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United Nations WTO Call for Papers for 2024 Essay Award for Young Economists (Several Prizes available)

United Nations WTO Call for Papers for 2024 Essay Award for Young Economists (Several Prizes available)


The World Trade Organization (WTO) has extended an invitation to young economists worldwide to submit their research papers for the prestigious 2024 WTO Essay Award. This initiative seeks to encourage the production of high-quality research focusing on trade policy and international trade cooperation while fostering stronger ties between the WTO and the academic community.


The WTO Essay Award aims to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of trade economics and its implications for global economic cooperation. It serves as a platform for young scholars to showcase their research and insights into contemporary trade issues.

Testimonial from Previous Winner

Reflecting on the significance of winning the award, last year’s recipient, Xiao Ma, shared, “Winning this award means a lot to me. It turns out that since joining the WTO, China has become a very important partner in global value chains and my hometown has gained a lot of economic benefits. China’s embrace of global trade gives me very good opportunities to observe and explore the importance of trade in my daily life.”

Prize and Recognition

The annual WTO Essay Award offers a prize of CHF 5,000 to the author(s) of the winning essay. In the case of collaborative efforts, the prize will be evenly distributed among the authors. The winning paper will be officially announced at the annual meeting of the European Trade Study Group (ETSG), the foremost conference specializing in international trade. The award ceremony is scheduled to take place on September 12-14, 2024, at Athens University in Greece. Additionally, the winning author will receive financial support to attend the meeting.

Selection Process

An Academic Selection Panel, composed of distinguished scholars in the field, is tasked with selecting the winning paper. The panel includes:

  • Professor Beata Javorcik (University of Oxford)
  • Professor Robert Staiger (Dartmouth College)
  • Professor Alberto Trejos (INCAE Business School)
  • Professor Ralph Ossa (Director, Economic Research and Statistics Division, WTO Secretariat), ex officio member.

Dr. Roberta Piermartini (Chief, Trade Cost Analysis Section, WTO) oversees the panel’s activities.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the award, papers must address issues related to trade policy and international trade cooperation. Authors should hold or be in the process of completing a Ph.D. degree and, if over 30 years of age, must have defended their Ph.D. no more than two years before the submission deadline. Co-authored papers must adhere to the same eligibility requirements. Furthermore, essays must not exceed 15,000 words to be considered for the award.

Past Winners

The WTO Essay Award has a rich history of recognizing outstanding young economists. Previous winners include:

  • 2023: Xiao Ma (Peking University HSBC Business School)
  • 2022: Mathilde Muñoz (James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Wealth and Income Inequality, University of California, Berkeley)
  • 2021: Tomas Dominguez-Iino (New York University) and Swapnika Rachapalli (University of Toronto)
  • 2020: Xian Ding (Harvard University)
  • 2019: Jan Bakker (Oxford University) and Federico Huneeus (Princeton University)
  • And many more.

Deadlines and Publication

Essays must be submitted by June 3, 2024. The Economic Research and Statistics Division of the WTO Secretariat will shortlist eligible papers by June 17, 2024, and the selection panel will make its final decision by July 8, 2024. Only the authors of shortlisted essays will be notified. The winning essay may be published in the WTO Working Paper Series, and authors are encouraged to seek publication in academic journals.


All submissions should be sent to essay.award@wto.org and include the following attachments in PDF format:

  1. The essay
  2. The CV of the author(s), specifying current affiliation(s), the academic institution awarding the Ph.D., the year (or expected year) of the Ph.D., and the date of birth of the author(s).

For further information and updates on the WTO Essay Award, visit the official website of the World Trade Organization.