Essay Competition

The Marshall Society

 “The ideas of economists… both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood… Indeed the world is ruled by little else” 

    J. M. Keynes (General Theory, 1936)

Essay Competition 2023


We received over 750 eligible submissions this year, with each one being hand-read and marked by our panellists at the University of Cambridge. Overall, we were thoroughly impressed by the quality of the responses to some of the most challenging questions in the competition’s history. We would like to thank every student that submitted an essay this year, and extend our warmest congratulations to the winners and shortlisted essays named below.

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2023 Marshall Society Essay Competition is David Lu of Raffles Institution, Singapore. David’s essay in response to Question 4 deftly balanced advanced economic theories with real-world data, clear explanations, and rhetorical flair, and was a pleasure to read. We look forward to publishing it in the forthcoming issue of The Dismal Scientist, the magazine of the Marshall Society, and awarding our top prize of £50.

In 2nd place is You Peng of Shenzhen College of International Education, China. Peng’s essay in response to Question 2 was theoretically advanced and well structured, and we would’ve liked to see even more real-world application. It will likewise be published and receive a finalist prize of £25.

In 3rd place is Hanyun Qian of Suzhou Foreign Language School, China. Hanyun’s essay in response to Question 5 was extremely original, insightful, and entertaining to read, and we would’ve liked to see an even tighter focus on the question set. It will likewise be published and receive a finalist prize of £25.

Our shortlisted essays, in no particular order, were as follows:

Name School Question
Samuel Grosz St Paul’s School 1
Shengxuan Xiao Beijing 101 High School 1
Zanzao Chen Shenzhen College of International Education 2
Liu Junyi Nanyang Junior College 2
Chiyu Lee King’s School Canterbury 2
Zhiwen Xie WLSA Shanghai Academy 2
Jack Tan International Department, Affiliated High School of South China Normal University 2
Hoi Ching Ng (Catherine) Utahloy International School Guangzhou 4
Jianheng Ma Rothesay Netherwood School 4
Chen Yonghan Beijing No.4 High School International Campus 5
Feier Su Shenzhen College of International Education 6
Keiwan Tin Brampton College 6

To everyone that took part in the competition, thank you for the time and care spent in preparing your essay, and all the best for your future studies. We hope you’re looking forward to the 2024 edition of the essay competition.

A reminder of the essay questions set this year is as follows:

  1. In what ways could Artificial Intelligence reshape the labour market? Will it usher in Keynes’ ‘age of leisure’?
  2. ‘Policymakers can’t exploit the Phillips curve to reduce unemployment due to the Lucas critique.’ Evaluate this statement.
  3. The US Federal Child Tax Credit is scheduled to revert from $2,000 to $1,000 by 2025. Is this policy a mistake?
  4. Tensions between the US and China have been steadily increasing. Is it in the US’ interest to decouple from China economically?
  5. ‘There were no meaningful long-run changes in living standards until the Industrial Revolution.’ Discuss.
  6. Has Economics run out of big new ideas? If so, what are the implications? If not, justify with an example.