For the Attention of 3rd level students.

The Department of Finance, in association with the Trinity Economic Forum, is pleased to announce a new economic policy competition open to all third level students in Ireland.

The competition will support active citizens eager to play their part in crafting the Ireland in which they wish to live and work, by giving them the opportunity to propose their own unique policy idea. The competition will allow third level students to submit their policy proposition, based on sound economic analysis, with the winner of the competition being offered a summer internship within the Department.

‘The Department of Finance Award for Economic Policy Advancement’ competition is open to all students across all third level institutions in Ireland. The competition will involve submitting a 150-word summary with a supporting 1500 word submission on one of two policy questions.

· Ireland has emerged from the EU-IMF programme with a legacy of both high household and public debt. Bearing in mind the implications of elevated public and private indebtedness, what strategies can be deployed to encourage economic growth in Ireland?

· The labour market response to the financial crisis has been particularly pronounced in Ireland relative to elsewhere in Europe. Taking into account the existing policy measures available, what strategy would you propose to reduce the current rate of unemployment to a more normal level?

The competition will be run in conjunction with the Trinity Economic Forum (TEF) and will accept submissions from February 17th until March 14th 2014. The forum is a two-day student forum, held in Trinity and sponsored by PwC. It brings together students from all third-level institutions in Ireland to participate in interactive discussions with high-calibre speakers. In 2014, the forum will welcome Fiona Muldoon (Central Bank of Ireland), Professor Casey Mulligan (University of Chicago, author of ‘The Redistribution Recession’) and Professor Martin Hellwig (Max Planck Institute, co-author of ‘The Bankers’ New Clothes’). The forum also will facilitate policy workshops that provide students with unique insights in preparing for the policy competition.

Speaking at the launch Secretary General of the Department, John Moran, said that the new competition showed the Department was committed to collaborating with third-level institutions which would be essential in ensuring new economic thinking is to the fore in the development of Ireland’s society and the economy.

“I am delighted to continue the Department’s link with the Trinity Economic Forum this year by launching the Department of Finance Award for Policy Advancement. This will give students all over the country the opportunity to use their analytical skills and innovative ideas which will directly feed into the economic thinking of the Department” said Mr. Moran.

Gary Finnerty, coordinator of the Trinity Economic Forum, said the competition would offer students an opportunity to provide their own input into policy making in Ireland, and engage with policy-makers in a proactive way.

“This project will reinforce TEF’s unique role as a platform for students to involve themselves directly in the major policy questions facing Ireland today and in the future. We are excited to be working with the Department to create a way in which students can get their ideas heard and an opportunity to create new policies and reinvigorate established ones”, said Mr Finnerty.

The forum will take place on February 14th and 15th 2014 and the competition will accept submissions from February 17th until March 14th 2014.

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