Mark Blaug Student Essay Prize

Words by Ross Cathcart, Head of Local Comms and Events, Rethinking Economics

Rethinking Economics are delighted to support the Mark Blaug Student Essay Prize, now in it’s fifth year.

The prize was founded in honour of the great critical economist Mark Blaug (1927-2011),  the competition is financed and awarded by the Foundation for European Economic Development.

If you have any questions, please get in touch via the emails below.

Best of luck!

Details of the 2018 Prize Competition

Eligible essays for the prize must be critical discussions of any aspect of modern economics.

Rather than applying economics to a particular problem, eligible essays must reflect critically on the state of economics itself, as Mark Blaug did in many of his works. Critical reflections may include the assumptions adopted, the suitability of the concepts deployed, the mode of analysis, the role of mathematical models, the use of econometrics, real-world relevance, the presumed relationship between theory and policy, the unwarranted influence of ideology, the use (or otherwise) of insights from other disciplines, and so on.

The required language is English. Eligible essays are by university undergraduates, or by graduates who obtained their Bachelor’s degree no earlier than 1 January 2017. There is no residential or geographical restriction.

Undergraduate dissertations must be converted to essay format and reduced to 6,000 words (inclusive of references and appendices) or less. Author names, affiliations and email must be placed on the first page, below the title of the essay.

Up to two prizes will be awarded each year, depending on the quality of the best papers. The respective awards will be £500 and £300. FEED will reserve the right to award no prize, or one prize only, if there are inadequate essays of quality. The prizes will be judged by a committee of leading scholars.

Essays should be submitted by email to and George Liagouras by 1 October 2018. The awards will be made in late 2018 or early 2019. Download the announcement flyer HERE.

Past Winners of the Fourth Mark Blaug Student Essay Prize

The 2017 entries were judged by Sheila Dow and Robert Skidelsky. The following two prizes are awarded for the two (downloadable) essays:

– First Prize, Marco David Schmandt (University of Bonn, Germany) for his essay: “Economic Rationality and Human Behaviour: Can False Assumptions become Reality?”

– Second Prize, Marla Dina Hinkenhuis (University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany) for her essay “Comparing Strategic Trade Theory and Neoclassical Trade Theory: How the World View of Theories is bound to its Assumptions”

The 2016 entries were judged by Ha-Joon Chang, Sheila Dow and Robert Skidelsky. The following two prizes are awarded for the two (downloadable) essays:

– First Prize (£500), Timon L. Dreyer (2015 graduate of University of Bonn) for his essay “Inherent World Views: Narrative-Induced Research in Economics”

– Second Prize (£300), Natasha Tiwana (2016 graduate of King’s College London) for her essay “Assessment of a strict microfoundations approach to macroeconomics – highlighting the consequences of using the ‘representative agent’ to construct macroeconomic models”

The 2015 entries were judged by Robert Skidelsky. The following two prizes are awarded for the two (downloadable) essays:

– First Prize (£500), Milan Quentel (Witten-Herdecke University, Germany) “The history of economic thought and its role for rethinking economics

– Second Prize (£300), Florian Rommel (Cusanus Hochschule, Germany) “Performing pluralism in economics: A discourse in need of the performative turn?

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