Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) – Next Generation Economics Competition 2024

The FCDO is calling on UK school students to tackle significant economic issues in their writing. They hope to Encourage students to share their ideas on key economic challenges affecting their generation. The FCDO, responsible for representing UK interests worldwide, relies on economists to address and analyze global issues.

Next Generation Economics Competition

Inspire future economists by showcasing how economics is essential in solving pressing policy dilemmas.

Promote diversity and open-mindedness among the upcoming cohort of economists. They welcome entries from students of all backgrounds, regardless of their familiarity with economics.

Competition themes

To participate, you can submit a letter addressing one of these four prompts:

  • Claudia Goldin, the 2023 Nobel Prize laureate, suggests that unequal sharing of caregiving and household responsibilities contributes to the gender pay gap. What policies could governments implement to increase women’s involvement in the workforce?
  • Efforts to reduce carbon emissions on a global scale are driving demand for clean energy technology and critical minerals. How can developing countries rich in these materials capitalize on the demand to stimulate economic growth?
  • Climate change and the impact of global conflicts on international supply chains have heightened the risk to food security. What interventions can governments worldwide undertake to mitigate this risk?
  • The UN reports that 3.3 billion people reside in countries where debt interest payments surpass expenditures on health or education. What measures could governments worldwide adopt to ensure that debt does not hinder investment in development?


The prizes up for grabs include:

  • A cash award of £500 for the winner
  • £250 for each of the 2 runners-up
  • £100 for each of the 5 shortlisted entrants
  • The winner will have the opportunity to present their essay to Adnan Khan, FCDO Chief Economist
  • The 8 highest ranking participants, who need to be located in the UK, will receive a trip to the FCDO and the London School of Economics in London, fully funded. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to meet with one of the co-directors of the Hub for Equal Representation at the LSE.
  • The winning and top runners-up’s letters will be posted on the GOV.UK website and distributed throughout the Government Economic Service.
  • The top 25 participants will each be given an economics book from a list curated by the FCDO Chief Economist.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The minimum age for applicants is 14
  • Studying must be at UK secondary level including sixth form or elective home education/homeschooling or at a British international school
  • No requirement to be studying or have studied economics
  • There is no cost to enter the competition.

Selection Criteria

The judging panel will use the following criteria for evaluating your entry:

  • Creativity: The competition questions are centered around significant economic issues and offer varied possible responses. It is important to approach these questions with an open perspective, presenting your ideas supported by evidence.
  • Economic concepts: An outstanding entry will incorporate economic concepts to reinforce its arguments.
  • Evidence Usage: Judges will assess the effective utilization of evidence, requiring clear presentation and source explanation.
  • Clarity and Brevity in Writing: It is essential to carefully structure your argument, ensuring concise, clear, and persuasive writing for maximum impact.

How to submit your entry

Avoid including any personal details in the body of your letter. This will enable us to assess submissions impartially and anonymously. Instead, kindly provide such information in the cover email.

Your submission should:

  • be presented in the form of a letter directed to the Chief Economist Adnan Khan of the FCDO
  • not exceed 1,000 words
  • adequately cite any incorporated evidence. It is suggested to use Harvard reference method. References are excluded from the word limit.
  • not employ tools like ChatGPT or other artificial intelligence (AI) platforms
  • Feature graphs and visuals, but these are not obligatory.
  • seek guidance from an economics instructor on the topics they intend to address, economic principles, recommended resources, and writing styles.

How to do this:

  • Fill in the entry template
  • Select and cut the completed template
  • Create Email
  • Paste the completed template into the email
  • Attach the entry and email it to the provided email address on the website.

Visit the official website of FCDO for additional information.

Application Deadline

June 28, 2024.

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