Think Tank launches student essay prize

The Dorian Fisher Memorial Prize is one of the Institute of Economic Affairs’ most popular essay competitions of the year and it is now inviting A-level and IB students to demonstrate their interest and knowledge of economics to be in with the chance to win a range of prizes.  

The winner of the essay competition will win a top prize of £500 and there is also a £500 prize for the school with the highest number of entrants.  

The top 20 essay entries will all be invited to a special one-day event at the Institute of Economic Affairs in the autumn term.  

The prize is named after Dorian Fisher, the wife of Institute of Economic Affairs founder Sir Antony Fisher, who was a great believer in the Institute’s work and committed to the cause of freedom and free markets.  

Entries 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) What challenges do systemic risks pose for economic thinking and analysis?  

(b) Are economic principles true and applicable in all times and places, or are they historically and contextually specific?  

(c) What does the term ‘innovation’ mean in economics and why is the phenomenon of innovation so important for economists?  

2. A 500-word answer to one of the following three questions:  

(a) What are rational expectations and why do they matter?  

(b) What are the differences between classical and neo-classical economics?  

(c) What are risk and uncertainty in economics and how are they different?  

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.  

The deadline for essay submissions is 30 July 2021. Details on how to enter the competition can be found here.  

Dr Steve Davies, head of education at the Institute of Economic Affairs, author of the essay questions and competition judge, said: “As an educational charity, we pride ourselves on encouraging students across the world to engage with economics and answer the critical questions facing our times.   

“Last year we received a record number of entries from a wide range of schools, and we encourage students of all abilities to get involved.    

“It is important that we nurture a new generation of students into an understanding of the importance of free market economics, and competitions like this really can inspire.”  

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