The Marshall Society Essay Competition 2018

The Marshall Society, the Economics society of the University of Cambridge, is pleased to announce the opening of its annual essay competition. This is an opportunity for all students currently working towards A-levels, the IB or equivalent qualifications to demonstrate their ability to write a convincing and well-structured essay. Emphasis should be placed on sound explanation of economic theory and well-reasoned arguments, drawing on relevant real-world evidence. Entrants are advised to make their essays as concise as the topic allows: the guideline is 1500 words. As always, we encourage students to produce their own titles, but they should equally feel free to use any of the suggested titles listed below should they wish to do so:

  1. What are arguments for subsidising education? Is there a case for taxing it?
  2. To what extent is it in the United States’ interest to initiate a ‘trade war’ with China?
  3. Do common currencies create more problems than they solve?
  4. Is a cashless society conceivable?
  5. Do free markets offer the best solutions to environmental problems?
  6. What role does asymmetric information play in financial markets?

Entries should be submitted via email attachment to (please ensure that it is attached as either a Microsoft Word or PDF file, and is titled in the format ‘Last Name, First Name’). The email should contain your full name, school, date of birth and a declaration of any assistance you received from teachers or tutors.

The deadline for essay submissions is 11:59pm 31st July 2018.

 The essays will be judged individually and the shortlist, runners up, and winner will be announced in September. The author of the winning essay will also receive £50; the two runners up will receive £25 each.

In addition to this, a selection of the best essays will be published in the 2018-2019 edition of the Marshall Society’s magazine, The Dismal Scientist. If you have any queries regarding the competition, please contact the magazine editor at

Please also observe that by entering you agree to the terms and conditions listed below:

  1. Your submitted essay must be your work alone and any assistance given to you whilst writing your essay must be declared in your email.
  2. You cannot make any revisions to your essay once it has been submitted.
  3. Only students studying in sixth form or below (graduating in 2018 or later) or any international equivalent are eligible. Please note that you do not have to be studying in the UK to enter.
  4. Any personal data relating to entrants will be used solely for the purpose of this competition and will not be disclosed to any third parties for any purpose without prior consent.
  5. The essay that is entered may not be entered into any other competition.
  6. The winner, runners up and those with shortlisted essays will be contacted via the email used to submit the essay. Unfortunately, any other feedback will not be possible to any of the entrants.
  7. The Marshall Society reserves the final right, where necessary, to make amendments to the above terms and conditions and to select the winners of the competition.