank of England), Stephanie Flanders ( award winning BBC journalist and Economics Editor, now J.P. Morgan Asset Management's chief market strategist for the UK and Europe) and Professor Jonathan Haskel (Imperial College and former elected member of RES Council).

2016 Final Shortlist and Highly Commended list
Read more about the progress of the judging process


Students should choose ONE of the following essay topics for 2016:

1. "Allowing more immigration of refugees would be good both for refugees and for the economies they come to." Discuss.

2. "Low interest rates penalise the thrifty, so the sooner the Bank of England raises interest rates the better." Discuss.

3. Should the government compensate households and businesses that get flooded out?

4. Further support is needed for first-time buyers in order to tackle the present unaffordability of housing. Do you agree?

5. Does rising inequality warrant the imposition of higher income and inheritance taxes on the rich?

6. Should internet companies like Uber and Airbnb be regulated?

You will find more resources and details on these topics at


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 2015 - Lok Yin Cheng  Winning Essays & Judges Report

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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