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WTO calls for papers for "2021 Essay Award for Young Economists"

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) has issued a call for young economists to submit papers for the 2021 WTO Essay Award. 

NEWS IN ENGLISH 23.04.2021, 12:31 25.04.2021, 00:01
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WTO calls for papers for "2021 Essay Award for Young Economists"
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The award aims to promote high-quality research on trade policy and international trade cooperation and to reinforce the relationship between the WTO and the academic community. Essays must be submitted by 7 June 2021.


The essay award, now in its 13th year, has grown to be a prized achievement for young trade economists and brings to light novel evidence important for evaluating trade flows and policies.


"It's an honour to be selected for this award," said last year's winner, Xiang Ding, who received his PhD from Harvard University in 2020 and is currently Assistant Professor at Georgetown University. Xiang Ding's paper provides novel and quantitatively important evidence on cross-industry linkages, particularly joint production arising from industries sharing knowledge inputs such as research and development, information technology, and other professional services.


"It's gratifying to have my research recognized by the WTO, especially at a time when our interests and trade policies are shifting towards the digital economy," he said.


The annual WTO Essay Award provides a prize of CHF 5,000 to the author(s) of the winning essay. In the case of a co-authored paper, the prize will be equally divided among the authors. The winning paper will be officially announced at the annual meeting of the European Trade Study Group, which is the largest conference specializing in international trade. The award ceremony will take place on 9-11 September 2021 in Ghent (Belgium). The winning author will receive funding to attend the meeting.


An Academic Selection Panel is responsible for the selection of the winning paper. The panel comprises: 


Professor Beata Javorcik (University of Oxford)

Professor Robert Staiger (Dartmouth College)

Professor Alberto Trejos (INCAE Business School).

Dr Robert Koopman (Director, Economic Research and Statistics Division, WTO Secretariat) is ex officio member of the panel. Dr Roberta Piermartini (Chief, Trade Cost Analysis

Section, WTO) coordinates the work of the panel.

The paper must address issues related to trade policy and international trade cooperation. The author(s) of the paper must possess or be engaged in the completion of a PhD degree and, if over 30 years of age, be no more than two years past a PhD defense. In the case of co-authored papers, this requirement shall apply to all authors. In addition, to be considered for the award, essays cannot exceed 15,000 words.

Past winners

2020: Xian Ding (Harvard University)

2019: Jan Bakker (Oxford University) and Federico Huneeus (Princeton University)

2018: Alonso de Gortari (Harvard University)

2017: Meredith Startz (Princeton University)

2016: Matthieu Bellon (Columbia University)

2015: Christoph Boehm (University of Michigan), Aaron Flaaen (Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington D.C.) and Nitya Pandalai-Nayar (University of Michigan)

2014: Jonathan Dingel (Columbia University) and Claudia Steinwender (LSE)

2013: Felix Tintelnot (Princeton University)

2012: Treb Allen (Yale University)

2011: Rafael Dix-Carneiro (University of Maryland) and Kyle Handley (Stanford University)

2010: Dave Donaldson (MIT) and Olena Ivus (Queen's University)

2009: Ralph Ossa (University of Chicago). The runner-up was Mostafa Beshkar (University of New Hampshire)


Essays must be submitted by 7 June 2021. The Economic Research and Statistics Division of the WTO Secretariat will shortlist eligible papers by 17 June 2021 and the selection panel will take a final decision by 7 July 2021. Only the author(s) of short-listed essays will be notified.


The winning essay may be published in the WTO Working Paper Series. It is the responsibility of the author(s) to endeavour to secure publication of the contribution in a journal.
All submissions should be sent to essay.award@wto.org. Submissions should include as separate attachments in PDF format:


1. the essay
2. the CV of the author(s), specifying (i) current affiliation(s), (ii) the academic institution awarding the PhD, (iii) the year (or the expected year) of the PhD, (iv) the date of birth of the author(s).

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