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Economics challenge attracts record numbers

Economics challenge attracts record numbers

Top high school economics students will have their knowledge tested at the annual ANZ Massey Economics Challenge, to be held simultaneously at Massey’s Albany and Manawatū campuses on August 30.

With a refreshed format for 2013, the competition has attracted a record number of participants and competition for the winners’ trophy is expected to be intense.

Economics lecturer and Albany event organiser Dr Brendan Moyle says the number of Auckland schools taking part has doubled this year with 15 schools across the city entering teams. In Palmerston North competitor numbers have remained steady, with Stratford High School competing for the first time.

“I think the new format has really removed some of the barriers for entry, and the competition is now more focused on economics knowledge rather than presentation skills,” Dr Moyle says.

The 2013 Economics Challenge will consist of three rounds:
• Round one will be a multiple-choice quiz based on the NCEA curriculum. All teams will have the opportunity to answer all questions.
• Round two will see each team presented with a question exploring different aspects of the New Zealand economy. Teams that answer the question well will be given a bonus follow-up question; if a team is unable to answer, the question will be thrown to the other teams to answer.
• Round three will be a quick-fire round of general economics questions, with questions being answered by the first team to hit its buzzer.

“Teams that are familiar with economics and the New Zealand economy, and also read newspapers and keep up with current debates will do well,” Dr Moyle says. “We want to see if students can apply their textbook knowledge to understanding the real world.”

Dr Moyle says the quick-fire round questions will be varied and interesting. “While this competition will give students a bit of feedback on how they are going with their studies, we also want to show them that economics isn’t dull, that what we do can be really fascinating.”

Manawatū competition organiser Associate Professor Rukmani Gounder says the event gives students valuable experience by making them think about the wider aspects of economics, as well as the specific policy implications of decisions made by key players like government.

“They get a taste of the challenges they can expect from a university-level education,” she says. “And I really enjoy hearing the innovative ideas they bring when discussing the macroeconomic aspects of New Zealand’s economy.”

ANZ Bank is jointly sponsoring the competition with Massey University for the fifth year.

"Economics plays a big part in shaping the world young people will live and work in," says Craig Moffat, Auckland Regional General Manager Retail Banking and one of this year’s judges. "As a bank we’re keen to support programmes like this that help young New Zealanders build their financial knowledge and equip them for the future."

The students in each winning team will receive a Massey scholarship of $3000 towards full-time study in the College of Business. Runner-up teams receive a $1500 scholarship. The judging panels for the competition include experts from ANZ, Massey, Treasury and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.


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