RES has made a number of changes to the competition this year to widen the entry criteria. The full details can be found in the updated rules. The 2021 competition is open to all year 12 and year 13 (S5 and S6 in Scotland, years 13 and 14 in Northern Ireland) students studying for A-Level, International Baccalaureate (IB) or Scottish Highers qualifications who either normally reside or are studying in the UK. Students do not need to be studying economics to be able to enter. Entrants to not have to be members of RES.
For the competition, students are asked to write an essay of up to 1,000 words on 1 of 5 given topics. This year the 5 questions are:
- When, if ever, is it a good idea for central banks to set interest rates below zero?
- How is Brexit going to change the economic geography of the UK?
- Will the legacy of COVID be an economically more unequal world?
- Technological change means that the wage gap between the skilled and unskilled will simply keep growing. Do you agree with this assessment?
- We will fail to address climate change because Covid-19 showed we are unable to muster a concerted global response to common crises. Do you agree?
A guidance note on essay writing is available here.
The competition has five prizes, with 1 awarded for the best overall essay and a further 5 for the best essays within each category. The overall winner will receive a prize of £1,000. The winner will also have the opportunity for their essay to be published in the FT. The best essay on each of the 5 questions will receive a prize of £200.
A poster for the competition can be downloaded Young-Economist-of-the-Year-Essay-Competition-2021. The competition will close at 23.59 on 25 July 2021.