LSE SU essay competition

May 12th, 2017 by econ-network

The Economics Society of the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Student Union (LSE SU) has announced an essay competition that is open to sixth-form students in the UK and beyond. Write no more than 2,000 words on one of the listed questions, and you can win Amazon vouchers of up to £125, and the top three entries will be published by the Society in their journal Rationale.

The questions for this year are:

  1. Can Economics tell us anything about how we can try to prevent war?
  2. Imagine that in front of you is a Big Red button. If you press the button, everyone in the world would have their wealth magically equalised. Would you press the button? Explain the economic reasoning behind your decision
  3. Discuss the effect of the rise of ad blocker software on the Internet – is it a blessing or a curse?
  4. ‘Free trade is a necessary evil’. How far do you agree?
  5. ‘On a societal level, University Education is inefficient – for most people, it hardly makes them better at their future jobs, but it comes at a huge opportunity cost because students miss out from entering a career earlier. Most people who go to university only do so because they’d be left behind in the job market if they didn’t go and everyone else did’. With reference to this argument, should the government drastically limit the number of university places available?

The deadline is on 1st August 2017. Follow the above link for more details, and good luck!

Economics comes out top again

October 10th, 2016 by econ-network

The Market Inspector blog has posted an infographic to answer the question “what degree subject is most likely to get you hired with a good salary?” Using data from, they found that economics comes out top of subjects taken in the UK, going by average salaries five years after graduation. This won’t be a surprise if you’ve read our previous posts on the topic.

The infographic gives another statistic that we hadn’t heard: eight percent of the world’s billionaires took degrees in Economics!

Philanthropy Paradox

September 5th, 2016 by Abbas

Educational philanthropy is a prime example of human generosity and the will to help others. It is especially fruitful when geared into the education and productivity of the youth, and it perhaps seems luring as a break-down of the cynical premise of ‘rationality’ that is the life-blood of conventional economics.

But can good-natured, well-intentioned philanthropy not do the good it is meant to do? Could it even lead to elitism and inequality? Could it be… harmful? On the surface, one is inclined to say no (especially as a donor), but a deeper look is warranted:

Read the rest of this entry »

Eight more parody songs that actually teach you some economics

April 25th, 2016 by econ-network

Following on from our favourite videos from the Rockonomics student competition, here are some picks from an Advanced Placement course in Economics in the US, where students have worked economics lyrics into popular songs.

Monopoly is the Way to Go

If there’s only one seller of a product and new firms can’t enter the market, competition can’t drive prices down, as explained in this video after some nice black-and-white scene setting. Being a monopoly is nice work if you can get it.

Money quote: “Monopolistic competition, oligopolies / neither of them are efficient allocatively”

Counting Prof

Looking at the same topic from a different angle, this is so well-produced it looks like a proper music video. Read the rest of this entry »

Economics graduates are in the money

April 15th, 2016 by econ-network

Click on the graph to see it full size

Anyone considering an Economics degree will find good news in research announced this week by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. It is a massive study, looking at what 260,000 university graduates in England are earning, ten years after graduating.

The IFS found “substantial” differences in the money people were earning, depending on the subject they took at university. Economists are most likely to be the top earners, by a clear margin. Read the rest of this entry »

Competition and Living Standards: the Moroccan Software Engineer

February 26th, 2016 by econ-network

For this story about the effect of economics in one person’s life, we thank guest author Elena Fernandez Prados for sharing an extract from her new book, Economics through Everyday Stories from around the World. ISBN 978-1523296415

Rachid Benchekroun is a software engineer from Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city. Rachid works for a technology company developing computer games and lives in an elegant villa around the corniche (waterfront promenade), one of Casablanca’s fanciest neighborhoods. But life has not always been easy for Rachid, and at the age of twenty-five, he feels that he has come a long way in life.

Rachid grew up in Casablanca’s suburbs, in a small one-bedroom apartment that he shared with his parents, his three siblings, and two of his cousins from the village. Abdel Karim, Rachid’s father, was a mechanic, while his mother, Fatima, was a homemaker. From an early age, Rachid learned the value of hard work. He attended school in the mornings and helped his father in the garage in the afternoons, oiling engines and pumping tires. At night, Rachid did his school homework diligently under a kerosene lamp. “Study hard, young boy,” his father often reminded him, “for it is the only way that the son of a mechanic from Chefchaouen can become someone in life.” Read the rest of this entry »