IEA Student Essay Competition

Competition introduction

IEA Student Essay Competition Global High School Economics Essay Academic Activity (abbreviation: IEA Essay) is a Student Essay Competition student essay academic activity hosted by the Institute of Economic Affairs (abbreviation: IEA), a British free market think tank. This academic event is open to all students studying A-Level and IB courses around the world every year to compete for the pound cash prize.

The IEA was founded in 1955 to improve understanding of the basic institutions of a free society by analyzing and elaborating on the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. It has collaborated with many of the world's top economists, such as numerous Nobel Prize winners in economics Home, and has published papers, books and articles by 12 Nobel Prize winners.

The 2019 academic event is named The Dorian Fisher Memorial Prize. Dorian Fisher is not only the wife of IEA founder Anthony Fisher, but also has long supported the work and operation of IEA.

The IEA Essay Competition improves understanding of the basic institutions of a free society by analyzing and elaborating on the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

competition rules

Submission deadline

January 26, 2024

For students (grades 11-12)

Global IB or A-Level high school students


Papers must be answered in English

Prize settings

Top-ranked entrants will be invited to special events during the IEA spring semester.

First place (first in the world) £500 reward

Second place (third in the world) £250

High school with the largest student population in the world wins £500

Suitable for A-LEVEL and IB students worldwide

Global High School Economics Essay Competition IEA Essay Competition – Popular Questions

Every season, three economics questions will be posted on the IEA official website, and participating students must answer and submit all questions as required. Topics cover various economic fields such as macroeconomics, public economics, and financial economics.

1. Write a short essay of about 1,200 words on one of the following questions

(a) Why is the inflation being experienced by the U.K. proving to be more ‘sticky’ than expected?

(b) Why is it that some laws and policies that almost all economists think are misguided (eg protectionism, fossil fuel subsidies, rent control, the Jones Act) attract popular support and are very hard to reverse?

(c) Should countries be looking to adopt an ‘industrial policy’? If yes then why, if not then why not?

2. Use 500 words to answer any of the following questions

(a) How do different schools of economics understand the concept of ‘equilibrium’?

(b) What is ‘money’ as a concept in economic thinking?

3. Use 500 words to answer the following questions

Why and how does time matter in economics?

Work requirements

Before submission, it is recommended to conduct final confirmation based on the following inspection items:

word count of answer

Be sure not to exceed 5% of the specified word count. (References are not included in the word count)


Use Harvard style and include appropriate citations and references in your paper.


If you choose to include diagrams, make sure they are clear, readable, and relevant to the text content.

Check for plagiarism

Make sure the work is free of plagiarism or incorrectly cited content.

file format

All papers or answers have been combined into one Word document or PDF.

Email sending

Specify the email address Include your name and school information.

Competition value

Improve academic research capabilities

The IEA collaborates with many economists, and some of their papers and books become competition questions and reference materials every year. As a result, the difficulty of the competition reaches the undergraduate level and beyond, which is extremely challenging for high school students. As a result, students can greatly improve their academic writing and critical thinking skills while challenging themselves.

Help you apply to highly competitive prestigious schools

IEA is a valuable competition in the fields of humanities and social sciences. Regardless of whether you win or not, the process of participating in the competition will also become an important and high-quality material for future application materials. At the same time, students' carefully polished works can serve as writing samples and other additional materials. Submit to the colleges to which you are applying to highlight a student's passion for economics.

Basic preparation for college courses

The topics covered by thesis topics partially overlap with college economics courses, allowing students to gain an early understanding of the scope and difficulty of college economics courses. In addition, students can fully experience the process of standard university-level academic writing and research when preparing for competitions and polishing their works, laying a solid foundation for university life.

Global High School Economics Essay Competition IEA Essay - Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can students from all over the world participate?

Only open to all high school students studying A-Level and IB courses around the world.

2. Do I need to submit all three articles?

Yes, each student is required to complete and submit all three questions.

3. Can only high school students in grades 11-12 participate?

Yes, although the competition does not limit nationality or region, the requirements must be high school students in grades 11-12.

4. Do I need to have studied A-Level Economics to participate?

There is no requirement that you have studied anything before you can participate, but it is best to have some exposure to international economics.

5. Can references be cited in the text? Does it count towards the word count?

It is recommended to state the sources of the bibliography. The bibliography does not count towards the word count, but the embedded bibliography section does.

6. Can charts be used in answers?

Yes, but not mandatory.

7. Is the word limit for large titles very strict?

Yes, your answer cannot exceed 5% of the specified word count. I hope candidates can strictly control their word count.

8. What style of references should I use?

Harvard style references are preferred. Operation guide address:

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