Short paper competition

The Department of Economics at Arizona State University hosts an annual short paper competition in the spring semester, which gives economics students a chance to win a cash prize and have their paper published in an ASU student-run economics journal. We are now accepting submissions for Spring 2024. Please see below for details.

Department of Economics Paper Contest

About the competition

The short paper competition invites economics students to analyze current economic events in a research-backed paper. This gives students a chance to think about topics within economics that interest them the most and try to answer a question or explain a problem within the industry.

Leading this competition is Kelvin Wong, clinical associate professor and executive director of undergraduate programs in the Department of Economics. “Our goal is to get students thinking and writing about economics, which hopefully leads to greater interest in pursuing economics as a major,” he says. “We also hope this will give our department more chances to interact with students outside of the classroom.”

Papers will be reviewed by the team at the Economics Review at ASU, a student-run journal, as well as by economics professors, and judged on the quality of its analysis, writing, and originality.

Rules for submission

There are two divisions for submissions. Division A consists of students who have not taken ECN312 or those currently taking ECN 312, while Division B consists of students who have completed ECN 312. Students should take care to submit to the correct division to avoid being disqualified.

The contest will run from January 29 to March 31, 2024. Other rules for submission are:

  • Each student may only submit one paper.
  • Papers must be 600 to 1,500 words.
  • Sources must be properly cited using APA style at the end of the paper (references do not count toward the word limit).
  • Students will be interviewed to ensure their work is original and not the work of AI or an outside service.
  • To submit a paper, email a Microsoft Word or Google Docs file to with the following subject line: Competition Division [Your Division] - [Your Name] [Article Title]
  • Submissions are due by March 31, 2023, at 11:59 p.m., MST.


One prize per division is awarded to each place:

  • First place wins $300.
  • Second place wins $175.
  • Third place wins $100.
  • Fourth place wins $50.

Top entries will also be considered for publication in the Economics Review at ASU.

Previous winners

In Spring 2023, eight economics students were awarded cash prizes in the first short paper competition, and their papers were published in the Economics Review at ASU. Read about our Spring 2023 winners, including what they gained from participating.

2023 Division A winners

  • First place: Grace Guentzel
  • Second place: Seth McMaster
  • Third place: Ethan Tong
  • Fourth place: Aval Daryani

2023 Division B winners

  • First place: Michael Volkert Jr.
  • Second place: ShahNawaz Abbas Syed
  • Third place: Ryan Davitt
  • Fourth place: Christian Hilgemann


For more information and for any questions, please contact Professor Wong.