Elizabeth Baldwin and Shaun Ji-Thompson.
Elizabeth Baldwin and Shaun Ji-Thompson.
28 September 2016

Two students from The University of Queensland have claimed the top spots in a prestigious national economics competition.

Elizabeth Baldwin from the UQ School of Economics won the 2016 Reserve Bank of Australia and Economic Society of Australia Economics Competition, after devoting 10 hours a week in her winter break to delivering the winning 2000-word essay.

“I can go a bit over the top with research, but it’s because I really enjoy the process,” Elizabeth said.

“I’m really interested in the real-world context rather than pure theory so the policy topics suited me well.

“That’s what I tried to bring into my essay, I looked at behavioural economics and the practical effect of different policies, not just textbook macroeconomic theory.” 

Her essay is available here.

Her classmate Shaun Ji-Thompson took second prize, and said he spent a lot of time keeping up with financial news and economic shifts.

“Macroeconomics fascinates me because our whole lives are affected by this one mechanism,” he said.

“It should be looked at not only from a business perspective, but also a social perspective because interest rates affect our retirement, our savings and our livelihood.

“It’s such a big thing and people need to be more aware to plan their lifetime wealth.”

His submission is available here.

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Professor Iain Watson said the competition attracted the nation’s top economics students, so having two from UQ top the table was a testament to the standard of work from UQ economics students.

“In the latest Excellence in Research for Australia rankings, UQ’s research in economics ranked above or well-above world standard, and our graduates are among the most highly sought-after in Australia, according to the 2015 Graduate Destination Survey,” Professor Watson said.

Students were asked to write an essay considering how a low interest rate environment might affect conventional monetary transmission channels, and to discuss alternative economic policy options.

The 2016 RBA/ESA Economics Competition was run in conjunction with the Economic Society of Australia and the University of New South Wales Economics Society.

Media: Sarah Brischetto; 07 3365 4959, s.brischetto@uq.edu.au