2021 DUES Economics Essay Competition


This competition is open to students who are in the final 2 years of pre-tertiary education, e.g. Sixth Form (Lower and Upper Sixth), Junior College (JC 1 and JC 2), and in the last two years of high school.

Entrants can be of any nationality and studying in any country. We would encourage anyone with an interest of economics to enter, regardless of whether you have studied economics or not.



*Answer only ONE of the following questions within 1500 words*

  1. With reference to at least one country of your choice, evaluate the effectiveness of central banks’ mitigatory efforts in the COVID-19 pandemic.

  2. Should vaccine development and distribution be left to the private sector, public sector, or both? Discuss.

  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of a wealth tax in fighting inequality. 

  4. Discuss the current environmental policy challenges with regards to the renewables sector.

  5. Assess whether continued technological innovation and the emergence of the digital economy will benefit developing countries. 




1st Place: £450 (£150 cash & £150 tutor2u voucher to the student and £150 tutor2u voucher to the school) + certificate + special feature on the 2020-21 DUES issue

2nd Place: £300 (£100 cash & £100 tutor2u voucher to the student and £100 tutor2u voucher to the school) + certificate

3rd Place: £150 (£50 cash & £50 tutor2u voucher to the student and £50 tutor2u voucher to the school) + certificate

  • Students and schools can spend the tutor2u voucher on any resources and subjects - digital or print - from tutor2u

  • Certificates are signed by Durham University professors (*note that this is a society prize and not a prize from the University itself)

  • Students whose entries are highly commended will also receive a certificate




  • Entries must be in English and at 1500 words maximum (including in-text references but not the reference list/bibliography/footnotes)
  • There is NO entry fee
  • Charts, diagrams, graphs and tables are allowed, as long as they are cited and include a caption to explain their relevance. Alternatively, you may construct your own graph(s) 
  • The work submitted must not have been published on any other platform or entered in any other competition. It must be your own original work
  • Where appropriate and applicable, submissions should include a Harvard style referencing 
  • Please name your file <essay question number><first name><last name> (e.g. 3 John Smith for an essay response to question 3 by a student named John Smith)
  • Please submit your file in one of the following formats: .doc / .docx / .pdf
  • Submit your entry by 25th April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT via this entry form
  • Each individual may only submit ONE essay. If a form is submitted more than once by an individual, only the last one will be considered
  • Late submissions will not be considered
  • Essays will be adjudicated by a panel of Durham University professors
  • Results will be announced by the end of May and winners will be contacted via the email they have used to submit the essay
  • Personal data relating to the entrants would be only used for the purpose of the competition and not disclosed to any other party without prior consent 


Please contact the Chief Journal Editors (Charlie Fraser and Tatyana Wu), who are happy to answer your questions and/or provide more guidance, via emailing dueconomicsjournal@gmail.com.

Follow the DUES Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/durhameconomics

All the best!


Contact Details

This competition is kindly sponsored by tutor2u, a leading provider of student and teacher support for A-Level, GCSE, IB and BTEC subjects

To find out more about tutor2u, visit https://www.tutor2u.net/


If you do not have a Google account, please email dueconomicsjournal@gmail.com with your:

- full name (this will be the name on your certificate if you are shortlisted)

- contact email (institutional emails are preferred to verify your student status)

- name of school in English 

- proof of school enrolment, e.g. student ID or school acceptance letter (if you believe you are eligible but do not have proof, please let us know)

- choice of essay question

- essay file 

The promotional poster used for this competition is available here