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  • Abigail Carroll

Royal Economic Society announces Young Economist of the Year

Students from Altrincham Grammar School for Girls have been named as the Royal Economic Society’s Young Economist of the Year.

Sami Shahadat and Yiya Zhang were selected as winners by an esteemed panel of judges at an in-person final hosted KPMG UK at their London offices on Thursday 12 October.

The Young Economist of the Year Competition is an annual competition aimed at Year 10 to 13 students, encouraging them to produce their own ideas while analysing contemporary economic problems facing the UK and the world.

The competition finalists

This year’s competition was sponsored by KPMG UK and attracted over 1,400 entries. Volunteers from the professional services firm’s economics practice were tasked with shortlisting entries amid stiff competition.

The winning students from Altrincham Grammar School for Girls focused their entry on the topic of ‘What can economics tell us about how Big Tech should be regulated (if at all)?’ Their submission is now due to be featured in the Financial Times.

Commenting on their win, Yiya Zhang, a student at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, said: “Participating in the Young Economist of the Year competition has genuinely been life-changing. It was such a transformative experience, allowing me to delve deeper into the fascinating world of economics and fuel my passion to continue exploring economics in the future. This is truly something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.”

Sami Shahadat and Yiya Zhang as they are announced as the winners

Heather Sharp, Partner within KPMG UK’s Economics team, said: “Economists work on issues that affect our everyday lives, and through our firm’s sponsorship of Discover Economics, we are committed to making the discipline more inclusive and diverse while engaging with more students.

“The calibre of entries put forward this year was outstanding, with impressive consideration given to some of the world’s most complex economics issues. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners. These are the economists of tomorrow, with very bright futures ahead of them.”

The Young Economist of the Year finalists attend a tour of HM Treasury and Downing Street ahead of the final at KPMG Canary Wharf


Discover Economics is a campaign run by the Royal Economics Society and sponsored by KPMG. It aims to broaden the appeal of economics to potential students, change their perceptions of economics and economists, and attract more students from under-represented groups.

The campaign targets 15-17 year olds, who are making choices about what post qualifications to take and what subjects to study at university or through an apprenticeship. By transforming the perceptions of economics among students, particularly those attending schools which don't provide it as a subject, the campaign aims to raise the voices of a more diverse set of economists.

FT Schools

The Financial Times has created a hub for schools and colleges. Teachers in schools around the world with students aged 16-19 years old can get free access to the FT here and request individual FT accounts. Colleges in the UK can also sign up. You can check to see if your institution is already registered. ​ Schools Digest, a weekly newsletter from global education editor Andrew Jack, features student competitions, quizzes and the best of the Financial Times' expert analysis and coverage. All FT subscribers and those on the free schools programme can subscribe here to receive it every Monday at 7am. ​ Click here for more information.

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