Who will be crowned the Econometrics world champion? From 31 March to 2 April, 120 students from across the world will compete for this distinguished title. Some of the universities who will send teams to the Econometric Game, as this event is formally known, include Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard University. Former Dutch prime minister Jan-Peter Balkenende will deliver an address at the opening on the relevance of Econometrics.
The Econometric Game is organised by the UvA’s Actuarial Sciences, Econometrics and Operational Research & Management (VSAE) study association.
The Econometric Game is hugely popular. Each year, the number of entries far outstrip the number of available places, which is why only the 30 best universities are invited to send a delegation of two PhDs and two Master’s students to Amsterdam.
The participating teams will have three days to solve a major social problem in an econometric way. Some of the problems that have been presented in recent years include: the HIV/Aids epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa; the effects of smoking on the birthweight of unborn babies; and a welfare analysis of Indonesia by means of incomplete data on the country’s expenditures. To ensure the teams have an equal start, the subject of this year’s case will only be announced at the opening of the Econometric Game.
Besides battling it out for their university’s honour, the teams will also be given a spot in the limelight. ‘It is terrific to see how high the bar is’, says Wibrand de Reij, chair of the Econometric Game 2015. ‘In 2012, one of the world’s best universities sent a team to the Econometric Game for the first time. It completely underestimated the competition and got knocked out after the first round. Since then, it only sends its leading econometrists to Amsterdam, because even for the world’s best universities this is the only way of standing a change to win.’ The teams are hoping to win the world championship, but more specifically to find a groundbreaking solution which would contribute to society.
The event is partly made possible by partners EY and Ortec.