UCL Department of Economics


Research competitions

Find out about the other competitions running during the year at UCL Economics and how you can get involved.

The Econ Games 2022 | First Year Challenge | UCL Careers Week 

The Econ Games 2022

UCL Team B were awarded first place at The Econ Games 2022 Virtual Conference. This year’s event was co-organised and hosted by CTaLE, and the World Data Lab (WDL).

UCL Economics Students win The Econ Games: Read the CTaLE blog >>

UCL Team B group photo

                                                                                    UCL Team B, winners of The Econ Games 2022

Winner - UCL B

Presentation: A Glance into the Future: 3 Developing Economies with the Most Potential in 2030 and its Welfare Implications

Teams Members: 
•    Kexin Wu 
•    Xiaotian Tian 
•    Kuangjie Ni 
•    Kaicheng Lu

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/I0snGGkcQmY


Second Runner-up - UCL C 

Presentation Title: Top Emerging Marketing by 2030 and the Potential Impact  on Human Health In Rising Economies

Team Members:
•    Luca Montagna Carturan 
•    Jamie Yuen
•    Jia Ong 
•    Ziyi Yap 
•    Shanker Velu 

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/BY33jzv12Bo




2022 Winners

The economics behind my behaviour as a Pret subscriber

by Khushi Kakrania

Image of a pret coffee cup with a london street in the background

Being someone who always made coffee at home, buying 6 (£20/£3.5) cups of £3.5 each to justify the £20 subscription isn’t enough. Since the monetary cost of making my homemade coffee was £0.65, I get coffee every day and sometimes more than once if I know I can’t go the next day. I keep my mental accounts consistent.

While earlier I made 2-3 cups of coffee on a pan, now I consume a larger quantity due to less effort in getting barista-made coffee from a Pret in almost every street in London. I am happier because I get utility not only from my consumption but also from a positive departure from my reference point.

Hence, being a time consistent economics student, I pay an immediate high cost to maximize intertemporal benefits minus costs over long time. This convenient arrangement is very likely to continue as subscription renewal is the default.


by Jiaxin Shi (Carol)

Image of a series stainglass windows




This is a photo taken at Two Temple Place. It depicts the scenario of the sunset in Florence, which is why I name my picture ‘afterglow’.

One obvious element I notice about this picture is transportation. Two ways of travelling are shown: walking and sailing. The development in transportation suggests a high degree of geographical mobility, and hence it boosts commercial transactions and chances of employment.

Another topic here is ‘inequality’. In the bottom of the picture, a couple were pacing home with cows. Here, women can stand together and work with men, which means that gender inequality is relatively eradicated.

But on the other side of the water stood the palaces. The bottom right shows the small houses for citizens. This suggests both the categorial inequality between royalty and ordinary citizenship, and the possible incoming intergenerational inequality of their offspring.

Reducing Poverty by Alleviating Asymmetric Information

by Kexin Wu

rice from a rural brand in China in the supermarket




This photo shows rice from a rural brand in China in the supermarket. Since the popularization of “shopping live shows” (sellers hold living shows on mobile apps to promote products and buyers can buy them with discounts), some areas got out of extreme poverty by successfully promoting their local brands outside. Before that, those regions only could internalize their products or sell them cheaply to other brands. It was also hard for them to establish their brands and compete with established brands because most buyers were uninformed or pessimistic about the actual quality of those rural brands. This problem was like adverse selection and subsidized live shows alleviated this problem of asymmetric information. 

However, excessive promotion of this new marketing strategy and poorly designed regulations can cause some low-quality products to overly advertise themselves through live shows and pretend to be high-quality, which may deteriorate the market efficiency. 



First Year Challenge

The First Year Challenge is a multimedia assignment designed to introduce first year undergraduates to independent research and to academic collaboration. Small groups of students are assigned to specific locations in Central London. In their groups they are asked to produce a 3 minute multimedia clip which relates to their meeting point.

The motivation behind the First Year Challenge is to introduce students to research-based education as a prelude to the empirically-focused education they would receive in their first year in the economics department. We also want to create bonding opportunities among our large (~600 students) cohorts which included students from around the world and across the UK, and to highlight the diverse skills that this varied study body brings to the table.

Watch the below video to find out more about the First Year Challenge.

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UCL Careers Week 2022

This will run on 6th-10th June and the week will be filled with inspiring speakers, practical advice, useful resources, and a chance to network and socialise with colleagues across UCL. There will be a mixture of in-person and online events and all are free to attend but registration is required. You will find the table of sessions alongside booking links to each at the link below. Run by the Department of Political Science, many of these events are relevant and helpful for Economics students and we encourage you to sign up!

Find out more about Careers Week >>