Your Winning Edge: Secrets of Success for the Harvard Economics Essay Competition, 2023

Gain a competitive advantage in the Harvard Economics Essay Competition 2023 with our comprehensive guide. Uncover the secrets of success, learn expert strategies, and access invaluable insights. From crafting a standout essay to incorporating economic knowledge, we've got you covered. Elevate your chances of winning with our winning edge.

Harvard Economics Essay Competition 2023


The Harvard Economics Essay Competition is among the most prestigious academic contests worldwide, hosted by the illustrious Harvard University Department of Economics (Harvard University, 2023). Participating in this competition can be a transformative experience as a high school student, not just academically but also for your future career. It is an opportunity to demonstrate your analytical skills, creativity, and understanding of economic concepts on a global platform. Winning the competition or even just participating can enhance your college applications and open doors to scholarships, internships, and more (Chiu & Ho, 2017). 

What does it take to succeed in Harvard International Economics Essay Contest?

Succeeding in the Harvard International Economics Essay Contest requires a solid understanding of economics, innovative thinking, and exceptional writing skills (Johnson, 2017). You need to stay updated with current economic trends and debates and be able to apply economic theories and concepts to real-world scenarios (International Economic Association, 2023). Strong analytical skills are key: Critically assessing economic issues and presenting compelling arguments. Moreover, of course, clear and persuasive writing is crucial. A well-structured, compelling essay that effectively communicates your ideas can set you apart from the competition (Harvard Crimson, 2022). 

  1. Understanding the Harvard Economics Essay Competition 2023
  2. Key Elements of Winning Entries
  3. Picking the Right Topic for Your Essay
  4. The Art of Writing: Format and Guidelines
  5. Preparing for the Contest: Strategies and Techniques
  6. Learning from Success Stories
  7. Incorporating Economics Knowledge into Your Essay
  8. Crafting a Standout Essay: Tips and Tricks 

1. Understanding the Harvard Economics Essay Competition 2023 

A deep dive into the Harvard Economics Challenge: What is it all about?

The Harvard Economics Challenge is an intensive competition designed to stimulate and nurture young economists like you (Harvard Economics Department, 2023). It involves crafting an in-depth essay on a complex economic issue. The goal? To demonstrate your ability to analyze, critique, and propose solutions to pressing global economic problems. The competition challenges you to apply the concepts and theories you have learned in your economics classes to real-world contexts. It is not just about knowing but about showing you can think like an economist and understanding the nuances and implications of economic issues (Mankiw, 2011).

How has the Harvard International Review Academic Writing Contest evolved?

Over the years, the Harvard International Review Academic Writing Contest has grown in prestige and scope (Harvard International Review, 2023). What started as a competition among Harvard students has expanded to include talented young economists worldwide. The contest's topics have also evolved, reflecting current global economic issues and trends. Today, the competition is recognized globally, and a panel of esteemed economists reviews entries. Your participation, therefore, offers a unique opportunity to have your work reviewed by some of the best minds in the field (Sachs, 2000).

2. Key Elements of Winning Entries

What can you learn from past winners like Ethan Mishra and their Harvard sample essay?

A previous competition winner, Ethan Mishra, provides a stellar example of a successful economics essay (Harvard Crimson, 2022). Mishra's essay stood out because of his clear, articulate thesis, rigorous data analysis, and innovative solutions to a pertinent economic issue. Furthermore, Mishra did an excellent job contextualizing his argument within the broader economic discourse, referencing renowned economists to support his points (Mishra, 2014). This demonstrates the importance of grounding your essay in solid research and existing academic dialogue. By studying such essays, you can gain insight into the depth of analysis and level of creativity expected by the Harvard committee.

What are the common features of successful Harvard admission essays?

Successful Harvard admission essays often share key characteristics (Fitzsimmons, 2014):

  • They demonstrate a profound understanding of economic concepts and their real-world implications.
  • These essays exhibit critical thinking skills, including dissecting complex issues and proposing innovative solutions.
  • Successful entries are not merely academic exercises; they demonstrate a deep passion for economics and a drive to use this knowledge to effect real-world change.

Remember, it is about showcasing your academic prowess and demonstrating your potential as a future economist.

3. Picking the Right Topic for Your Essay  

What economic essay topics have dominated the Harvard economics essay competition in the past?

Historically, the Harvard Economics essay competition has seen a wide range of topics, reflecting the diverse issues that economics touches on (Harvard University Department of Economics, 2023). These have included economic policy analysis, international trade, market dynamics, income inequality, behavioral economics, and emerging issues like climate change or digital currencies' economic impacts. Recently, there has been a focus on real-world challenges and the use of economic theory to propose innovative solutions (Harvard International Review, 2023).

How can you select a winning topic for your Harvard essay?

Choosing a winning topic is critical to succeeding in the Harvard essay competition (Fitzsimmons, 2014):

  • Select a topic that interests you, as your passion and curiosity will shine through in your writing.
  • Consider the relevance of your topic in current economic debates; current and pressing issues are likely to catch the judges' attention.
  • Ensure your topic allows for a rigorous and original economic analysis, showcasing your analytical skills and creativity.

4. The Art of Writing: Format and Guidelines 

Decoding the Harvard essay format: How should your essay look?

Harvard essays require you to adhere to a specific academic format (Harvard Writing Center, 2022). This entails a structured argument with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. An introduction should provide background and define the problem, while the body should offer a detailed analysis, and the conclusion should summarize your argument or findings. Citing sources is crucial, and Harvard uses an author-date citation style. The presentation also matters. Your essay should be typed, double-spaced with a clear font, and the Harvard essay word limit must be adhered to (Harvard College Writing Program, 2022).

Insights into Harvard Essay Prompts 2022, Harvard essay prompts 2023, and what they imply

Harvard essay prompts guide your focus and offer a framework for your argument (Harvard Admissions Office, 2022). The prompts change annually but usually call for a critical analysis of an economic issue, your understanding of economic principles, and their application. In interpreting prompts, read them carefully, identify the key question or issue, and structure your essay around addressing that question.

5. Preparing for the Contest: Strategies and Techniques 

How can you prepare for the Harvard Economics Challenge and the Marshall essay competition in 2022?

Preparation is key to excelling in essays like the Harvard Economics Challenge and the Marshall Essay Competition (Krugman, 2001):

  • Thoroughly research the competition rules and previous winning entries. This gives you a clear understanding of what the judges value.
  • Read widely about economics from reputable sources such as the International Economic Association. Regular reading improves your understanding of economic principles and keeps you updated with recent economic trends (Harvard University Department of Economics, 2022).
  • Practice essay writing regularly, focusing on clarity, argument structure, and effective source citation.

What are the keys to competitive essay writing?

Competitive essay writing requires a clear understanding of the topic, structured arguments, and exceptional writing skills (Ruskin, 1997):

  • Thoroughly understand your essay topic.
  • Create a structured argument with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Your writing should be engaging, coherent, and error-free. Make sure to reference your sources correctly and adhere to the word limit.
  • Review and edit your work meticulously before submission.

6. Learning from Success Stories 

An analysis of the top 10 Harvard essays: What made them outstanding?

The top 10 Harvard essays stand out for their innovative ideas, compelling narratives, and depth of analysis (Jenkins, 2023). They often present original perspectives on economic issues, demonstrating a strong understanding of economic theories and their application to real-world situations. Clear and concise writing, logical argument progression, and strong evidence support are other noteworthy features (Harvard University Department of Economics, 2023). Moreover, these essays adhere to the specified format and word limit, with impeccable grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

How can these insights improve your Harvard essays in 2023?

Learning from successful essays can significantly improve your writing. Use these insights to choose compelling topics, structure your arguments, and hone your writing style (Powell, 2017). Pay attention to how these essays introduce unique perspectives, present evidence, and conclude their arguments. Aim to replicate their clarity and coherence in your writing. Lastly, ensure that you adhere to format, referencing, and word limit guidelines.

7. Incorporating Economics Knowledge into Your Essay 

Why is it important to reflect on your understanding of Harvard economics courses in your essay?

Understanding Harvard's economics courses is crucial because it helps you to align your essay with the depth and breadth of knowledge expected of Harvard students (Clark & Martinez, 2023). The university offers a rigorous curriculum covering various economic theories, quantitative methods, and their application to real-world issues. By reflecting on this understanding in your essay, you demonstrate your ability to tackle complex economic problems and conduct a thorough analysis, qualities valued by the competition's judges (Harvard University Department of Economics, 2023).

How can you effectively weave this knowledge into your essay?

Incorporating knowledge from Harvard's economics courses into your essay requires a thoughtful and well-structured approach. Begin by understanding the topic's relevance to your courses (Dennison & Hall, 2023). Use this information to formulate your thesis statement and build your argument. Support your points with relevant theories and empirical evidence learned from these courses. Always aim for clarity and coherence in presenting your economic analysis.

8. Crafting a Standout Essay: Tips and Tricks 

Top tips from Harvard Economist to write an impactful essay

Drawing insights from Harvard economists can help you craft an impactful essay for the competition (Friedman, 2023). One essential tip is to start with a strong thesis statement that clearly outlines your argument and sets the tone for your essay. Next, present a logical and well-structured argument supporting your thesis. Use empirical evidence, data, and economic theories to support your claims. Additionally, be concise and avoid unnecessary jargon to ensure your essay is accessible to a wide audience. Finally, proofread and revise your essay to eliminate errors and improve clarity.

How to address challenge essay topics effectively?

Challenge essay topics require careful consideration and a strategic approach. Begin by thoroughly understanding the prompt and identifying its main challenge or problem. Conduct extensive research to gather relevant information and perspectives. Next, break down the challenge into subtopics or components and analyze each aspect individually. This will allow you to understand the issue comprehensively and nuancedly. Additionally, consider proposing innovative solutions or alternative perspectives that address the underlying causes of the challenge. Support your arguments with evidence and data to strengthen your position.

Conclusion: Your Action Plan for the Harvard Economics Essay Competition 2023  

A summary of the key elements of a successful Harvard essay

A successful Harvard essay for the economics competition incorporates several key elements. It begins with a clear thesis statement that sets the direction for the essay. The essay then demonstrates a deep understanding of economic concepts and their real-world application. It presents a well-structured argument supported by empirical evidence and economic theories. The writing is clear, concise, and accessible, without excessive jargon. Additionally, it reflects knowledge gained from Harvard economics courses and incorporates relevant research. Lastly, successful essays exhibit critical thinking skills, creativity, and a passion for economics.

Encouraging readers to submit their Harvard review submissions and take part in the competition

Now that you have gained valuable insights and strategies for success in the Harvard Economics Essay Competition, it is time to implement your knowledge. Take the opportunity to showcase your economic acumen, analytical skills, and writing prowess by submitting your essay. Remember, participating in this prestigious competition can provide numerous benefits, including recognition, college opportunities, and personal growth. Do not hesitate to take on the challenge and share your unique perspective on important economic issues. Submitting your essay could be the first step toward an exciting academic journey.


"50 Successful Harvard Application Essays" by Staff of the Harvard Crimson - This book offers a collection of successful application essays that provide valuable insights and inspiration for writing your impactful Harvard essay.

"On Writing Well" by William Zinsser - This renowned guidebook offers practical advice on improving writing skills, including clarity, conciseness, and effective communication, which are essential for crafting a standout Harvard essay.

"The Elements of Style" by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White - This classic guidebook provides fundamental principles of good writing, from grammar and punctuation to sentence structure and style, helping you refine your essay-writing skills.

"The Craft of Research" by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams - This comprehensive guide offers strategies for conducting research, organizing ideas, and presenting arguments effectively, crucial skills for writing a well-researched and persuasive Harvard essay.

"They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing" by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein - This book provides templates and strategies for entering academic conversations and making persuasive arguments, helping you develop a strong voice in your Harvard essay.



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Mishra, E. (2014). The Economic Implications of Climate Change. Harvard International Review.

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Author Bio

Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson
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Hey there! I'm your friendly Economics Enthusiast on a mission to simplify the world of economics for students just like you. With a love for breaking down complex concepts, I'm eager to help you reach your academic goals and beyond. Need assistance with assignments, homework, editing, or proofreading? Seeking career guidance or personalized tutoring? Look no further! Together, we'll tackle any economic challenge and make the journey to success a fun and engaging experience.