The editorial board of the Economic Tribune is organising this competition to provide a platform for future economists and wider social scientists to demonstrate their ability to write persuasive essays.

The competition invites undergraduate students within the UK to explore a wide range of thought-provoking questions and share their perspective on the relevant socio-economic questions of today.

The top 10 short-listed entries will be judged by the CTaLE (Centre for Teaching and Learning Economics) team at the UCL Economics Department. The top 3 entrants will receive Amazon vouchers, as well as having their essay featured in our December print issue.

27 SEPT 2021

Competition Open

21 NOV 2021

Deadline for submission

14 JAN 2022

Result Announced

This year's essay questions

Cryptocurrencies and Financial Inclusion

Over 1.5 billion people around the world do not have access to bank accounts, primarily due to precarious infrastructure.


Discuss how cryptocurrencies can help underdeveloped nations towards financial inclusion.

Battling COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has led many countries to introduce restrictive lockdown policies to control infection spread. Vaccine passports have been proposed as a way of erasing the harm of such policies.

Should vaccine passports be introduced? 

Return of Inflation

Is the U.S. heading towards a wage-price spiral?


  • Entrants would be expected to submit an essay on one of the 3 essay questions mentioned above.

  • Word Limit is 1200 words.


  • This competition is only open to undergraduate students enrolled in a UK-based university.

    Applicants may note that they would be expected to upload a proof, showing that they are enrolled in a UK based university.

    Eg: Student ID card or Statement of Student Acceptance


  • Your submitted essay should be your own original work. It can refer to work done by academics, but they must be referenced appropriately. (we suggest you follow Harvard Style)

  • You cannot make any revisions to the essay once it is submitted

  • Late submissions will not be considered

  • Personal data relating to the entrants would be only used for the purpose of the competition and not disclosed to any other party without prior consent.

  • The work submitted here should not have been sent for publication in any other journal or in any other competition.

  • The winner and the runners up would be contacted via the email which they have used to submit the essay. 

  • Plagiarized essays will be disqualified immediately. 

  • The Economic Tribune and Economist’s Society reserve the final right to make amendments to the above terms and conditions and select the winners of the competition. 

Last year's winners:

Congratulations to the following competitors for coming on top for the essay competition. 


Maha Khalid


Sean Ooi

I’m currently a first-year student studying Economics. I enjoy learning about development economics and issues surrounding inequality, so I thought writing an essay about equitable vaccine distribution would be quite interesting, which it definitely was! Despite the COVID-19 vaccine being in the news almost every day, I didn’t actually know much about the practicalities of its allocation, so I really enjoyed researching initiatives like COVAX and the ACT Accelerator. I think fair distribution of the vaccine is both a concerning and pressing issue, so it was quite comforting to find out that so many countries have pledged to support and fund vaccine programmes around the world, and hopefully we’ll start to see the effects of these initiatives soon.

Hi all! My essay summarises the impact of recent regulatory changes in the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) investing scene, detailing the issues that currently plague the fledging industry and its future prospects. Do give it a read and I hope it adds some value to your understanding of green investing!

I am currently studying Economics at UCL and hold a significant interest in retail investment - currently managing my finances with a diversified portfolio of financial products consisting of index and mutual funds and hand-picked stocks. Inspiration for the essay arose from the global environmentalism push which sparked my curiosity with regard to ESG investing, especially considering the increasing pressure on firms to incorporate ESG elements.

I believe that ESG investing will gain increasing traction as demographics become more focused on sustainability and a greater proportion of existing investors recognise its value proposition. If not for a love of the environment, perhaps for a love of absolute returns?


Terence Wong

Hi! I am Terence and a first-year Economics Student. I am someone who enjoys doing sports but enjoys eating a lot! I have a keen interest in the Fintech industry and would love to explore in that area in the future!  

I believe that many of us have seen fake news on our social media platforms and it has been so pervasive that it is hard for us to tell whether the news we see are real. Such misinformation has resulted in many falling prey – from individual financial losses to causing social discontent. Such unregulated fake news online has proven to be extremely dangerous in today’s digital age. Hence, I found it interesting to be debating in whether the government regulatory authorities or the private players would do a better job combating fake news. While I personally feel that private players would do a better job, the success of combating fake news should lie on how discerning the readers are towards the information they receive.