Introduction: The Harvard Undergraduate Economics Association (HUEA) is organizing its flagship Harvard International Economics Essay Contest with the collaboration of the Harvard College Economics Review. We jointly organize the Essay competition with HUEA, and we also publish the top three essays in our online publications. HIEEC provides students the opportunity to demonstrate an accomplished level of writing and understanding of economic theory. Through the contest, students hone their academic and professional skills and exhibit their knowledge.
2022 Harvard International Economics Essay Contest Topic:
In recent years and decades, many countries have seen fertility rates drop, potentially leading to falling populations. Currently, China has a fertility rate of 1.3, one of the lowest in the world. However, in 2021, China experienced GDP growth of 8% with output totaling $17.7 trillion. Will this lowered fertility rate (with potential to fall further) affect China’s economic growth and policy? How so? What, if anything, can the Chinese government do to limit the risk of falling fertility rates?
U.S. mortgage rates recently passed 7%, making the purchase of a new home increasingly unaffordable. Meanwhile, the United States has suffered from a chronic shortage of available housing for decades, particularly in urban areas, leading to what many scholars and advocates call an affordability crisis. Why is housing so unaffordable in the U.S.? What can (or should) be done by private actors, state and local governments, and the federal government to alleviate the affordability crisis?
It is often suggested that a tradeoff exists between economic growth and the health of the environment, especially now as the threat of climate change becomes more dire. What economic risks does a changing climate pose? Can economic growth be consistent with a healthy environment? What policies, either market-based or otherwise, should governments enact to protect the environment while posing the least danger to economic efficiency?
Central banks such as the Federal Reserve in the U.S. and the Bank of England in the UK manage their nation’s macroeconomies with the goal of ensuring price stability and maximum employment. Globally, inflation rates are rising to levels not seen since the 1980s, particularly in the U.S. and European countries. To what extent should the monetary policies of central banks in various Western countries differ or resemble one another as a reaction to the specific causes of inflation facing their economies?
Contest Rule: The word limit of 1500 must be strictly adhered to. Any words past the limit will be truncated. This limit excludes references, footnotes, titles, headers and footers.
Competition Website: For more information about the competition, click here.