School of Economics

Economics student wins national RES video competition

Oskar Birol, a 4th year Economics Undergraduate, has taken first prize in the inaugural Royal Economics Society video competition.

Topics in Microeconomics class viewing the video
Topics in Microeconomics class viewing the video

This year the Royal Economics Society (with support of the Economic Network) ran their inaugural RES Video Competition. The competition was designed to develop and test students' ability to work in groups and communicate economics to a non-specialist audience. There is an interest in these skills amongst employers, as reported in the Economics Network's biennial employers survey, but also within the sector as a whole: the RES is using videos more frequently to communicate their work, lecturers are using videos in flipped classroom settings and the Economics Network ran a symposium to discuss effective communication of our discipline.

Students were tasked with producing a film up to 3 minutes in length that used economics to shed light on the real world. The topic choice was up to the students and could tackle a major issue (such as the fallout from Brexit, rising inequality or climate change) or focus on the economics of everyday life (such as whether Uber is a good thing or why people sign up for gym memberships that they don’t use).

Each institution submitted a single completed video to the competition with each entry being judged on the underlying economic content, the application to the topic, and the clarity of exposition. The technical quality of the films was not explicitly taken into account, although the judges did look at the overall structure of the film and how the material was presented to generate and sustain interest.

Most entries were made in teams of 2 or more, but Oskar Birol, a 4th year Undergraduate, decided to take it on by himself and was selected to represent the School of Economics. His film focused on the economic impact of automation in the workplace. You can view his entry below.



oskar accepts certificate
Oskar accepts his certificate from Professor John Moore

Oskar's entry deservedly won first prize in the competition,  sharing the honour and prize money with a 2 person team from the London School of Economics. His entry was chosen for the simplicity and clarity with which the economic content was presented and explained, that the video maintained the interest of the video through an effective structure and a variation of pace, and how much focus on was placed on presenting to a non-specialist audience.

One of the judges, Bob Denham, had this to say about Oskar's work: "The graphics were very well done here, but more importantly as we saw it the video was entirely non-specialist friendly. Not a single term was brought up that wasn't explained alongside it or immediately afterwards”.

On November 24th in front of a full Topics of Microeconomics class, Oskar was presented his award certificate by Professor John Moore, following a short speech and a viewing of his winning entry.

We'd like to congratulate Oskar on his fantastic work and for bringing national recognition to the talented students we have here at the School of Economics.