Essay Competition

We are delighted to present this year’s competition for A- Level and IB students, with a prize of £500 for the
entry judged best and £250 each for the three runners up. There is also a prize of £500 for the school with
the highest number of entrants. The four top winners, along with the other best entries, will all be invited to
a special one day event at the IEA in the Autumn term at which they will be given a certificate and the
Entries should be submitted by post to Dr S. Davies, Education Director, Institute of Economic
Affairs, 2 Lord North Street, London SW1P 3LB. The final deadline for this year’s competition is Friday 31st
July. The prize for this competition is now named after Dorian Fisher, the wife of Sir Anthony Fisher, founder
of the IEA, who was a longtime supporter of the Institute and its work.
An entry to the competition should contain the following three pieces of work.
1. A short essay, of roughly 1,200 words, on one of the following questions:
(a) “Because of market failure and to prevent inequality, the government should finance and provide all
healthcare.” Given this common view, whilst making some reference to methods of providing and
financing healthcare in other European countries, discuss whether government finance and
provision of healthcare is likely to maximise welfare?
(b) If healthcare is an economic good like any other, what does this imply for the way we should think
about it?
(c) On a comparative basis which of the models of healthcare funding and delivery found in the OECD
countries gives the best results from an economic point of view?
2. A 500 word answer to one of the following three questions:
(a) What part does the idea of knowledge play in modern economics?
(b) Are there inherent problems with the idea of market failure?
(c) What is the difference between risk and uncertainty and why does this matter in economics?
3. A 500 word answer to the following question.
Identify an area of economics that you think should be given more attention in the A- Level or IB syllabus
and say why this is so.
Anyone wishing to enter the competition should feel free to contact the IEA for guidance about selected
reading by sending an email to The email should have “essay competition” in the
subject line.

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