Reflections on the Competition of Student Scientific Research Papers organised by Latvijas Banka
On 17 June, prizes were awarded to the winners of the 20th Competition of Student Scientific Research Papers. We are happy about the round anniversary of the competition, the interest shown by students, as well as about the thoroughness of their papers and the relevance of topics. This year's competition attracted 20 authors who submitted 15 papers focusing on economic issues of current interest in Latvia and the euro area. Six universities of Latvia and one from Lithuania were represented in the competition.
Each author deserves praise for having done such excellent and considerable work and for the initiative to take part in the competition. However, authors of seven papers won the laurels this year. The best papers explore burning issues in an elegant manner.
🎓First, this means that the authors have managed to precisely identify topical economic issues they are interest in exploring. Some of these issues have not been covered in the academic literature, some of them are still relevant and others are focused. All of them deserve a thorough, in-depth and quality examination. As in the previous years, when the competition was organised, it is the quality of the paper that matters rather than its size. It is worth mentioning that the widely quoted doctoral thesis by John Nash, the founder of the game theory and winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, had only 26 pages.
🎓Second, the authors have been successful in finding a way of measuring things that are seemingly almost impossible to measure. For example, one of the winning papers assesses the extent to which businesses mislead the public concerning the effects of their operation and products on the environment, as well as the extent to which investors are able to identify such activities and act accordingly. This requires knowledge of the relevant data and also imagination for choosing the appropriate quantitative method to investigate these issues.
🎓Third, the authors have communicated research results and the associated important lessons learned in a clear and concise manner. Another winner is, for example, a paper identifying the positive role played by higher financial literacy in households' decisions to invest their savings rather than just keep them "in a stocking", as Latvians say. With prices rising at a faster pace this year, many people have started thinking about better ways of managing their financial resources. The paper highlights once again the role of financial literacy.
We would like to thank the authors and supervisors of the papers for the opportunity to read interesting papers and take note of exiting ideas also on the occasion of the round anniversary of the competition! We would also like to express our thanks to participants of the award ceremony for the interesting discussions during the event, e.g. why it is important for businesses to pay taxes and for people of the Baltic States to enhance their financial literacy. See you again!